Gamekeeper challenges in rearing pheasants
The challenge to gamekeepers on game farms and shoots in Britain and Ireland is that of maintaining good pheasant health and good partridge health. Whether it is pheasants, partridges or ducks which are being reared, there are three major influences on their health:
- The nutrition the birds receive from their feed
- The environment where the birds are living
- The birds’ own immune system.
These factors along with the vigilance of the management employed on each game bird farm deal with variable factors such as feed nutritional variation, drug resistant pathogens and the vagaries of our temperate climate and occasional wet weather conditions all of which can have a major influence on health and productivity.
Increasing number of drugs are now being withdrawn from general usage and withdrawal periods are being introduced for those that remain available. As a result, there has been a general reduction in stocking levels on game farms and an improvement in management practices to counter this challenges.
Ongoing issues suck as outbreaks of avian influenza, anthelmintic and antibiotic resistance pose new issues and challenges to some. Natural Farm Health has a range of natural products that can assist game keepers deal with these type of challenges.
Charging the immune system of game birds
Natural Farm Health believe that the bird’s own disease fighting equipment, ‘the immune system’, has been sadly overlooked by many involved in the industry. It is amazing what powerful effects a ‘charged’ immune system can have and the benefits that this can bring to pheasant health as well as the profitability of the modern day game farm.
Recent research has shown that when the immune system is activated at high levels, as in the case of a serious disease challenge, the body diverts large amounts of energy in order to defeat the invading pathogen.
When we are fighting a ‘flu bug’ we are ‘drained’ and feel weak, we can lose weight and can remain low for several weeks. Our situation is without the competition for food and space as is the case of a game bird where pens are often 1000 birds per group.
The Natural Farm Health “Game Bird Health Programme” has been used for many years to provide a natural approach to game bird health and productivity.
I didn’t think there was anything untoward with the gamebirds until after dosing with Natural Farm Health’s Enterite. I saw a real difference the following morning and this set them in good fettle for release a few days later.
In 2011, we used Enviromist in our breeding pens prior to the chicks’ introduction as we had an issue with dust from chicken muck blowing over. We decided to use Enviromist and have successfully reared healthy chicks for the last seven years. In that time, we have never had any health issues. Enviromist is an extremely good product and I would highly recommend it.
Over the last ten years we have used Cloversan and Enviromist to clean and disinfect our pheasant housing and pens, We have been very pleased with the results and would recommend it to other game bird farms.