Do Pheasants Mate For Life? (Explained)

by Chukay Alex
Updated on

Animals are not known to be devoted to a single partner. Usually, they’d mate with as many partners as they can. 

Surprisingly, some animals have been discovered to exhibit this human trait – sticking to a single partner.

Animals that can mate for life include wolves, gibbons, and beavers. Sea creatures such as octopus and French angelfish are monogamous as well.

Most birds, including barn owls, bald eagles, and swans, mate with the same partner for life.

How about pheasants? Do they mate for life? Let’s take a look.

Do Pheasants Mate For Life?

Do Pheasants Mate For Life

No, pheasants do not mate for life. Polygamy is common in these birds. This means they mate with multiple partners throughout their lives.

Research however has found that female pheasants normally have a monogamous relationship with one territorial male pheasant each season.

The male, on the other hand, would mate with as many females as possible during each breeding season.

This article will go into great detail regarding pheasant mating. So, keep reading.

How Long Do Pheasants Mate For?

Pheasants have a two-month mating period. Their breeding season lasts from April through May.

During this time, females will construct nests in the grass and other vegetations. They will mate with the male after that.

If you’ve ever seen a male pheasant, you’ll understand what stunning creatures they are.

Male pheasants, known as cocks, are brighter in color than females. Some have a dazzling white ring around their necks.

This is why they are commonly referred to as ring-necked. 

Others, on the other hand, have deep green or glossy purple heads with red rings around their eyes.

Furthermore, the male pheasant’s feathers are colorful. However, as they mature, their colors become more muted.

Male pheasants use their ostentatious tails to lure females. They’d also aim for the biggest and brightest female pheasants.

Pheasants are small to medium-sized birds. A healthy pheasant, on the other hand, should weigh roughly 3 pounds.

And their wingspan should be no more than a foot.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on why pheasants dig holes

Are Pheasants Monogamous? 

In birds, monogamy refers to when one male mates with just one female and forms a pair. This is usually something they will have to deal with for the rest of their life. 

However, if one of them dies, such as the male bird, the female will instinctively seek out a new spouse, and vice versa. 

Monogamous birds include the black vulture, geese macaroni penguins, bald eagle, mute swan, California condors, albatrosses Sandhill cranes, barn owls, flamingos, etc. 

Pheasants, on the other hand, are not monogamous birds. During a single mating season, one male mates with numerous female companions.

As a result, pheasants are polygamous birds.

Other polygamous birds include the salt marsh sparrow, house wren, red-winged blackbird, and wild turkey. 

Polygamy has some sort of benefits for animals. It increases their chances of reproduction success by having multiple partners.

This isn’t the case for monogamous birds. Despite their admirable love affair, monogamous birds don’t always have a happily ever after. 

Till death do us part’ is not necessarily the case with monogamous birds. These birds can also become estranged from their companions if they are unable to reproduce. 

That is, the female bird will leave her male partner if they have been unable to reproduce together.

She will go hunting for another male partner. An example of such a bird is the female flamingo. 

Also check out this article I wrote on why pheasants attack humans

Do Male Pheasants Stay With Females? 

Male pheasants can stay with females. However, it is not advisable to keep several males together with females. 

However, in the wild, it is common for several male pheasants to be around the females. Since they are free birds, no one can control how or who they should stay with.  

However, if you’re raising these birds, it is not advisable to keep several male pheasants together with females.

This is because the male pheasants will fight each other over the female pheasants. And you may likely have injured or dead birds as their fights can be deadly.

Male pheasants are highly territorial. That’s a major reason why they fight with each other.

They are also very aggressive during their breeding seasons. So keeping more than one male with female pheasants will increase their level of aggression. 

One male should be kept with multiple females during the breeding season, for mating purposes. 

However, this doesn’t mean the male can’t get along quite well two. There are several ways to help your male pheasants get along. Let’s look at some of these ways;

  • The absence of female pheasants is one way of having a successful co-habitation amongst male pheasants 
  • Another way to ensure successful cohabitation amongst male pheasants is introducing the male pheasants into the coop at the same time. 

If a pheasant has been in a coop alone for a long time, introducing another pheasant into the coop will cause fights among the pheasant.

As the first pheasant will consider the coops his territory. 

  • As earlier stated pheasants are highly territorial, a single species of pheasants should be kept in an aviary. If multiple males of the same species are kept together, they will likely team up against each other and even kill them. 

Can Pheasants Make Themselves Pregnant? 

Male pheasants can get female pheasants pregnant. This is because they reproduce sexually. 

This means that a male pheasant and a female pheasant must be involved in the reproduction process. 

Pheasants aren’t bisexual or hermaphrodite. This means female pheasants cannot mate with female pheasants and male pheasants cannot mate with male pheasants. 

What Time Of The Year Do Pheasants Mate?

Pheasants usually mate between April and May. The female pheasants would usually make nests in the grass during this period. 

Mating amongst pheasants usually involves one male and multiple females. During the breeding season, the male pheasant would usually attempt to attract the female pheasants.

The breeding season for pheasants is common during March and June. As earlier stated, males attract females by crowing and flapping their wings. 

The males undertake a lateral display before copulation. During this display, they approach the female with their heads lowered.

His near wing is drooped and his wattle is upright as he walks in a semi-circle in front of her.

Males with long tails, ear tufts, and black markings on their wattles are preferred by females. 

Interestingly, feeding rituals are also beneficial in attracting females. 

Also, males who create territory early in the season appear to be more dominant than those that establish territory later in the season. 

Do Pheasants Sit On Their Eggs At Night?

Pheasants sit on their eggs at night. This is however during their incubation period. And, this is particular to female pheasants, as they are involved in the incubation period. 

They sit on their eggs to incubate them and protect them from the attack of predators. This process usually lasts for a maximum of 30 days. 

Male pheasants would rather roost on a perch at night to avoid predator attacks. The hen is usually the only one involved in brooding the chicks on the ground at night. 

Egg laying and incubation are quite stressful on the hens’ physiology. Summer and spring are typically harmful to female health.

They could lose up to 75% of their body fat. Additionally, 10% of their body weight can be lost during this time.

They are vulnerable to infections, predators, and environmental conditions after their incubation and brood-rearing periods.

As a result, they should be given sufficient care during this time.

It is also critical to look after your chicks. They might also run across some difficulties.

Some chicks may hatch late in the season. This can be harmful to their health. It may also reduce their chances of survival.

For newly born chicks, regulating their body temperature is usually difficult. They’ll have to wait until they’re 11 days old before you can detect their temperature.

Their birth weight should be two-thirds of an ounce.

Chicks should also be kept in a secure cage. Typically, it takes three weeks from hatching for chicks to be able to fly adequately enough to avoid danger.

What Month Do Pheasants Lay Their Eggs? 

Pheasants usually lay their eggs between April to June. Female pheasants are most likely to lay one egg almost every day of the week. However, this is dependent on the type of pheasant that you breed.

Summary 

Pheasants do not have life-long mates. They are monogamous. This is however common in most animals.

It helps to boost their chances of successful reproduction.

Their breeding season typically runs from March to June. And then, sometime in April and May, mating would take place. 

However, during mating season, the males become extremely violet. They could also fight each other.

As a result, it is best to keep only one male among female pheasants. 

Female pheasants are known for sitting on their eggs. This is referred to as incubation. This is done only by the female.

She sits on her eggs at all hours of the day and night guarding them. This continues until the eggs hatch. 

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About the author

Chukay Alex

Chukay is a season writer and farmer who enjoys farming and growing plants in his backyard farm. When he is not farming you can find him at the nearest lawn tennis court, hitting a mean backhand down the line.