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Can a Pheasant and a Chicken Breed?

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Pheasants are lovely birds and many people who raise pheasants raise them with chickens.

Pheasants and chickens do get along when they are raised properly. Some people say that pheasants and chickens can breed.

Can a pheasant and a chicken breed? Technically, yes.

chicken and pheasant in the backyard

Pheasants and chickens can breed and produce offspring. Their hybrid offspring, however, are sterile and have a high rate of mortality.

So just because pheasants and chickens can breed, should they? And is it safe to raise them together?

Crossing Pheasants and Chickens

It is possible for pheasants to mate with chickens and produce offspring.

Research was conducted and published in the American Genetic Association journal. In the article, pheasant males mated chicken females to produce 1406 eggs.

As you can see, breeding between pheasants and chickens is possible and successful.

You, however, have to think twice before allowing your pheasants and chickens to breed. There are a lot of things to consider.

chicken in the backyard

Why You Should Not Cross Pheasants and Chickens

Here are a few points you should consider:

  1. The Development, Hatchability, and Growth Rate of the Offspring is Very Low – In the research mentioned above, only 3.48% of the eggs showed signs of development.

    Of the few eggs that developed, only 6.12% (five eggs) developed into the hatching stage. Of the five eggs, one was female while the rest four were males.

    While all six chicks could pip their shells, only the female and two males could hatch successfully. This means that only 3 offspring hatched from 1406 eggs.
  2. The Offspring of Chickens and Pheasants Are Sterile – In the same experiment, all three remaining pheasant-chicken hybrids grew to maturity, but no sexual behavior was observed.

    When they were later dissected, they were found to be infertile or sterile. This means that the offspring of pheasants and chickens cannot produce children.
  3. So Far, the Pheasant-Chicken Hybrid Has No Advantage over Their Parents – Why do you need the hybrids?

    What can you possibly get from the hybrids that you cannot get from their parents? It may be a waste of time.

Why You Should Cross Chickens and Pheasants?

Even with all the above reasons, you may still want to try to cross pheasants and chickens.

Here are a few reasons you may want to cross pheasants and chickens:

  1. For Their Eggs – Even though most of the eggs will not develop, they are still eggs.

    Are you willing to eat such hybrid eggs? The eggs which a mother chicken or pheasant will hatch and brood will look just like other eggs from their mother.
  2. To Study Their Young -If you are a scientist or just a curious person, you may want to try crossing pheasants and chickens to observe and study their offspring.

Now that you know reasons for and against crossing pheasants and chickens, what should you know about how to raise these birds together?

pheasant on a meadow in springtime

Tips for Raising Pheasants and Chickens Together

  1. Brood the birds together – You should raise young pheasants and chicks in the same brooder box.

    Raising the young birds together will help them to become familiar with each other and prevent them from fighting when they are matured.
  2. Keep your birds active – Bored pheasants can fight to keep themselves busy.

    Pheasants will fight with other pheasants and chickens. To prevent these regular fights, keep your birds busy.

    In the daytime, you can raise your birds free-range so that they have a lot of activities to do. At night, you can give them a green piñata (vegetables) that they can peck on to keep themselves busy.
  3. Provide separate places to roost – Pheasants and chickens do not roost in the same places. Very few farmers have seen their birds roost together.

    Provide separate places for your pheasants and chickens to roost.
  4. Keep fewer males – The males of both species can fight for their respective mates, food, space, etc. To prevent frequent fighting, raise fewer males.

    Raising fewer males will also help to prevent your pheasants and chickens from breeding.
  5. Provide enough space – Pheasants do not like crowded places. Every bird needs space for proper ventilation.

    Each bird should have at least 2 square feet in the pen. Free-range is advised. In free-range, however, watch out so that your pheasants do not fly away.

    Later in this article, we will discuss how to prevent your pheasants from flying away.
  6. Clean their poop regularly – Pheasants and chickens can contract diseases when exposed to poop. You should always make sure that the pen is free from poop.
  7. Consult the vet often – If you see a sick bird, isolate the bird and ensure that other birds are fine. Pheasants can get chicken diseases (and vice versa).

You can learn more about raising pheasant and chickens together here.

Chickens huddle in the backyard

Related Questions and Answers

Here are the answers to questions you may want to ask:

1. What Does A Pheasant-Chicken Hybrid Look Like?

Pheasant-Chicken hybrids look nothing like either of their parents. The hybrids look like a combination of both parents. Here are some features:

  • Unlike their chicken mother, they have no comb, earlobe, nor wattle.
  • Unlike their pheasant father, they have no velvety feathers on their face nor ear tuffs.

The hybrids look like a new species of bird.

2. Can A Mother Hen Incubate Pheasant Eggs (Or Vice Versa)?

Of course. Hens can incubate pheasant eggs. Female pheasants can also incubate chicken eggs.

To incubate a foreign egg, place it among other unhatched eggs and wait for the mother to return back to the nest.

3. How Do You Keep Your Pheasants From Flying Away?

Pheasants love walking and running, but they can also fly. If care is not taken, they can fly away, get lost, and fail to return.

To prevent your pheasants from flying, here are some suggestions:

  • Clip their wings every month (or as needed)
  • Pinion the pheasants when they are a day old
  • Raise them in enclosed spaces with adequate feed and water

4. Will Pheasants Stop Fighting Chickens?

Pheasants fight a lot, so ensure to give them enough space and food.

Keep them busy. Also, reduce the number of males. These steps will reduce the fighting rate

5. What Other Birds Can Live with Chickens?

Here are some other birds that you can raise with your chickens:

  • Ducks
  • Geese
  • Turkeys
  • Guinea fowl
  • Quails

Asides from pheasants, what bird would you like to raise with your chickens?

Final Thoughts

Even though pheasants and chickens can breed, it is not advisable because of the low rate of survival and the infertility of their offspring.

You can raise pheasants and chickens together, but make sure to follow the tips and suggestions in this article to prevent your birds from fighting.


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