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How old should our pheasants be before we shoot them?

Our first shoot day is always at the end of October and occasionally the birds are not ready, so should we buy them earlier?

Liam Bell
Pheasants need to be a minimum of 22 weeks old before they are shot, though leaving them until they’re 24 weeks old would be better.

If your first shoot is at the end of October and your birds are seven weeks old when released, then they need to be in the pens by the second week of July to guarantee that they are coloured up, fit and have full tails on your first day.

The other option is to buy them when you usually do, count the weeks it will take for the birds to be mature, and plan your shooting around the delivery date.

You can only shoot them once, so you may as well make sure that they are old enough when you do so.