Would you like to breed pheasants, help with their conservation, or simply learn more about these beautiful birds? Pat Johnson shares a wealth of information to help you educate yourself about the cyclist’s business.
Written by Pat Johnson You may think experience is the best teacher. But experience combined with training is an unbeatable advantage, especially when keeping pheasants and other wild birds. This article aims to share some of the many options you have for getting to know game birds, such as riders, so that you can choose the best teaching style for you. I’ve talked to a lot of people about how they got enough information to breed these birds and they’ve found that good opportunities and information vary; Some of them have been around for many years, others are new ideas for the 21st century!
Early Gamekeeper Schools
Many educational institutions provide technical information and expertise in bird and poultry management. It might surprise you to know that one of the first gamekeeper schools was in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The school, sponsored by the Game Preservation Society, was the first of its kind in the country in the late 1920s. The school taught students how to keep game birds, including pheasants. Ken MacFarlane, who founded the first pheasant farm in Janesville, Wisconsin, was one of 25 people accepted into the school. Breeding pheasants had been popular in Scotland and England for 400 years, but the concept was new to the United States.
According to an article in the 1927 Janesville Gazette, “Most graduates of the University College of Agriculture used to become scientific farmers:”
Going to school these days
Today, many schools in the United States offer degrees in Poultry and Wildlife Management. They rarely advertise that they are training gamekeepers. Most college programs today have titles related to fish and wildlife management. Gamekeepers generally protect and keep game birds on a larger piece of property. When you have a small farm, including pheasants, you might call yourself a gamekeeper. But, if you want to keep the gradient, it is important for you to learn how to manage it.
There are a variety of ways to learn how to breed pheasants and other game birds, ranging from college degrees to seminars. Talking to experts, reading, and taking health management classes are all effective teaching methods. Many educational institutions provide technical information and expertise in bird and poultry management.
Cyclist training programs and programs
Kansas State University
Kansas State University (KSU) has an internship program with MacFarlane Pheasants. Bill MacFarlane, owner of MacFarlane Pheasants, and others developed the training program with KSU about 12 years ago. Students in the Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprise Management Program can spend a semester working on the farm of Wisconsin MacFarlane Pheasants and then return to campus to finish their degrees. This four-year program was established at King Saud University to train professional operations managers for game reserves, resorts, poultry production companies, and other outdoor experiences. Students may also attend the Midwest Poultry Association at the University of Wisconsin-Madison while at Wisconsin and earn up to 18 credits that can be transferred back to KSU.
Michigan State University
Michigan State University has a degree in animal science with an emphasis in poultry. Schools that teach solely about game birds are rare, but concepts in these related degrees are similar and professors try to meet the learning needs of all students. This school also contains the Poultry Education and Research Center. It consists of 11 pole barns, two storage sheds, and several outdoor sheds. The service block has a shower, toilet, tool room, garage and office space.
West Virginia University
West Virginia University offers a 100 percent online Bachelor of Science degree in environmental sciences and fish and wildlife majors. The school deals with pollution, hazardous materials, natural resources, and wildlife management. This program has a broader perspective than a school like King Saud University, but is designed for individuals who seek to be wildlife biologists or environmental scientists. Many people in the bird hunting business own these types of scores.
Seminars that best suit your needs?
Listen to this fun podcast with Bill MacFarlane of MacFarlane Pheasants.
If you are looking for education about pheasants or poultry in the form of seminars, they are available and great! My Friends MacFarlane, at MacFarlane Pheasants in Janesville, Wisconsin, presents a bi-annual International Cyclist Management Symposium that invites people from all over the world to attend their three-day seminars. The price for the 2020 seminar was $600 and included meals. Hotel rates were at a special rate of $75 per night. Here is a small sampling of the awesome topics offered during the 2020 symposium:
- A UK perspective on controlling game birds and reducing mycoplasma on the ground (Kenny Nutting of St Davids Poultry Team Ltd)
- Ventilation in the Barn Incubator (Austin Baker of Pig Slates)
- Pen Management (James Clarke of MacFarlane Pheasants)
- Keys to effective rodent control (Ted Bruesch of Liphatech)
- Avian influenza has been identified next to me, now what? (Dr. Dale Lauer of the Minnesota State Animal Health Board)
- Why Upland Gamebird bio security? when? How do? (Abby New from the University of Minnesota and Dale Lauer from the Minnesota State Animal Health Board)
- Hands-on egg breakout lab and demonstration on sexing old chicks (Josh Dennis and MacFarlane from Hatchery Crew)
The Pennsylvania Conference of Game Breeders and Game Reserves is held annually. It’s a two-day event, and the program contains information on how to manage game birds and treat health issues affecting them. They also have tips for those interested in running a game reserve. No date has been set for the 2021 conference yet, but there is a place on their website to enter your name and find out when this conference and others will be held.
There is always the extension office
Numerous county extension offices across the country are ready and willing to help you get started with bird keeping. Google the county extension offices in your state, and you’ll find a variety of options for learning. If you don’t see pheasant rearing as a topic, email the office and ask for help finding resources. My experience with county extension offices is that they are always willing to help you or refer you to someone who has the answers you are looking for.
I write a blog on cyclist topics at MacFarlane Pheasant. All blog information comes from talking to several directors and employees at MacFarlane Pheasants Inc. Reading blogs is an excellent way to educate yourselves on some of the elements that will help you breed riders. Some of the topics I have covered include feeding issues, biosecurity, airflow in coops, brooder maintenance, flying pen maintenance, weather related issues, growing pheasant tail feathers, goats on a pheasant farm, manure, and articles on how those who buy and raise their chicks have been able to , how to buy and receive chicks or mature pheasants, and many other topics.
Finally, there are a large number of books available on pheasant breeding. Many people educate themselves by reading about topics they need to know more about. I recommend two of the books available in the gift section of the MacFarlane Pheasants website: Bird trainer game And Pheasant Tales. You can also learn about breeding riders with MOTHER EARTH NEWS Upload the Gamebirds e-brochure.
You don’t have to have a college education to work with pheasants, but you do need to choose a way to educate yourself about these beautiful birds if you want to breed them. Seminars, blogs, podcasts, friends, and books are all effective ways to learn the ins and outs of working with riders. If you want to end up working on a large pheasant farm, you can consider a degree in wildlife and outdoor project management, such as those offered by King Saud University.
Pat Johnson He is a freelance writer who blogs for MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. , the largest pheasant farm in North America. This has allowed her to learn from the pheasant breeding experts, who are very helpful in this last article by talking about their education.
Originally posted on the Community Chickens website and has been regularly checked for accuracy.