Siamese Fireback Pheasant
The Siamese Fireback cock pheasant is an impressive bird with bright red wattles and legs, a beautifully curved tail and crest and delicately marked grey feathered body. He also has the golden yellow back that gave him his name with added shades of dark red and blue that shimmer in the sunlight. The hen is also a well marked bird with strong barring on her wings and tail.
Siamese Fireback Pheasants inhabit dense forests in Southern China where they eat many invertebrates, fruits and berries. In captivity they still enjoy an omnivorous diet particularly relishing their mealworms. I have also found them to eat much more greenery than either the Vieillot's or Bornean Crested Firebacks.
As with our other Fireback pheasants we give our Siamese heated shelters. The heaters are rarely necessary but if we have a particularly severe winter they can suffer so it is best to at least have a source of electric so a heater of some kind can be made available to them. A thick perch should also be available, so the birds can sit completely covering their feet to keep them snug and free of frostbite. We have found however that 1st year birds are more likely to need heat than older birds which do seem to cope with bad weather very well.
Siamese fireback pheasants are easy birds to look after and will breed freely although the hens may not lay until their third year. The cock pheasants always seem to be fertile in their second year. They will lay every 2nd day and can lay as many as 40 fertile eggs within the breeding season. The chicks are not problematic and can be reared without much difficulty.
They are wonderful birds to watch as the cocks love to put on a good display. They will spend much of their time outside showing off to anyone or anything that might possibly notice (they appreciate posts, boulders or something similar to perch on so they can look even better). Often a cock will be seen wing whirring to show his golden back. He may also repeatedly call to the hen when he has found a morsel of food (tidbitting), only stopping when she comes to investigate.