View Full Version : first hatch!
04-22-2010, 08:09 AM
My buddy works for the conservation corps and he has been doing some burns the last couple weeks and ran across some eggs already is this early and could we get a second hatch with the way the weather has been?:confused:
04-22-2010, 09:56 AM
Surely it is too early for anything like that? Seems to me we should have another couple of weeks to have eggs on the ground, but I'm sure your buddy knows more than I do.
04-22-2010, 10:22 AM
This was in south central mn.I thought it was early but everything he told me about them size color etc. was pretty much spot on of a pheasants eggs!
04-22-2010, 02:18 PM
There could be eggs in a nest, but the hatch could be a long way off. They lay an egg a day and may lay more than a dozen before incubating. Then it's 23 day to hatch.
The dogs busted a hen a couple days ago that appeared to be fashioning a nest. There are certainly some hens that have been bred, so with this accelerated spring we should see nesting activity if not some already.
As has been reapeated on here numerous times, a hen will only lay a second time if she hatchs nothing out of the first nest. There is no second hatch! Only a late hatch.
04-22-2010, 04:02 PM
Thanks BUCK!Good info just seems like it was early to me so i had to ask some others on a opinion!
04-22-2010, 05:41 PM
From what I have read, a small percentage, I mean small, will clutch out two nests. They seem to think they do this when numbers are way down. Check out on Google, " experimental Pheasant Restoration project " scroll down to page 49. I also have read that in N. Dakota , pheasants can start laying in late March, this might be a futile early attempt though. :cheers:
04-26-2010, 10:36 PM
Good info. I've seen baby turkey already in the field. Are they on a different cycle? I thought it was too early to see anything yet.
04-26-2010, 10:44 PM
If I may, I would like to add some biological input. Pheasants undergo a hormonal change once a nest hatches. This change prevents them from laying another nest/egg until going through the complete annual cycle to once again get into breeding and nesting condition. That being said, there is never an actual second hatch.
Nesting follows a natural bell shaped curve with low numbers in the beginning and end of the nesting period and high numbers rising to and falling from a peak during the season. Many of the later nests are from hens that renest after their nest is destroyed prior to hatching. These hens remain in nesting condition and lay a second or third clutch of eggs, having not already hatched a nest. Pheasants are strong renesters and this activity may persist into September some years.
04-27-2010, 12:23 AM
Pheasants definitely have a second hatch, it is called DOUBLE-BROODING. This process is well documented in several states with radio collared hens.
If enough moisture and nutrition is available for the chicks to grow rapidly and the hen is healthy she can lay again.
Hens go into the laying season with over 100 (tiny) eggs follicles, but will only lay (around 11 eggs) if healthy and conditions are right (moisture and nutrients) and nesting cover.
The hens hormonal situation when raising a clutch of chicks can change rapidly if the chicks grow fast and she in not under a great deal of stress, and if nutrients and moisture are available.
As mentioned an earlier thread Google: "Experimental Pheasant Restoration Project" published by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Wildlife. Go to page 49 under the Nesting section. Two hens (in the wild) in that study produced a second brood after successfully hatching the first nest.
04-27-2010, 06:59 PM
Preston, ran your response by the state pheasant biologist and he agrees with me. It is extremely rare and usually doesn't happen how you project. Usually they only renest if they lose their clutch within days of hatching, and then it comes immediately. The longer after hatching, the less likely the attempt would be. the resulting additional birds would never be noticeable in a population as a second hatch. Their numbers would be insignificant.
04-30-2010, 04:17 PM
Wouldn't surprise me. Everthing seems a bit early this year and it's been warm. We did have a second hatch last year as well. Hens were on the nest in mid-august.
04-30-2010, 07:09 PM
Kurts, hatching histograms from almost every year show some hens nesting in mid august. Rarely is it due to "double brooding". Most of the time it is due to hens making renesting attempts after one or more failed nesting attempts. Often, it is due to a severe weather event during the nesting season that slows or halts the nesting for a time, then improved conditions promote a continuation of nesting
04-30-2010, 09:14 PM
For the last 30 years farmers in the Texas panhandle would swear to me that their pheasants would have a second hatch, in wet El Nino spring and summers.
These are hard working responsible citizens, you just can't dismiss their observations as old wives tales. The farmers would notice chicks in June and again in August. One can only assume that that those are re-nesting hens with late clutches and not second hatch hens.
Histograms are just guides that depicts the peak hatch, based on field observations, of course it would occur in the first part of June in prime pheasant country.
We are still learning new things about these great bird, the truly wild pheasant, I would call them a work in progress.
I was also skeptical of their report of a second hatch. But when I read the 2001 publication "Experimental Pheasant Restoration Project" which documented Double-Brooding second hatch, on radio tagged hens, I quickly became a believer.
All this means is that the farmers were partly right and on the right track from the start.
04-30-2010, 09:20 PM
Preston, you've picked 1 article out of hundreds, many that contradict the one you believe. That article only found 2 instance where it could be documented. Further, you want to believe farmers seeing chicks as evidence of the activity of the hen. Wouldn't stand up as "evidence" of anything except they had late chicks. A simplistic answer to a complex question often falls short of a reasonable answer.
05-04-2010, 11:49 AM
PD, from everything I have heard from various biologists I have to support your information in helping to attempt to separate myth from fact here. This is one instance where the biologists are the go-to guys on the subject.
Here's the horse sense side of the issue: How in the heck is a hen that hatches 6-14 chicks going to possibly go through the process of taking care of those chicks and do a whole nother mating/breeding/nesting/hatching cycle? As they say on ESPN Monday night Football......"C'mon Man!!!"
This would also explain why there is no re-nest if there is even 1 chick that hatches and that hen is going to raise it and it is a full-time job.
The illusion of the "Second Hatch" may be possible but the myth is basically just propogated by the overly optimistic uniformed hunter that wants to project good things about the upcoming pheasant hunting season or remain in denial about the level of conservation really required by their state to cause real change in their state relevant to increasing native bird numbers.
PS. I have also heard reports of farmers finding pheasant nests with eggs in them. Not surprised at all considering early spring conditions.
06-28-2010, 10:33 PM
Any way, I was cutting some trees and brush, weeds basically, this weekend and flushed a couple hens again with big broods. The one had at least 10-12 chicks. All flushed at once right at my feet. The chicks I could tell just from raising them for years, were about 5 weeks - 6 weeks old tops. After seeing a bunch this size over a month ago, who really knows. There is most likely truth to both sides of the discussion. I am just happy to see the chicks. These were certainly healthy birds. I forgot to look at the hens feet for our band because so many flew at the same time, and I paid more attention to the little ones. The hen I saw with chicks early, had the band. My chance to learn something again and I blew it.:mad:
06-29-2010, 07:45 AM
06-29-2010, 11:31 PM
Right now as far as the year goes for right in my area, the year has been perfect. We did not get the brunt of the stoms yet, that bad killer storm went right over and did nothing.Not even much rain. So I am causiously opptimistic that I will end up with just as many birds as last year before the bad winter. Should be a great bounce back here. Some of the guy's sond like the situation is not as good with all that darn rain.
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