The silver pheasant (Lophura nycthemera) naturally inhabits the forests and mountains of South East Asia, Eastern and Southern China. The population in Australian aviculture is reasonably stable, although not kept in large numbers.
Bold, curious, beautiful and majestic, the Silver Pheasant is a perfect aviary bird and great for beginners to pheasant keeping. They are big birds that are extremely tough and hardy. Many keepers also allow Silvers free range on their property. Silver pheasants have been kept in aviculture within Asia for centuries and they regularly appear in ancient Chinese art and poetry.
It is recommended to allow the hens to go broody, as they are great mothers and is very interesting to observe the family behavior of this species. The male does participate with the rearing of the chicks. The chicks do grow quickly and are able to fly at only a few days.
The adult birds do not reach their peak plumage until their second year. Likewise, their fertility in the first year can be poor and they should be in peak fertility by their second year. The male is black and white, while the female is mainly brown.Both birds have a bare, red face and red legs. Silver pheasants are large birds when fully grown and the males can weigh from one to two kilograms, with the females weighing above one kilogram. It is possible to get an idea of the age of the males by the length of their spurs. The longer the spur, the older the bird.
Feeding silver pheasants is much the same as other pheasant species. Besides the regular pellet combination, they will benefit from the addition of fresh green feed. The chicks grow very quickly and should be fed a high protein diet. They are able to fly within days of hatching.
Other species to consider
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