2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Colorful Exotic Pheasants Thrive In Northern Farmyards
Breeders of exotic animals appreciate the beauty of Impeyans, which are sometimes called the “nine-colored bird” because of the mixes of green, purple, red and blue in the male’s feathers. Impeyans make a shrill whistling sound and have a short, rounded tail.
“They have such beautiful colors,” agrees Laurie Seifer, who owns Hilltop Exotics with her husband, Greg, in North Liberty, Ind. “They have a topknot on their head and are just very interesting.”
The Seifers have had the best luck keeping them in pairs in separate pens, sometimes with a pair of doves. With their sharp, downward beaks, Impeyans are notorious diggers. So the Seifers have wire on the bottom of the pens and protect any vegetation they want to keep with wire fencing.
Their birds thrive on a 30 percent game bird feed mix, supplemented with bread every day, and apples and lettuce every other day.
Since captive exotic birds don’t brood well, eggs are removed and incubated. Hens can lay as many as 10 to 14 eggs a season, every 3 or 4 days apart.
Because of their origins, Impeyans do well in winter. The Seifers provide shelter, but never lock them in, and the birds spend a lot of time outside in the winter. The breed does well in much of Canada and the U.S., but isn’t suitable for the deep South and Southwest.
During hot weather, the Seifers run an oscillating sprinkler to keep the pheasants cool.
“People will lose them in the heat, and they’re very susceptible to West Nile virus,” Seifer cautions.
But with ordinary care, the Seifers have found them to be a beautiful and unique addition to their business. They only sell the young chicks after they’re at least 3-months-old to make sure they have a healthy start.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Hilltop Exotics, 29805 New Rd., North Liberty, Ind. 46554 (ph 574 656-8557).
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