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White eared pheasant: where does it live and how to be kept in captivity?

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For true connoisseurs of exotic birds, a white pheasant can become a real decoration of the yard, because, besides its attractive appearance, it is distinguished by its grace and comparative simplicity in its care.

What does a white eared pheasant look like?

Many poultry farmers prefer this variety because of its elegant color, and with good conditions of keeping the plumage will always remain bright white. However, this is not the only advantage of white eared pheasant.

Appearance and plumage

In addition to the white color of the body (by the way, the shade can vary from pure white to blue-white), a small black bird's head with a red area around the eyes and orange-yellow beaded eyes is no less noticeable.

The black cap on the pheasant's head feels very velvet to the touch, but the red areas are completely devoid of feathering. The pink beak is a powerful addition to the head.

The legs of the bird are short and strong, with spurs. The black-and-blue tail, consisting of 20 feathers, is much smaller than that of other eared pheasants, and as for the ears themselves, they are practically imperceptible in general. The wings of the birds merge well with the body and have brown ends. The main distinguishing feature of the gender is the smaller size of the female compared with the male.

Weight and dimensions

Males of birds are traditionally more females and are characterized by the following parameters:

  • torso length - on average 93-96 cm,
  • tail length - up to 58 cm,
  • wing span - about 33-35 cm,
  • weight - 2350-2750 g.

As for the performance of females, although they are inferior to the above values, they still provide the birds with grace and greatness:

  • torso length - 86-92 cm,
  • tail length - 46-52 cm,
  • wing span - up to 33 cm
  • weight - 1400-2050 g.

In nature, you can find larger representatives, but in any case, white eared pheasant is one of the largest representatives of the genus.

Where dwells

In the territories of Russia, Ukraine and neighboring states, the described bird is found only in private breeding, since it lives in nature in western China and in eastern Indian lands.

She prefers the mountain forest zones of eastern Tibet, nesting mostly in pine and oak sparse forests, at an altitude of 3200-4200 m above sea level. The boundary of the range is considered to be a forest zone in rhododendron thickets located at 4,600 m above sea level.

Near the Yangtze River, these pheasants live on the slopes of rocks, among spirea, dogrose, juniper and barberries. In winter, birds can be found at an altitude of 2800 m, but in summer they do not go above the snow line.

Lifestyle and behavior

White eared pheasants love company, so they rarely go alone. They gather in large groups in mountain meadows, where they search for food, digging the soil with their beak. Flights are not their favorite pastime, therefore, if hunters come to the next with dogs, birds prefer to flee. However, this does not mean that the birds do not know how to fly, on the contrary, in case of emergency they can overcome hundreds of meters in seconds, due to which their flight is often compared with the flight of a partridge or a royal pheasant.

Both in summer and in winter, white eared pheasants prefer a sedentary way of life, and white plumage may be one of the adaptation requirements. The wide tail and sweeping wings, which resist well in the snow, help the bird to move through deep snow.

Even moving for short distances, birds leave distinct traces on the snow blanket, along which hunters can easily track them.

In very harsh frosty days, all representatives of the described species are as active as at any other time: they can look for food from the very morning until late evening, taking a break only in the middle of the day (usually the rest is near the springs and streams ). Throughout the cold season, birds can stray into groups of up to 250 individuals, but often this value does not exceed thirty. During the breeding season, birds keep in pairs.

What eats white pheasant

Birds may well be called vegetarians, because, unlike their many relatives, most of the year they feed only on roots and other vegetation, often not far from ungulates.

The birds can slightly diversify their menu only in the summer, when cranberries and strawberries appear.

Since the beginning of the mating season, small invertebrates and insects appear in the diet of pheasants, but this does not last long and by the autumn the birds switch their attention to the fruits of juniper - the main food for the near future. With the arrival of winter, the needles of the plant, wolf berries, dried seeds of lilies and irises are added to these berries. In the season of prolonged winter blizzards, the birds feed on pine needles, leftovers from rabbits and other animals.

Breeding

The mating season for this species of pheasants starts at the end of spring and lasts until mid-June. Visible sexual dimorphism, as well as mating demonstrations, is weakly expressed in these birds, which only confirms the theory of their monogamy.

While caring for the chosen female, the male can run around her for hours, raising his tail, lowering his wings and trying to inflate the bright areas on his head as much as possible. All these actions are accompanied by current screams characteristic of pheasants, the sound of which extends to a distance of up to 3 kilometers.

It is very difficult to distinguish it from the marriage cry of a Tibetan eared pheasant, except that the rhythm is faster. Males shout mostly early in the morning and late in the evening. When breeding in captivity with the beginning of the mating season, their aggressiveness towards their congeners also increases, therefore a sufficient space of an open-air cage with certain places for shelter is a mandatory requirement when breeding these birds.

In addition, trimming feathers on one wing of a fighter will help reduce aggression. Reproduction at home is possible if the poultry farmer has time to pick up eggs laid by pheasants and place them under chicken, turkey, or simply place them in an incubator and then place the nestlings in brooders.

White-eared pheasants place their nests on the ground, choosing places under the spruce or at the base of the protruding rock. Later, 6–9 eggs appear in them, which the females lay with a break of several days. The incubation period lasts 24-29 days, after which chicks weighing about 40 g each appear from the eggs. Toddlers grow fairly quickly and at the age of 10 days they can weigh 85 g, and on the 50th day of life this figure rises to 600 g.

Females are standardly smaller than males, so the difference in weight is approximately 50-70 g. Young birds reach adult birds only at the age of 5 months.

Absolutely all species of eared pheasants can mate with each other, and upon reaching adulthood (approximately two years), hybrids also produce offspring.

Is it possible to keep in captivity

There are many successful examples of keeping white eared pheasants in captivity. However, if you want to get offspring from them or simply create comfortable conditions for your wards, then it is worth considering the requirements for the aviary.

First of all, it must be large so that a couple of pheasants have at least 18 square meters. m square. Smaller cages are suitable only if it is possible to release birds to a garden or park, where they can walk freely during the day. On such walking birds can stay in flocks, but in the cages it is still desirable to keep pheasants in pairs.

White eared pheasants are quite hardy and undemanding in bird care, able to withstand significant temperature drops. At the same time, the heat and direct sunlight are perceived by them much worse, in the same way as dampness in the room.

Therefore, given these requirements, birds can be left in covered enclosures in winter. With proper upbringing (birds can even be trained), these birds can become a real decoration of any garden or park area, where they are almost the whole day in the same territory, tearing the soil with their beaks and pecking the roots found.

With regard to acceptable diet, it can be very diverse.

Of course, when breeding in captivity, it is very difficult to get familiar food, so breeders recommend using specially developed feeds (they should be 75% of the diet), greens and fruits, which share the remaining 25%, to feed white eared pheasants.

During the mating season, grapes, apples and hard-boiled eggs are used to feed the birds, although one should not exclude the possibility of birds eating wheat, oatmeal, crushed peas, finely chopped vegetables and root vegetables. In winter, you can hang pine branches in the cage so that the birds can eat the needles.

Those poultry farmers who already have experience in dealing with pheasants will find it easy to care for white eared birds without additional knowledge, but newcomers to this business still need to look more closely at this issue.

Pheasant Description and Features

Pheasant - It is a bird that stands at the head of a family of pheasants, which in turn belongs to the order of chickens.

Pheasants have a peculiar memorable plumage, which is the main feature of the bird. The male and female have a different appearance, as in many other bird families, the male is much more beautiful and brighter.

Dimorphism by gender is highly developed in these birds. Males are prettier, brighter and larger, but this depends on the subspecies of the pheasant, which number more than 30. The main difference between the subspecies is also the coloring of the plumage.

For example, an ordinary pheasant includes a large number of subspecies: for example, the Georgian pheasant - it is characterized by the presence of a brown spot on the abdomen, which has a bright border of shiny feathers.

Another representative is the Khiva pheasant, its color is dominated by red color with a copper tint.

The male of the common pheasant has bright beautiful plumage.

But the Japanese pheasant differs from the rest in green color, which is represented by various shades.

The plumage of Japanese pheasant is dominated by green shades.

Photo pheasants reveal the unique beauty of these birds. However, this is primarily characteristic of males.

The females are much more modest, the main color of the plumage is gray with brown and pink shades. Drawing on the body is represented by small specks.

Externally, the pheasant is easily distinguished from the other bird by the long tail, which in the female reaches approximately 40 centimeters, and in the male it can be 60 centimeters in length.

The weight of the pheasant depends on the subspecies, as well as the size of the body. For example, an ordinary pheasant has a weight of about 2 kilograms, and the body length is slightly less than a meter.

Beautiful appearance and very tasty and healthy meat of this bird are the cause of mass pheasant hunting. Pheasant Killer hunting dogs, which are specially trained and easily locate the bird, often come out.

The task of the dog is to drive the pheasant to the tree, since the moment of take-off is the most vulnerable time, it is at this moment that the hunter makes a shot. And then the dog's task is to bring the trophy to his master.

Pheasant meat is very valued for its taste and calorie content, which is 254 kcal per 100 grams of the product, besides it contains a large amount of vitamins that are necessary for the normal functioning of the human body.

There are a huge number of recipes for cooking pheasant, and each of them represents a culinary masterpiece. Good mistress surely knowshow to cook pheasantto emphasize its exquisite taste and preserve all the useful qualities.

The use of pheasant meat in the diet improves a person’s immunity, restores wasted strength and carries a general strengthening effect on the organism as a whole.

Female pheasant has brown-black speckled plumage

Such a demand for meat caused initially breeding pheasants in hunting farms in which they were engaged in replenishing the number of birds for the hunting season, which, as a rule, falls in autumn. At the beginning of the 19th century, pheasants began to be bred in private provinces, as objects for hunting and decorating their yard.

Basically, for the decoration of the courtyard we bred such an exotic look as golden pheasant. The feathers of this bird are very bright: gold, red, black. The bird looks very beautiful and spectacular.

Pictured golden pheasant

In the 20th century, pheasants were breeding at home everywhere. Poultry bring good enough profit to their owners, because home breeding pheasants enters a new zootechnical level and occupies a significant place in the industry. Thus, with the development of pheasant breeding buy pheasants It has become much easier and more profitable.

Pheasant's character and lifestyle

The pheasant has the title of the fastest and most agile runner among all the representatives of chickens. When running, the pheasant takes a special position, it lifts the tail, and at the same time pulls the head and neck forward. Practically the pheasant spends its whole life on the ground, only in extreme cases, at danger, it takes off. However, flying is not the main advantage of the bird.

Pheasants are by nature very shy birds and try to keep in a safe shelter. Such places for birds are thickets of bush or thick tall grass.

Birds usually live alone, but are sometimes grouped into a small group. It is easier to see the birds in the morning or evening, when they leave the shelter to eat. The rest of the time pheasants are secretive and hide from prying eyes.

Pheasants love to sit in the trees, thanks to the variegated color, they feel safe among the foliage and branches. Before they descend to the ground, pheasants plan for a long time in the air. The pheasant takes off in the style of "vertical candle", after which the flight takes a horizontal plane.

You can hear the voice of a pheasant only when it flies. Among the noisy slamming of the wings of the pheasant, you can catch a sharp, strong hawk cry. This sound is like a cock crow, but it is not so drawn out and stronger.

The area of ​​distribution of this bird is very large. Pheasants live from the Iberian Peninsula to the Japanese islands. This bird can be found in the Caucasus, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the Far East. In addition, pheasants are found in North America, as well as in many European countries.

Pheasant food

In the natural environment, in natural conditions, the diet of pheasant for the most part consists of plant foods. To quench hunger pheasants, they use plant seeds, berries, rhizomes, young green shoots and leaves. Animal food is also important for birds, they eat worms, larvae, insects, spiders.

A characteristic feature of these birds is that the chicks from birth feed exclusively on animal food, and only after some time they switch to plant food.

Pheasants get their food on the ground, raking leaf, ground and grass with their rather strong paws, or pecking food from plants at a small height from the ground.

What does a white pheasant eat?

Such individuals can easily be called vegetarians, as they feed on roots and vegetation. In order to diversify their diet, birds use strawberries and cranberries in the summer. With the beginning of the mating season, the diet of pheasants consists of small invertebrates and insects.

In autumn pheasants eat juniper fruits. With the advent of winter coniferous plants, wolf berries, seeds of irises and lilies are added to these berries. With a long winter they feed on rabbits and other animals.

Captive breeding

The mating season for pheasants begins at the end of spring and lasts until mid-June. Marriage demonstrations are weakly expressed, which once again confirms the theory of monogamy. When grooming a female, the male can wander around her for a long time, raising her tail high and dropping her wings. He is trying to show as many colored feathers as possible to get her attention. All actions are complemented by rhythmic current screams. Males scream early in the morning and at night.

When growing them at home with the beginning of the mating season, their aggressive attitude towards their fellows increases, so it is important to build a spacious aviary for them. To reduce aggression, you can trim the edges of the wings in males.

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