Swinhoe Pheasant

Lophura swinhoei

In the wild Swinhoe Pheasants are confined to Taiwan where they prefer to live in woodland at a moderate altitude of between 1000 - 7000 ft.

Swinhoes are good looking hardy birds. The cock is mainly a glossy bluish black with the wings having a touch of green iridescence. The top of the back and neck are white as are the two central tail feathers which are longer than the rest. He also has a white crest which tends to look a little sparse until he starts to display. The crest is then raised and seems surprisingly much bushier. At this time his red face wattles will also be greatly expanded. His red legs and maroon shoulders add to his attractiveness. The hen is also quite pretty as she is a fairly dark brown with pale brown triangular markings over much of her body. She has stripes on her central tail feathers and the others are a deep shade of chestnut. Her wings are striped too and like the cock her face and legs are red.

Swinhoes do not eat a huge amount of greenery so the shrubs in their aviary have a much better chance of survival than with some other pheasant species. They do eat a small amount of fruit but their nuts and grain are definitely preferred. Live food will also be eaten but not as readily as their peanuts. As with all our birds the main part of their diet is pheasant pellets which they have in the aviary at all times to eat ad lib. The Swinhoes are quite happy with a basic shelter. They are fairly large birds so I wouldn't recommend keeping a pair in anything smaller than 200 square feet (roughly 18.6 square meters).

The birds are two years old before they reach maturity. They hen will start laying in March and usually lay 4 - 8 eggs in a clutch but if the eggs are taken she will lay a few clutches. Incubation takes 25 days and the chicks are easy to rear. We have found when rearing Swinhoes that they tend to be gentle natured chicks so if mixing them with other species they are best placed with chicks unlikely to bully them. We have them mostly with our Goldens, Tragopans and Peacock Pheasants while they are still poults.

The Swinhoe Pheasant is a good bird for a beginner as they are easy to care for and have few health problems. The cocks do not seem (at least from our own experience) to be aggressive to their keepers which can be a problem sometimes associated with other Pheasants of the Lophura genus. They can take a bit of coaxing to become tame but once the cocks are mature they do have a great display with all sorts of jumps, wing spreading and whirring, and head nodding.

Swinhoe cock Pheasant pair Swinhoe Pheasants Swinhoe hen Pheasant
Back to top.