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Forge Cottage

Gentleman Caller - AKA Phil the Pheasant

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We have four sweet girls and still getting plenty of !eggcream!s despite the short days. Chickens are such a change from all the serious things in life and we adore them!

 

One Saturday a few weeks ago I glanced outside into the garden where they were free ranging together and did my usual mental count: One, two, three, four... Five!? :shock: There was a handsome Pheasant grazing with our chickens. He soon approached the house and we could see that he is an impressive specimen, with beautiful red face and markings and a friendly inquisitive nature. We named him Phil and the next day saw how he dropped down from the shed roof into the electric pen, bold as brass, availing himself of scattered pellets or corn - and then washing it down with water from the glug. It has become a regular visit, but he could have been calling for months.

 

Blooming cheek...

Of course the visits cause deep concern. The girls all stand up tall and gather together PP(Bluebelle)(white chicken)GNR often on the roof of the eglu run. We have corrugated plastic sheeting bungied onto the wire, so we can tell when they have spent time up there while we are at work - from the poo and muddy footprints! It appears that he also quite fancies our ISA Brown, Mabelene. Sometimes he follows her and she steps smartly away, having none of it. He is actually very polite with the girls and they run rings around him.

 

Last weekend he was drinking inside the run, which surprised Winnie who had just finished in the nestbox. She is a timid softie and stayed cowering in the house for some time. But she suddenly decided to break out - and flew at him like Cato in attack, neck feathers up and talons in all directions. :evil: I didn't know she had it in her! Phil is a big lad, but he got the fright of his life, bounced off the inside of the roof and flew away, calling in alarm. We were so proud. :D

 

One day last week, Phil introduced a couple more Pheasant friends: Fenton and Phillipa (sorry) while our girls were free ranging. This freaked them out and before long they were complaining at the back door. So we let our girls into the kitchen for some mealworm respite... There we all were, trapped in our own house!! :roll: Despite this, they seem capable of protecting their modesty - and there are no signs that they have needed to so far...

 

Health Risk?

It has been amusing, but are there any real health dangers? I know that Avian Flu is passed by wild bird droppings for example. Phil has occasionally left droppings in the pen (they are fairly small and reddy brown). He drinks from the glug, eats from the grub and we cannot always be there to stop him. I do a quick poo pick every morning and change the water regularly, so the place is pretty clear. I know that there are also certain diseases that cross species, meaning you should not keep chickens and turkeys together for example.

 

So we wonder whether this is a bit of fun, or something we should take steps to prevent. Does anyone have any advice on this odd one please?? :think:

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I imagine they will pass on the usual things such as lice, mites and worms. Also, don't rule out the possibility of eggs being fertilised. It has happened.

 

You main problem will be the amount of food the will consume. This is why they are visiting.

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We have a similar situation. We have a about 6 pheasants regularly visiting us. The male will now almost eat from my hand. However, although he will sometimes go into the girl's run and eat, its mainly waiting for bird seed that I feed the other birds with. Our girls free range all day and have no problem with these visiters, don't even blink an eye at them. So far we've had no problems at all, and I quite like it to be honest :D

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Thanks for the replies. Yes, we kinda like it too, but I think it is always good to keep your eyes open.

 

We have just finished worming them and they were mite-powdered 2 weeks ago. No signs of any health problems (apart from occasional odd poos :vom: but I am sure that is an ongoing experience for all of us!). I will make extra sure we don't leave any food around, but that does happen with chickens! My main concern was if there are any dangerous risks - like catching something they cannot recover from...

 

First thing this morning, Phil was silhouetted on the back gate! :roll:

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We just get wood pigeons, I used to throw a handleful of corn out for them in the garden when I gave some to the girls but had to stop, it became like a scene from that famous Hitchcock film!

 

They dont dare go in the netted run whilst the girls are out, but will go and have a look if they are shut up in the netted run.

 

We did have a Heron visit once but the girls saw him off pretty quick. :D

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I suppose it depends on your view. My girls are my pets and part of the family. However, they free range every day and encounter a huge wild bird population. Of course, if something is going around, they might catch it. I don't think this is something I can or want to prevent. As it would mean keeping them separate and not giving them the quality of life I think they deserve.

 

Uma x

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i have ducks visit on a daily basis , started off with one now get 5 :shock: , i dont mind them visting and actually look forward to seeing them come waddling up the garden, i was a bit worrid bout chickys catching something so i leave food for the ducks closer to the ditch away from my choocks food and drink, and luckly thats worked so, they dont eat from there containers or really poo in their area but i still get to see my new friends :)

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We had a male pheasant sitting on the fence earlier this week. Didn't try to join the girls but didn't seem at all bothered by me going out to get a photo either. It did cross my mind that it would look quite cute if I chucked a handful of corn down and encouraged him to join them but was concerned about health risks. I wondered if he fancied my Cream Legbar - she is sort of female pheasant colouring but perhaps I'm just being fanciful!

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We have 2 male pheasants visit throughout the week. The girls all seem to hide in the coop when he arives, but we have Pekins, and they are so much bigger than him. Again I've worried about the health risks, but we also ahve lots of wild birds come to the table and I can't see how to stop it.

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We get wood pigeons, robins and magpies in the garden and run all the time. We we live in the country, next to open fields and farms so can't really deter them. We have even had a visiting female peacock from a neighbouring house. I just try and keep them wormed and treated for lice and touch wood have not had any problems so far. I don't encourage them, but don't try and stop them. The girls stay in the eglu when I am at work but on my days off they FR in their little section of the garden and often the robins are sitting next to them trying to pinch any corn around. :roll:

I think that you could go to extremes and shut the chickens in but for me that is not realistic or particulary fair as I did get the Ex-batts so they could retire in the open air as much as possible. Personally I would love to have some pheasants vistings although I'm sure the OH would be out with his gun! :lol:

(cube green)GNRGNR(white chicken)(Bluebelle)

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The only visiting pheasants I get are the ones who pass through my freezer :whistle: ..partridges too :roll: ...yum :shh:

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