Monday, May 8, 2017

Raising Pheasants

Spring projects are in the air.
The Old Farmer's children were all active in 4-H.
One spring project, in conjunction with the game department, 
was raising pheasant chicks to replenish the fields for fall hunters. 
Hunting was and still is a big part of farm/country life.


 

There was an old building 
on the farm,
 about 10x10 feet square.
It had been a smokehouse back 
in the days they would
preserve meat for the family. 
Smoke would be channeled
into the building from 
an outside source 
and infuse the fresh ham 
and bacon with smoky flavor 
and preserve them. 

 The inside of this building was remembered as being quite black and sooty.
The Old Farmer and wife tried several uses for it over the years.
It was thought it would be a good playhouse for the Old Farmer's children.
This did not work to well as they (the children) came out sooty :  ) 
At one time rabbits were kept in it. 
When the pheasant project came along The Old Farmer moved
the building away from the yard, built a fenced area behind, and 
the interior was whitewashed. 


The big day finally arrived and a box with 30-50 baby chicks arrived, days old.
At that age they were kept in a small enclosed circle with a heat lamp above. 
As they grew the area was enlarged until they were old enough to go outside. 
As they neared 6 weeks of age plans were made to release them into the wild. 


This involved catching them, putting them into a portable chicken coop, 
and driving out into a field to release. This was usually supervised by a game warden.
One year it was thought we could release them at the pen area which backed up
to an old orchard that was quite overgrown. Unfortunately they stayed close
"to home" and many met unfortunate ends at the hands of local cats and dogs. 
This release method was not repeated.

2 comments:

Eldon Mains said...

As I recall you received $1.00 for each one successfully released.

Jens Mains said...

Good point. It wasn't like a big money maker tho, I expect a lot of that offset the expense of raising them, feed etc. thx for adding to the story~!