Temminck's Tragopan Pheasant

Tragopan temmincki

The Temminck's is one of 5 species of Tragopan pheasant. It is a medium sized pheasant which lives at high altitudes in the Eastern Himalayas, Southern Tibet, Myanmar and some surrounding areas.

The Temminck's Tragopan cock is an extremely bright coloured bird, mostly a rich shade of orange smothered with greyish white ocelli. He has a gorgeous blue face surrounded with black. Like all the Tragopans he has an amazing display and is able to inflate a pair of "horns" from his crown and a bib from the throat. The large "bib" or lappet is particularly vivid with red and blue markings.

These birds are extremely hardy and are easy to keep in a medium to large aviary. They are the most popular Tragopan in the UK. We sometimes keep pairs in aviaries 24' X 12'. We also have Temminck's in pairs or trios or occasionally mixed with other species in aviaries 36' X 12'. They like some high perches and unlike many pheasants the hens will use an elevated nest box. The cock Temminck's Tragopan makes good use of any posts or boulders etc. in the aviary as he will jump on and off these obstacles, or out from a hiding place behind them, when trying to woo his mate while all the time fluffing himself up to look as large as possible and show off his glorious colours.

We give our Temminck's the same pheasant pellets to eat as the rest of our birds as well as a portion of fruit and berries and a small amount of peanuts and grain. Although they don't normally bother with live food some of the Tragopan hens do enjoy them during the spring and summer while breeding, regardless of whether they are actually rearing chicks or not. I know many breeders who give their Tragopans a far lower protein diet but we've not had any problems with our birds eating the same as our other pheasants, although they do usually get our grassiest pens and love to gorge on fruit so they will be lowering their protein levels somewhat with the additional vegetation.

The Temminck's hen will sometimes lay in her first year but normally the cock will not be fertile until the second. It is risky trying a mature cock with a one year old hen so we wouldn't suggest introducing them unless the hen has already started laying. The first eggs will be laid in April and each clutch is likely to be 2 - 4 eggs. Usually three clutches can be laid within the season if eggs are taken away. Incubation will be 28 - 29 days.

The Tragopans are quiet natured and naturally tame and the Temminck's is no exception. They are beautiful birds and will be happy to greet their keeper at the gate and possibly even jump up onto a knee or arm if treats are on offer. The display of the cock is something not forgotten, once seen, but even without this wondrous sight they are a pure pleasure to keep and are always a favourite with visitors.

Temminck's Tragopan cock Pheasant Temminck's Tragopan Pheasant hen
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