The Cheer Pheasant

Lincoln Allen


The Cheer is a medium-sized pheasant. about the si;e or a Ringncck . The hen rescrnblcs the cock but is a little srnallcr, and its crest is shorter.

While it is quite common in captivit y .

Cheer are Iairl; rare in the wilds now where it inhabits rugged terrain covered wii h forest and thick scrub on the hillsides or the Himalayas. Its range is the ,, estern and central I lirnalay as (northern. mountainous areas or Pakistan. India. Nepal. erc.). to be precise. from Durung Galli and the l lazara district in the north and west to the Simla States. Tehri Garhwal and Nepal.

Cheer are quite unique among the pheasant family, being the only species in its genus. Catreus. The) are monogumous in the wilds and you usually find that they must be paired as well 111 captivity.

They have very stout. curved bills with which they dig up all kinds or food including grubs, insects, seeds. roots. berries. shoots. leaves. etc. In captivity. they do very well on the usual diet fed pheasun ts such as mixed grains. greens and a laying ration just before and during the breeding season. The chicks arc easily raised the same as 111os1 other pheasants. I ligh protein is good for them. hut alter about six weeks you can gn to a less c x - pensive grower ration ,, ith less protein. All pheasants do belier if) ou chop up greens to feed along with thci: prepared diet.

Cheer assume their adult plumage the first year and breed the nc x t sp1111g aftc: their hirth. Cheer have alway s dune well in captivity since they were first introduced 11110 Lurope about I l)60. and anyone can raise this species ti the> Iced a good diet to the breeding stuck and the growing birds. provide clean watci al all times. a11J keep their surroundrngs clean. Also the stuck must he unrelated. otherwise y ou call run in to difficulty. lnhi cd chicks hatch weak and arc hard It> uuxc . so 11" y ou have problems raising till', xpccics. you\\ youi hrccdcr-, .uc ltll> closely related. If the patent slllLJ.. .rrc i11h1cJ. they may not hrccd am! 1-i, -it .ill . The quuhty of the h1L'edi11g ,tock i, lJ(J'; of I aistng an) thing.

At the Game Bird Preservation Ccniet in Salt l.ake City' Utah. WC have full Ihgh te d Cheer living. al liberty around the grounds. This is the only pheasant we've round that will stay around when not penned, and we have one pair now that has been here rm several years. It is nice lo see them fly up 011 the lops of buildings and into trees al night to roost.

In nature, Cheer arc very sedentary birds with a strong attachment lo their territory which probably accounts for their making good birds to turn loose as well as explains why they arc becoming extinct in the wilds. I lunters can slay in the same area where these phcusan ts live and the birds wout leave until a whole local population is wiped out.



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