The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has had a pheasant propagation program for over 100 years, providing pheasant hunting, observation, and educational opportunities across the state. Chicks are raised on Reynold’s Game Farm in Ithaca, NY, and according to NYS DEC, “…Day-old pheasant chicks are provided to anyone interested in raising and releasing pheasants as long as they adhere to program guidelines. Chicks must be reared in suitable facilities with the proper food, water, and care until they reach the desired age for release. Pheasants provided to participants may not be bought, sold or traded. Suitable release sites must be located and clearly described on the application. Affiliations between 4-H youth, sportsmen’s groups, and landowners is encouraged…All pheasant release sites must be open to public hunting.” Pheasants must be raised until at least 8 weeks of age, though pheasants raised longer have a better chance of survival once released. A benefit of raising pheasants later in the hunting season until adulthood is that they start to lay eggs! For the past several years we have kept some pheasants to release later in the winter season and the hens start laying eggs in December. The eggs are delicious and can be used just like a chicken egg, though they are smaller. As with all wildlife, they cannot be sold, but certainly enjoyed until the pheasants are publicly released during hunting season. Check with your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office to find out more about the pheasant release program and an application can be found on the NYS DEC website for day-old chicks.
Pheasant Egg Pie (Quiche)
- 7 pheasant eggs (or 4 large chicken eggs)
- 1 can (12oz.) evaporated skim milk
- 1 shallot, minced or 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1.5 cups of chopped green vegetable of your choice, such as broccoli, spinach, kale or combination
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes cut in quarters
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil or dill (optional)
- 2 oz. cooked bacon or ham (optional)
- 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Lightly sauté the shallot (onion) and green veggies over medium heat in a skillet.
- Lightly grease a 9” pie plate with butter or a bit of olive oil.
- Mix sautéed vegetables and cooked meat (optional) evenly in a layer in the pie plate.
- In a bowl, lightly beat pheasant eggs, pour evaporated milk into eggs (shake can before opening) and whisk to combine. Whisk in a pinch of salt and cracked pepper and the grated cheese.
- Pour egg mixture evenly over vegetable mixture in the pie pan, being sure to not overflow the pan.