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 Post subject: Nutritional requirements of pheasants
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:26 am
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The nutritional requirements of pheasants are similar to those of turkeys, so if producers are unable to obtain feed formulated specifically for pheasants, turkey crumbles can be used.

The ration fed will be governed by economic factors in the industry. This includes costs of raw materials (feed ingredients), feed conversion ratios and prices being paid for pheasant meat.For best results, a 28% protein ration should be fed to chicks up to about 4 weeks of age, 24% from 4–9 weeks and 18% from 9 weeks until marketing at 16 weeks. Breeding stock also require approximately 18% protein in their ration.

Table 1. Minimum nutrient specifications
Nutrients 0–4 weeks % 4–9 weeks % 9–16 weeks % Breeders %
Crude protein 28.00 24.00 18.00 18.00
Crude fat 2.50 3.00 3.00 3.00
Crude fibre 3.00 3.00 3.00 4.00
Metabolisable energy megajoules 11.64 11.97 12.52 11.51
Calorie/protein ratio 99.00 119.00 166.00 153.00
Calcium 1.10 1.00 0.87 3.00
Phosphorus (available) 0.65 0.65 0.61 0.54
Sodium 0.20 0.20 0.20 0.20
Methionine 0.56 0.47 0.36 0.38
Lysine 1.77 1.31 0.93 1.04
Cystine 0.46 0.36 0.28 0.30

If it is more convenient to buy or mix only two growing rations, chicks can be started on a 25% protein ration fed to, say, 6 weeks of age, then fed an 18% ration to marketing.In addition to the all-mash rations suggested above, up to 5% whole grain can be fed to growing stock from 6 weeks of age, and 15–20% additional grain provided for breeding stock.
Pheasants must also be fed a vitamin and mineral supplement (see Table 2) and have access to insoluble grit.

Table 2. Vitamin and mineral requirements
Nutrients Growers Breeders
Vitamin A (acetate form) mg/kg 2400 2750
Vitamin D3 mg/kg 50 50
Vitamin B2 mg/kg 7.5 7.5
Vitamin K mg/kg 2 2
Vitamin E mg/kg 11 33
Choline chloride mg/kg 1550 1450
Folic acid mg/kg 0.33 –
Vitamin B12 mg/kg 11 11
Niacin mg/kg 70 80
Pantothenic acid mg/kg 16 16
Biotin mg/kg 45 –
Manganese ppm 100 100
Zinc ppm 65 65
Copper ppm 5 5
Iodine ppm 1 1

Suggested pheasant rations are given in Table 3.

Table 3. Suggested pheasant rations
Ingredients 0–4 weeks % 5–9 weeks % 10–16 weeks % Breeders %
Wheat 41 56 70 61
Sorghum 10 10 8 10
Pollard/Millmix – – 5 5
Meatmeal (50%) 12 12 10 11
Soybean meal 31 18 5 4
Fish meal 3 3 1 2
Lucerne meal – – – 3
Limestone – – – 3
Tallow 2 – – –
Premix 1 1 1 1

The suggested basic premix (Table 4) is a general purpose one and can be fed to each class of stock. It should be included at the rate of 1% in each of the suggested rations.

Table 4. Suggested basic premix for growers and breeders
Ingredients For 1 tonne of feed (g)
Vitamin A (325,000 IU)* 33.0
Vitamin D3 (200,000 IU) 9.5
Vitamin B2 5.0
Vitamin K 1.1
Vitamin E (25%) 9.0
Choline chloride 150.0
Folic acid 1.1
Pyridoxine 2.2
Vitamin B12 (500 mg/kg) 10.0
Niacin 6.6
Pantothenic acid 5.5
Manganese sulfate 100.0
Zinc oxide 22.0
Ethoxyquin 125.0
DL-methionine 1500.0
Carrier to 10 kg –
*IU = international units

Insoluble grit such as blue metal screenings (3–4 mm) should be fed at the following rates:
0–4 weeks of age: 250 g / 100 birds / week
5–16 weeks of age: 500 g / 100 birds / week
Breeders: Free choice

To obtain maximum growth rates include 0.1% methionine in rations for chicks 0–4 weeks of age. It may also be advisable to include biotin for chicks 0–4 weeks.

If coccidiosis is a problem, include a coccidiostat in rations for chicks.
The above ingredients, including the additional methionine, can be incorporated as an additional premix.At the end of the breeding season it appears that breeders can be transferred satisfactorily from a breeding ration to a maintenance diet consisting of a grain supplement with liquid vitamins. The same applies to growing stock that are to be kept as breeders for the next year.

Additional food supplements
As a general rule, no additional food supplements are necessary. If young chicks are not doing well, perhaps not eating enough food or looking a little ‘off colour’, include a liquid vitamin supplement in their drinking water for a few days.

If fertility and hatchability are poor, give breeding stock a massive dose treatment of liquid vitamins in the drinking water for 1 day. The essential vitamins for this purpose are A, B2 and E. Pheasants like fresh green feed, although it is not necessary if a properly balanced ration containing a premix is being fed.Unripe ears of wheat, chaffed lettuce, cabbage and chickweed can be fed as fresh greenstuff. Older pheasants can be fed swedes, turnips, artichokes and potatoes.

Providing feed and water
A standard poultry hopper issuitable for pheasants
As soon as chicks are placed under the brooders give them fresh drinking water and feed. To encourage eating, place feed on the floor on paper and in shallow trays.Standard poultry hoppers are suitable for pheasants raised under intensive and semi-intensive conditions because they can be placed inside the building. They are almost completely rat-proof and sparrow-proof. Where range rearing is practised, large ‘home-made’ feeders will probably be more suitable because they hold more feed.
Chicken drinking fonts (4 L) or some hanging waterers can provide water for chicks during the first few days. Water for intensively housed older stock can be provided by hanging waterers, but use ‘ball cock’ or ‘fox valve’ type waterers for range birds.Provide chicks with 1.5 cm of drinking space and 3 cm of feeding space per bird. Double these figures for breeders.

Food consumption
The amount of feed consumed by pheasants will vary depending on factors such as type of feed, method of feeding, nutritional composition and weather conditions.

A pheasant from day-old until marketing at about 16 weeks of age will eat about 5 kg of food. At this age, cocks will weigh approximately 1.25 kg and hens 1.0 kg. An approximate feed conversion of 4.5:1 is obtained for mixed sexes, which is not very efficient compared with other types of poultry.

Adult pheasants consume approximately 500 g of dry food per week.
Table 5 shows that weekly food consumption reaches a peak at 12 weeks of age and then gradually falls.

Table 5. Average feed consumption of 100 growing pheasants
Age (weeks) Feed for week (kg) Cumulative feed (kg)
1 2.25 2.25
2 6.00 8.25
3 11.85 20.10
4 16.00 36.10
5 20.00 56.10
6 26.00 82.10
7 29.55 111.65
8 31.85 143.50
9 39.55 183.05
10 43.60 226.65
11 48.00 274.65
12 50.00 324.65
13 50.00 374.65
14 47.70 422.35
15 45.50 467.85
16 45.50 513.35
17 43.60 556.95
18 43.60 600.55

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:23 am
Posts: 40
Location: Beechmont Qld
Wow that is interesting and comprehensive. Do you mix all your own feeds, it is probably cheaper in the quantities you need. How do you store them to prevent rodent access?

I mix a drop of seaweed extract into the water in combination with proprietry feeds to provide nutrients but maybe i should look at it in more detail.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:26 am
Posts: 10755
Hi Luca, Yes we do and it's based primarily on Protein & Vitamins % & the time of year (Protein & Vitamins are increased during breeding season) We store all feeds in 44 gallon plastic drums, and we have lots of them :-? Seaweed extract (Kelp Extract) has over 70 minerals, micronutrients, amino acids and vitamins, we don't use it but we know of others who do.

Peacocks Australia :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Nutritional requirements of pheasants
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:36 am
Posts: 4
Location: Tassie
Wow you blokes know your stuff I had no idea people got that involved in poultry food. I guess these requirements would apply to peacocks

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