Germaine's Peacock Pheasant

Polyplectron germaini

As far as pheasants go, the Germaine's, like all the Peacock Pheasants, is a small species. It's homeland is in humid forests and jungle in Vietnam and, as such, in captivity it will need some heat during cold weather. They inhabit areas from sea level up to around 1200 metres.

The Germaine's is a delicate looking bird, smaller than the Grey Peacock Pheasant and only very slightly larger than the Palawans. Of all the Peacock Pheasants it is most like the Grey Peacock, with many ocelli, but generally browner. They have no crest and their facial skin is a deep orangey red. Although the males are, as usual, larger than the females the diffence is not quite as big as with other Peacock Pheasant species. The males tend to weigh about half a kilogram and the hens close to 400 grams.

The Germaine's aviary should give good protection from inclement weather however it does not need to be a huge area. From our experience, I would suggest a good size to be from about 60 - 90 square metres (approx 200 - 300 square feet). You could get away with smaller but if the birds feel too enclosed they can be more prone to panic and you may find it difficult to keep them calm, especially if they are not already tame if or when they are bought.

The breeding season of the Germaine's Peacock Pheasant starts early. At times as early as February, although this can, at least sometimes, be due to artificial heat and light. Our own birds tend to start laying about mid March. It is possible to get fertility in first year birds but often the birds will be into their second year before they are mature enough to breed successfully - this will definitely be more likely if they were late hatched the previous season. The Germaine's will only lay a clutch of one or two eggs but can continue to lay, every two or three weeks, for much of the spring and summer months and occasionally even later.

The chicks can be a bit trickier to rear than those of some other species. Care must be taken to make sure they are eating properly. It is usually helpful to have them mixed with pheasant chicks of other species such as Goldens to begin with. This will encourage copy behaviour so that they will eat chick crumb but also, as you will likely notice, the Peacock Pheasants will peck food sticking to the other chick's beaks and therefore start eating. Cooked egg yolk can be a very useful chick food as it will readily stick to the outside of the wee beaks. Mealworms are also often suggested as a great starter food and certainly the chicks do love them, but I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with feeding them as it can encourage toe pecking and if blood is drawn it can quickly lead to disaster. It is most unfortunate that chick toes look almost identical to mealworms. If you do have trouble getting your peacock pheasant chicks to eat, however, it is handy to have some ready on standby, as a risk of toe pecking is no worse than a starving chick. Trial and error is very much part of the rearing process but if you have the time and patience it is all worthwhile and rearing these beautiful birds is a wonderful achievement you can be proud of.

Germaine's Peacock Pheasant cock Pair of Germaine's Peacock Pheasants
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