I have now opened the pens and the birds are stretching their wings. The young pheasants are enjoying real freedom and are slowly moving further afield on a daily basis – the morning and evening ‘march’ from and to the release pens are a very entertaining site! The new birds are beginning to mix with the residents and they are all very relaxed in their wild surrounding - the hedges, woods and game crops are providing fantastic cover, while the unploughed stubbles are a source of extra food. It is also great to see the Poults taking sand baths in the Autumn sunshine, it has to be said that not much will persuade them to move when they are in this relaxed mood!
Settling in nicely!
Over the last few weeks the 5.30 am starts have been rewarded with some beautiful sun rises, clear crisp mornings and the sighting of all types of wildlife….makes it easier to jump out of bed with enthusiasm! The poults are growing quickly and despite some initially struggling due to disease they have now got into their stride. They are roosting in the trees in and around the pen. At first light many of the birds are outside the pen having flown off the roost and they return to the pen for breakfast with a little bit of persuasion! It is great to see them getting stronger and also developing some sense that will ensure they can outwit the predators!
In the last few weeks we have visits from both foxes and buzzards. The buzzards are selective and despite their large numbers they have not unduly worried the pheasants. We have also been feeding them away from the poults to ensure that they have an alternative food source to the young birds!
Lots to do but so far so good!