Breeders and genetics work to bring out beautiful or unusual breeds of animals and birds. But human attempts seem vain in comparison with the creations of nature: in the wild, you can meet the inhabitants of amazing beauty. Golden pheasant is a small but very bright bird that cannot leave indifferent. About him and will be discussed in today's article.
Features of the form
Although the pheasant family is considered the largest of the order of chickens, some pheasants are small in size. Golden pheasant is called one of the smallest members of the family, and it is referred to collar pheasants because of the characteristics of the plumage. Such birds are distinguished by low weight, therefore they are not interesting for hunters and poultry farmers as meat prey. Nevertheless, these unusual beauty birds will become a real decoration of the yard.
Little about the origin
In European countries, the Golden Pheasant appeared a few centuries ago. According to various sources, it was brought from China in the 18th or 19th century. At first, the birds did not tolerate a change in natural conditions, some individuals ran into the wild and died there from the cold or paws of predators. Gradually, golden pheasants adapted to the climate of Europe, and their population began to grow.
At home, the Golden Pheasant lives in the wild, choosing the perfect habitat for itself. The birds settled the foothills of Tibet, rising quite high: pheasants lived at an altitude of 2 thousand meters above sea level. Conveniently sitting among the thickets of bamboo, where they are hidden from prying eyes, they build families and raise chicks. Pheasants like to visit grain, rice fields and tea plantations to feast on the remnants of the harvest.
Look at the photo of the pheasant: the whole look of this eastern bird radiates nobility and beauty. The golden pheasant has a specific plumage on its neck - orange-black feathers lie in the shape of a hood or collar. On the head of the males there is a wide tuft of golden color, as if dressed in an elegant hairstyle. The body of the bird is covered with bright red plumage, in some specimens it has chestnut tide.
The upper back and the tips of the wings have a rich blue or green hue. The base of the tail is covered with bright yellow feathers with a golden sheen. The tail deserves special attention: long, narrowed at the end, black with patches of brown, gold and red. The tail reaches a length of 70 cm, while the torso of the males is small, 20 cm long. The males weigh about 900 g.
The female, as befits a bird, has a more nondescript appearance. They are smaller, do not have expressive tuft and collar. The plumage is gray-brown on the whole body, interspersed with light gray tones. The tail of the female is much shorter than that of the male, only 35 cm. The photo clearly shows: the female has a modest plumage, but thanks to this she is almost invisible among the branches and fallen leaves.
The wild form of golden pheasants is called Red. However, besides her, there are several pedigree lines formed as a result of intra-breed mutation. All of them are similar to each other, but have some color differences.
- Bordeaux - the first mutation of Chinese birds living in captivity. Both the female and the male of this form have a darker plumage. The males on the belly feathers are not red, and burgundy hue, which was the name for this subspecies.
- Yellow - the form obtained as a result of the work of the Italian professor A. Giji. In honor of the scientist, this breed line received the name "Golden Giji". Birds of this subspecies have bright yellow plumage on the body.
- Cinnamon is a pedigree line bred by US scientist William Petzold. The back of these birds is decorated with gray feathers, rather than the standard blue-green. This subspecies is becoming increasingly popular in chicken farms.
In the spring, when the instinct of procreation wakes up from them, the males lure females, making amazing sounds. Next comes the marriage dances, when the "groom" tries to show himself in all its glory. The pheasant straightens its tail, twists its neck to show a magnificent collar, spins in different directions, forcing the golden feathers to sparkle in the sun. The photo shows the males of the pheasant family, which fight for the female.
In the natural environment is very difficult to track the life and reproduction of pheasants. This is due to the fact that the birds are very small and easily hiding in the underbrush. It is known that in natural conditions one female incubates from 5 to 12 eggs. In order to make a nest, the bird pulls out a small depression in the ground among the thickets of plants. At the same time, beautiful birds live in polygamous families, where one male is surrounded by two or three female individuals.
In captivity, there are practically no problems with breeding chicks. Sometimes females refuse to hatch eggs, but this trouble is easy to solve. Pheasants put eggs in a hen hen or send it to an incubator. And yet, the female pheasant will be the best hen for her babies. Unlike the chicken, it does not fuss, behaves calmly on the nest and cannot accidentally crush the chicks, as is often the case if you put pheasant chicken in it.
The content of pheasant in captivity
This breed is rarely found in local natural conditions. Bright plumage makes the life of golden pheasants in the wild dangerous, because they become easy prey. In addition, the Chinese guest does not get along well with local members of the pheasant family. Therefore, more often you can see a golden pheasant in reserves, zoos, chicken farms or on private farmsteads.
Over the past decades, the number of golden pheasants in their homeland has declined significantly. This is due to the gradual settlement of the mountainous regions of China. Golden birds even entered into the Red Book. However, one should not be afraid of the complete extinction of their population. The number of representatives of this species living in open-air cages is several times more than those living in the wild.
The necessary conditions
Usually pheasants are kept in small garden enclosures. One pair of pheasants should have at least four meters square. Pour half of the territory of the aviary river sand. In the rest, sow grass and plant various shrubs and high stem plants. So that the female could easily incubate the offspring, you can equip a small house for her.
The required height of enclosures in aviaries - 2-3 meters. Two-thirds of the aviary should be under the roof so that the birds can hide from the sun and rain. Pheasants do not tolerate direct sunlight, so it is better to place the aviary in such a way that at noon the birds are in the shade. The hedges entwined with a vine look good: it gives additional shade and protects from the wind.
Food "Golden" birds
At home, Golden Pheasants feed on leaves and plant shoots. Bamboo is used as food, which is abundant in their habitat. They love to feast on rhododendron flowers. Often in the diet of these birds include various insects, small beetles, spiders. Flying in agricultural land, pheasants feed on grain.
Chinese birds are fed grain mixture: it is good to give sunflower seeds, barley, crushed corn, wheat. Chopped fruit, berries and vegetables are added to the mixture. In spring and summer you need to give fresh grass. Also, their diet includes flour worms, minced meat, boiled eggs, cottage cheese and milk powder. In summer, the percentage of protein foods should be 20% of the daily value. In winter, a portion of feed of animal origin is reduced to 10%.
Photo GalleryPhoto 1. Majestic Golden Pheasant Photo 2. A flock of golden pheasants in the wild Photo 3. A handsome male with a yellow breast.
Video "Marriage games of magnificent birds"
Want to see the behavior of birds in the mating season? Then this video will be very interesting.