The golden males have brilliant golden ruffs which they fan out in anticipation of charming the females.
The golden pheasant is one of the most popular of all pheasant species kept in captivity. They originate from the mountainous area of central China and found their way across to the Americas as early as the 1740s. This species, along with the lady amherst, make up the group of pheasants called the ruffed pheasants. They are named for their cape or ruff which they spread around their face and neck during courtship. Since these two species are so closely related, many breeders have crossed them, making "pure" goldens and amhersts hard to find in captivity. The wild form of the golden is often called the red golden in captivity, and the males are one of the most brilliantly colored of all birds. We love our goldens; not only for their intense, shimmering colour of red and gold but for their friendly disposition and easy going attitude to life.
They are delightful bird to keep, best housed in well planted large flights. We keep one cock bird to 5 hens and this ratio has worked well for us as some males are very proactive and constantly display and chase the girls. We did have one boy from a different blood line that was just happy to chill out all day and do very little courtship. The girls thought he was great but it did not help the fertility! So he was moved on and we now have Roger (see photo!) who is vigorous, very keen and a delight to watch going about his courtship rituals. These pheasants are hardy and easy to keep so would make an ideal beginners bird. They are docile and can be tamed to eat out of your hand. We have had Roger’s dad out free ranging on our block for a few years now. He is a real character darting across the lawn and in and out the trees making sure his turf is in order! We think this season we will surprise him with some young females to keep him company!.....And to follow up Roger was delighted with not only having some lovely young females released to keep him occupied and very busy...but we also released some young golden males...Surprisingly he has not worried too much about the young males...they all seem to stay out of each others way! And to follow up again on progress...Roger is now a proud father!
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