Ornamental Pheasants

Melanistic Mutant Pheasants for Sale

Melanistic Mutant Pheasants Details

Melanistic Mutant Pheasants

Phasianus colchicus mut. tenebrosus

Discovered and developed in England over 100 years ago, Melanistic Mutant Pheasants are a 'mutant' variety of the Ringneck Pheasant. They were first seen in the area of Norfolk, England in 1880, but were not specifically bred until the 1920's when a group of hens of this same dark coloration were secured.

The Melanistic Mutant Pheasant is very similar in size, structure, and style to the original Ringneck Pheasant, from which it was developed. However the Melanistic Mutant Pheasant has a whole new coloration: the blue-green iridescent coloring of the head of the Ringneck Pheasant is continued throughout the entire body of the Melanistic Mutant Pheasant. At first glance in a shadow, they may appear black, but when they step out into the sunlight, the dark colored feathers are extremely iridescent. The male Melanistic Mutant Pheasant shines in the light - resplendent in blue, purple, rust, and green sheen effects. The tail has the characteristic black barring of the Ringneck but with green and blue sheen shades. Females are less colorful, and are smaller in size, but have a depth of lacing and color that is simply impossible to describe.

Beyond their dark and exotic coloration, Melanistic Mutant Pheasants also differ from their Ringneck originators in their survival abilities. They are known as having a phenomenal ability to survive and breed when released into the wild. These are the ultimate naturalizing pheasants, and are a prime choice for establishing a beautiful pheasant population on your acreage.

Range: Although these birds don't have a truly native range, they have become solid members of forest ecosystems, meadows, and temperate woodlands.

Habitat: Melanistic Mutant Pheasants do well throughout the world in woodlands, light forest, wild meadows, and the like. The ideal habitat would consist of a high percentage of field and grain crops like corn for insurance of a food source. These birds also do very well when habitat is diverse, including access to wetlands, riparian borders, brush, thickets, and grassland.

Status in the Wild: Melanistic Mutant Pheasants are a variety of Ringneck Pheasant that has been released all over the world. They have established successful populations in many countries in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Status in Aviculture: These birds are smart, cautious, and savvy. They are one of the top choices for releasing for naturalization. Melanistic Mutant Pheasants are mainly raised for sport. They are beautiful birds, and also produce high quality meat.

Breeding: Males may fight when kept together. You can breed 10-12 females to one male.

Incubation: Melanistic Mutant Pheasants lay small greenish-brown eggs, up to 50-60 eggs throughout the spring and summer seasons. The incubation period is 24-25 days. Young birds start to get their adult coloration around 20 weeks of age and can be released into the wild shortly afterward.

Lifespan: These pheasants have one of the longest wild life-spans. In captivity, they live 9 years on average, but have been known to live longer than 15 years.

Size: Males are about 2.5 lbs, and females are smaller, usually around 1.5 to 2 lbs in weight. Total length of the males is between 24 and 35 inches, and up to 20 inches of that total length can be their tail. Females have shorter tails and usually measure 20-25 inches in total length with 7-8 inches of tail.

Housing Requirements: Pheasant need plenty of space to prevent issues with cannibalism. Aviary space should provide at least 15-20 square feet per bird and also include cover for the birds. For pheasants that will be released, it is important that they are moved at a young age into flight pens with even more space for proper flying development. Melanistic Mutant Pheasants are hardy and can withstand cold temperatures, as long as cover is available.

Diet: Melanistic Mutant Pheasants in the wild eat a varied and seasonal diet. A 20% protein game feed would be appropriate for young birds and breeding birds. Chicken layer crumbles would be sufficient for non-breeding adult birds. Providing variety and forage will lead to heartier, healthier birds.

Miscellaneous Notes: Why are they called 'mutant'? Melanistic Mutant Pheasants are not hybrid birds; they are true mutations, which means that when two mutant-colored birds are bred together, their offspring is mutant-colored. When a mutant-colored bird is bred to a normal-colored, the chicks can be either mutant-colored or normal-colored, although the normal-coloration usually dominates.

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Melanistic Mutant Pheasants

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