CITES Status: not listed
Distribution: Southwest China
(from A Monograph of Pheasants Volumes I, II, III & IV, William Beebe)
• Male - Metallic green crown, orange crest, white cape with black barring, black face & throat, blue wattles, white chest & belly, black or white rump underside (depends on bird - both are wild type), yellow rump/back, metallic blue wings, metallic green upper back, neck, & upper chest, white tail with black barring, orange tippit tail feathers. grey beak & legs, yellowish-green eyes.
• Female - Reddish-brown body and tail with dark barring, creamy belly, auburn crown, grey face, grey beak & legs, brown eyes.
• We feed our breeders and young adults 16% layer pellets, our tiny chicks 25% Turkey Starter crumble, and our growing chicks 20% crumble.
• They get a handful of mixed grains every second day except during breeding season, fresh greens (lettuce, chickweed, dandelions, grass) and fruits (tomato, grapes, berries, etc.) when available.
• Done in pairs or trios.
• Amherst are first year birds. Males have not obtained their adult plumage, but are fertile. Females lay many eggs in their first year.
• They start laying eggs mid- to late April and will lay every day or every second day until they lay approximately 30+ eggs.
• They lay a small sized pale creamish-grey egg.
• Eggs are collected twice a day and marked with the date and breeding pen number and set daily.
• Eggs are set in an automatic turning Lyons Roll-X (RX2) with grid 109.
• Temperature 99.8°F, humidity-wet bulb 84 with humidity adjusted periodically depending on development of the air space shown by candling
• On the final day of incubation, each egg is placed in its own oval wire mesh hatching basket (6" x 3" x 3") and set in the Sportsman Rattite hatcher.
• Incubation for Amherst is 23 days.
• After the chick hatches, it stays in the hatcher for a minimum of 8 hours.
• Chicks are tannish-brown with a creamy belly and darker brown markings.
• They start out in our round 18" brooder pen with a mixed assortment of chicks. After a few days they are separated into a 2' x 4' baby pen for about a week. They are then transferred to a Golden-Amherst 2' x 6' pen for the next 7-9 weeks. They stay with this grouping until they go outside. All of these brooding pens have wire bottoms with a heat lamp at one end and feed & water at the other end. The heat lamp is attached to a dimmer switch so we can turn down the amount of heat as the chicks get older until it is turned off completely.
• After they are off of the heat for a few weeks, they are moved outside to the pheasant house (has outside grassy pens and a heated inside house part where they are blocked in for the night). After they are toughened up, they are moved to an outside chick pen. In the late summer/early fall they are separated into Yellow, Red, and Amherst pens.
• Chicks are very easy to raise together with their own kind and other ruffed.
• 25' long x 10' wide x 6' high with a 4' x 4' x 4' house in the middle.
• Pens are covered with 2" diamond top-rite.
• Pens contain grass, which needs to be mowed every few weeks to a month because they aren't very hardy grass eaters.
• See Scintillating Copper Article for predator proofing set-up
• Are calm and showy birds that are very easy to tame. The males love to display for any one that will watch them and look quite impressive when they flare their cape. They are easy to raise and are a very hardy bird.
Article By Krissy & Donna Bush