Can You Raise Chicken and Pheasants Together?


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Believe it or not, this is one of the most common questions that comes up when thinking about raising poultry. Is it safe to raise these two birds together? Will they survive each other, or will they cause any problems? If you want to know the answers to these questions, then read on.

chicken and pheasant

Can you raise chicken and pheasants together? Yes, you can raise these two birds together without any issues if you follow a few simple guidelines.  Make sure you raise them a few feet apart, give pheasants lots of room to roam around, and make sure there isn’t cross-contamination of soil. 

Not following these guidelines can cause problems.

So, before you put your birds together, let’s find out what you need to know so they will live together happy and healthy.

Can You Have Chicken and Pheasants in the Same Pen?

There are multiple opinions about this particular question. Some say it is ok to raise them together in one pen while others say that that is not a good idea.

Note: When I say same pen, I mean an enclosed area where both these birds would reside together.

Let’s look at both these opinions in depth.

Yes, Raise Them Together No Problem:

Some people have raised pheasants and chickens together in the same pen with no problems whatsoever. And that is great.  This means that the chickens didn’t pass on any diseases, the pheasants didn’t peck on anyone, and no one died.

This could also mean that they had the right conditions to be able to raise both together. I.e., there was plenty of room available for both the chickens and pheasants to roam around, the birds weren’t over-crowded, and there were things to do for the pheasants.

A great way to do this, if you are adamant upon raising them together, is starting out with chicks of both kinds.  When you put the chicks together, they will be able to familiarize themselves with each other.

They’ll understand each other’s habits, sights, sounds, and everything else in between. Doing it this way will especially help “domesticate” the pheasants which in turn will help the chicken feel more at ease with the pheasants.

It is also a great way for both birds to develop their immunity against each other’s diseases.  

No, Don’t Raise Them Together, You Will Regret It:

On the other side, sometimes you aren’t as lucky to have everything run smoothly. There are so many things that can go wrong, which I will discuss below.

Pheasants are aggressive birds and can also show signs of cannibalism if you’re not careful. They can peck a chicken or chick to death, catch diseases from chickens, or mate with hens producing sterile offspring.

So, I don’t think you should take the chance of putting them together, especially if you are a beginner and are still learning about raising poultry.

You don’t want to overwhelm yourself, so it is better to keep them apart for your peace of mind and the birds’.

Some of the Problems of Keeping Both Birds Together

As I mentioned above, keeping the chicken and pheasants together can be problematic. Some of these issues include, but are not limited to:

Diseases:

Chickens tend carrying diseases that sometimes stay dormant in their systems. Because chickens have become immune to some diseases, they often don’t show any symptoms of having a particular disease.

It doesn’t mean that they aren’t contagious. This means that if you put other birds together, that haven’t developed the same immunity, then the disease can be transferred to the other bird.

Coryza

A disease that is common in chicken is Coryza. This is similar to Influenza in us humans. Coryza is a respiratory infection, and it is contagious.

If you don’t catch it early enough and separate the infected chicken from the rest of the flock, then there is a high likelihood that other chicken in your pen will get affected.

This also means that if you have pheasants in your pen, they can get it too. However, the pheasants might not be lucky enough to survive the Coryza.                                                                 

Soil

Another way that diseases can get transferred from the chicken to the pheasant is through their waste (poop).

Chicken poop carries a lot of bacteria. These bacteria can be very harmful to the pheasants and ultimately fatal if one is not careful.

Here is one thing to note, if your chickens are healthy, then you might not have to worry about the contamination for a long time.

But the problem is, sometimes there is no way of knowing that your chickens have contracted a disease because, like I said before, they don’t show any symptoms. So, this can be an issue because you can’t treat the chickens, and this can cause problems for your pheasants.

One way to help minimize contamination should you decide to keep both birds separate is to keep a separate pair of boots for the chicken coup. Once you are done feeding and cleaning up with the chickens, change your boots/shoes before you enter the pheasants’ pen.

Another is to make sure you are decontaminating both the chicken and pheasant coups. There are special soil decontaminants on the market for this purpose.

Fights:

As young birds, pheasants are extremely fragile; however, once they are adults, they are known to be extremely aggressive birds.

If they are kept in a small, crowded area, they are prone to peck each other or the chickens, which can sometimes lead to fatality. This also causes cannibalism (trust me, it’s not as gross as it sounds).

To prevent this from happening, it is important that you not only separate the two kinds of birds but also give the pheasants enough room to roam about.

Not only that, but you should also give them things to do. This means having objects that they can play and peck with. Things like a perch, rings, and hay. This way they have things to entertain themselves with and aren’t getting bored.

Bored Pheasants like to pick fights with other pheasants and birds. We don’t want fights between the birds.

Mating:

Pheasants have a tendency to mate with hens. While this might not be a problem in itself, the egg that is produced as a result of the mating is always sterile.

On top of that, pheasants can be aggressive during the mating process. So, there isn’t a real reason for the mating to happen. Hence, better to keep the two birds apart.

Can You Raise Chicken and Pheasants in the Area?

You can. Just take a few precautions, and you should be golden. The goal is to have healthy birds, and if you have to take a few necessary precautions mentioned above, you will be fine.

Even though these two birds are related and fall under the Phasianidae family, a chicken is a domestic farm bird, while a pheasant is a game bird that is naturally found in the wild. At the end of the day, these two birds do get along as long as there is plenty of room for everyone to do as they please.

April

April has owned and worked with domestic fowl including chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, and guineas since 1998. She has a B.S. in Agriculture from Cal Poly in Pomona, CA where she studied genetics, nutrition and reproduction.

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