Pheasants are part of the Phasianidae family and there are a few different species of pheasants found all over the world. The most popular or common known pheasant is the common pheasant. The male pheasant is highly decorative with lots of bright feathers and a much longer tail while females are much plainer.
These animals are often kept as pets because of the male pheasant’s unique beauty and the distinct sounds these magnificent birds make. They are also relatively easy to care for.
Pheasants are omnivores. They will eat both plant and flesh matter and are known to consume a huge variety of food types. Here is a quick look at some of the foods these animals enjoy eating the most;
Seeds are a pheasant’s main food source. They enjoy eating a huge variety of seeds such as grains, seeds acorns, oats, buckwheat, barley, corn, sunflower seeds, weed seeds, and much more. Generally, these birds will consume just about any type of seed they can find. As long as it can be swallowed relatively easily, these birds will have a go at it and consume it.
Peasants also enjoy eating insects. They will catch and eat just about any type of insect they come across. If the insect is easy to consume and has a relatively pleasant taste, the pheasant will eat it. They enjoy eating worms, grasshoppers, beetles, flies, butterflies, termites, crickets, and many other species that are not too poisonous or dangerous.
These game birds will also consume a great variety of grass and plants. They will eat leaves and soft stems of just about any plant they can peck at. Typically they prefer leafy green foods such as herbs, broccoli, spinach, salad, and much more. They will also peck at and eat just about any grass variety they can find.
These birds can and will consume fruits and veggies if they happen upon them. Pheasants are quite curious and they will peck at odd objects including non-food items. If a fruit or veggie seems like a tasty treat, they will peck and eat it.
You can offer just about any type of fruits and veggies including cabbage, pumpkin, beets, turnips, tomatoes, grapes, pear, apples, and a great many other types of foods.
Pheasants kept in captivity are often kept on bird prestart and game bird grower feeds. These bird feeds usually offer 24 – 28% protein and is ideal for keeping these large game birds healthy and active.
It is important to offer the correct bird feeds at the correct stage of a pheasant’s life.
Pheasants can have all sorts of diet variations because they are such diverse eaters. These animals will try just about any food – and many non-foods – they find to see if they can eat these foods. Some of their diet variations include human foods such as bread, chips, and cereals.
On rare occasions, these game birds might even have a go at small animal species like baby mice and some can even have cannibalistic tendencies. They have an incredibly flexible digestive system.
Despite their flexible digestive system, it is important to keep pollutants and plastics away from these animals. Being such curious creatures, they are very likely to consume waste products that could affect their health negatively.
Pheasants are pretty easy to feed. These animals are quite curious and will peck at anything they find amusing. Some items they peck at will become food whether it is edible or not.
To feed pheasants, you can simply place foods out for them at a feeding area. If the bird is hungry, it will feed on these foods.
Ideally, you should try to offer a variety of foods so these animals will get enough nutrients and protein.
If you are offering a game bird feed then these foods should already contain a balanced number of ingredients and the bird should receive all the supplements it needs for optimal health and growth.
The amount of food pheasants consume depends on their growth. For the first 6 weeks, these birds will consume about 2lb of feed each.
From 6 – 20 weeks, each bird will eat about 1lb feed per week. In total, a single pheasant needs to consume about 16lbs of feed in 20 weeks’ time.
Pheasant chicks consume basically the same foods as adult pheasants but in smaller quantities and particle sizes.
During the first 6 weeks of their life, they are fed on a starter feed. This feed usually consists of 28% protein and the food bits are relatively tiny. From 6 – 20 weeks, they are fed on a 25% protein grower feed that has much larger pellets.
In nature, pheasants will consume any foods they can find. They are not fussy eaters at all and will eat almost any plant matter they find including leaves, twigs, seeds, grass, and roots. These birds will also hunt and eat almost any type of insect and if they are hungry enough they can even have cannibalistic tendencies and will eat the young of their own species.
What Do You Feed Wild Pheasants?
If you want to observe wild pheasants you can offer any type of food. Ideally, a game bird feed is perfect but you can also offer other foods such as seeds, corn, bread, fruits, or vegetables.
Pheasants prefer to sleep on the ground in tall grasses, weeds or bushes. They also build their nests on the ground and may choose to roost on the branches of trees at night.
These birds do eat apples and they are quite fond of these tasty fruits. If you are offering apples, it is best to cut these apples into halves so these birds can easily peck and consume these tasty fruits.
In nature, pheasants live in the field. They sleep on the ground or on tree branches and prefer to hide out in tall grasses.
In captivity, these birds are usually kept in enclosures because they can fly to a certain degree.
Pheasants are beautiful animals. Their flexible diet makes them very easy to care for. As long as your bird enjoys a diet of plant matter and insects, it should be healthy and happy to live with you.