Friday, February 17, 2012

Silver Pheasant

The Silver Pheasant (Lophura nycthemera) is a species of pheasant found in forests, mainly in mountains, of mainland Southeast Asia and eastern and southern China, with introduced populations in Hawaii and various locations in the US mainland. It is also very closely related to the Kaliji Pheasant with which it can easily  hybridize. The male is black and white, while the female is mainly brown.There are fifteen subspecies of Silver Pheasant, distributed from east Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, China to the island of Hainan. Widespread and common in most of its ranges, the Silver Pheasant is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 

The Male Silver Pheasant is a striking bird. It is a beautiful large, up to 125cm, white pheasant with the bottom half being glossy black while the top half being white laced in black with long patterned tail.  Has got bare red facial skin and also has a long bushy black crest  adorning his crown which lies backwards across the head rather than vertical.  It needs at  least two years  to attain full male plumage.

Lot of VisitorsThe Female happens to be olive brown with black-tipped crest although this is not as big as the one on the male and is brown with black at the tip. The Hen has some black & white streaking on her underparts. The True Silvers are larger than the other subspecies and the tail is longer. The male weighs 3 - 4 lbs (approx. 1.3 - 1.8kg) and the hen around 2.5 lbs (1-1.2kg).
The Silver Pheasant is worthy of being promoted as a great bird for rearing and breading. A beginner will find it good and to a more experienced breeder is not certainly dull.
Silver pheasants enjoy a mixed diet similar to other birds. They like fruit and enjoy a variety of live food. They will tuck into crickets, spiders, locusts and waxworms as well as the usual mealworms.Silver Pheasants are polygynous in the wild and are sometimes kept with a few hens to one cock in captivity. Silver pheasants should be kept in an aviary at least 200 square feet. This will need to be larger for more than three birds.
It will breed from two years old and are also in full colour by this time. The hen will lay a clutch of 6 - 12 eggs but can continue laying up to as many as 30 - 40 eggs if they are removed from her nest which is a hollow scraped in the ground. 
Chicks are easy to raise. They feed well, only occasionally needing encouragement to start eating their crumb. They have also been quite amicable with other chicks and easily become tame. This is indeed a beautiful bird.

*** Diana Raj Kumari ***

No comments:

Post a Comment