Pheasants eat seeds, berries, leaves and insects; they roost in trees and can form flocks in winter.
What do pheasants eat?
There are four types of pheasants that live in the UK. They are the native red pheasant, the Chinese ring-necked pheasant, the Lady Amherst’s pheasant, and the golden pheasant.
They are easily recognized by their male plumage, which is mostly red or gold.
All pheasant species have distinctive male tail feathers, known as a ‘train’, which grow from a standard feather and may grow to five inches or longer in length. These trains are an essential part of pheasant display behaviour.
What do pheasants look like?
Although all three species are usually recognised by having red or gold feathers, each species has some distinctive features.
Red pheasants are the largest and heaviest of the three species. They have dark grey bodies and legs and white tails and undersides. They have a black head and a black partridge-like mask to their eyes, with three white dots on their face. Males have red plumage on their neck and a white stripe on their chest.
Their long tails are made up of a large untufted crest, a tail feather and their undescended spurs, which are illegal additions to a red pheasant if found during a mandatory inspection.
Lady Amherst’s pheasants are the smallest of the three species. They are completely golden-coloured, whereas red pheasants have a white stripe on their chests, and golden pheasants have a white crest and white patches on their tails.
Chinese ring-necked pheasants are the largest of the flock and the only pheasant species which will interbreed with its cousins. They are a mix of gold and red, with a large white ring around their necks and a long skinny tail that is usually carried up straight which gives them their name.
What do pheasants eat?
A healthy diet is crucial to good weight and a full-body condition for pheasants.
Pheasant take up to two months to reach maturity, and use up a lot of energy and nutrients during this time. During this period they need a diet that is high in proteins, energy and nutrients.
This crucial period is also when they are developing their adult plumage. Growing red feathers isn’t just about having good genes, but is also about providing nutrients to young bones and feathers to be used for their adult plumage.
A good diet, including the correct nutrients, can help offspring to grow quicker, bigger, stronger and more vibrant in colour, with a good health or condition which will last well into adulthood.