Making a profit on the homestead is part of becoming self-sufficient, and we should all be looking for ways of making out homestead work for us. If you’re considering raising pheasants vs chickens for profit, this guide will help you choose.
When it comes to making a decision between pheasants and chickens, you need to consider various aspects of each bird’s characteristics, suitability, and whether you have a market for your end product.
Pheasants vs. Chickens
Chickens have been domesticated for centuries, while pheasants are essentially still considered wild birds or game birds. There are pros and cons to these aspects of both types of poultry.
Chickens for Meat and Eggs
You can get chickens that are bred as good layers or bred for their meat, and they produce a superior meat product. Then again, some breeds have been specially selected because they are both good for meat and are good layers.
If your intention for poultry on the homestead is producing eggs for profit, then purpose-bred chickens are probably the better choice, as they will be more prolific layers.
Chickens bred for meat produce large volumes of meat, and the meat is succulent and juicy.
Pheasants for Meat and Eggs
Pheasants, on the other hand, are just pheasants; although their meat and eggs are used, they are not specially bred for this purpose. A chicken bred for egg-laying will out-lay a pheasant without a problem. A meat chicken will always have more succulent meat than a pheasant.
Pheasant eggs are slightly larger than a chicken egg but not as rich as a chicken egg. The taste is slightly gamier than a chicken egg and is usually an acquired taste for people who are used to chicken eggs.
Pheasant meat is often likened to the taste of turkey. The taste of the meat can, however, be influenced by what they eat. For this reason, farm-raised pheasant has a taste that is closer to chicken than wild pheasants.
Pheasant meat is lean in comparison to chicken and is, therefore, a healthier choice of meat.
Raising Pheasants vs Chickens
Unless pheasants are endemic to your area, they may be more susceptible to disease and weather changes than the domestic chicken.
However, if the pheasant is indigenous to your area, you may find that they are hardier to local environmental conditions and diseases than domestic chickens are.
Chickens are generally easier to house and are less likely to escape their enclosure, whereas pheasants are more likely to try and escape.
Pheasants need a larger enclosure as they are more used to foraging than being given food and are therefore generally more active birds than chickens.
When it comes to raising babies, the pheasant babies are more robust than their chicken counterparts, making for a lower mortality rate than chickens.
Know Your Market
Whenever you are looking to undertake a venture where you expect to make an income, you need to know if there is a market for what you are producing in the first place.
Chicken meat and chicken eggs are a widely known and accepted product by a wider range of the population than that of pheasant.
If you’re raising pheasants, you may need to educate the people around you – many people won’t be familiar with eating pheasant meat or eggs.
Restaurants And Tourism
Restaurants often like to have pheasant on their menu as a delicacy, so if you are in a location where you have access to a number of restaurants, then there may be a market for you there.
Likewise, if you live where there is a lot of tourism, you may find that people visiting from outside the area are more partial to pheasant or would like to try something new while on vacation. This could be another potential market.
Pheasants are game birds, and as such, they are a popular bird to hunt. If you have a community where hunting is popular, you can breed pheasant to release onto your property for hunting and charge hunters for hunting these birds on your property.
You may need to get permission to do this from your local council unless the birds are native to your area, as nature conservation may not allow a non-indigenous species to be released into the wild.
The birds raised for hunting purposes will also need to be raised with minimal human interaction to maintain ethical hunting standards.
Pheasants vs Chickens – Which Will You Raise?
If you are getting started with your first income-generating project on the homestead, I would recommend chickens, as they are easier to raise, and it is easier to sell the product.
On the other hand, if pheasants are popular in your area or you already have another income-generating activity, then, by all means, give raising pheasants a try!
The best thing of pheasants vs chickens? Even if you don’t get to make a substantial income, you will, at the very least, have food for your family, which in itself is a cost-saver for you!