Huron Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD)
Sunday, May 26, 1968
[Caption 1]: The Raising of Pheasants is a project of the Seeman Pheasant Farm, which is located at the northwest edge of Miller. The farm is operated by Mrs. Mary Yost and owned by her two sons, Jerry Yost, of rural Miller, and Jack Seeman, of Willmar, Minnesota. The majority of the pheasants are sold for “the dinner table,” although last year 500 were purchased by Pheasants Unlimited, Inc., of Sioux Falls, to stock Hand County.
[Caption 2]: Pheasants raised on the Seeman farm at Miller are a cross between a ringneck and a monogolian. The eggs (shown at top) are not nested, but instead lay in the open, requiring 24 ½ days to hatch. Once the egg is hatched, it takes another 16 weeks before the chicks (shown at bottom) are full grown.
PHEASANTS RAISED ON MILLER FARM ARE DISPLAYED AT WASHINGTON ZOO
Miller – A Miller woman who has been raising pheasants for the past six years says when she first started “I didn’t know anything about this business.”
Mrs. Mary Yost, who manages the Seeman Pheasant Farm located at the northwest edge of the city, said she’s in the pheasant business “for profit” and last summer sold 500 ringnecks to Pheasants Unlimited, Inc., of Sioux Falls.
“The birds which were purchased by Pheasants Unlimited were used to bolster the pheasant population in Hand County,” she said, “and we anticipate they will do the same again this year.”
The farm is owned by Mrs. Yost’s two sons, Jerry Yost, of rural Miller, and Jack Seeman, of Willmar, Minn.
“When we first started this business I didn’t know anything about raising pheasants,” Mrs. Yost said, “but have learned from experience.”
But, this business has gained in popularity and in 1965 received national recognition when the State Game, Fish and Parks Department acquired six of Mrs. Yost’s pheasants and gave them to Sen. Karl E. Mundt, R-S.D., for display at the Washington zoo.
The request for the birds came after Sen. Mundt had visited the zoo and found only one ring-necked pheasant displayed – and that one looked like a “scrawny rooster.”
The South Dakota senator immediately contacted the State Game Department and requested “six healthy species” of the state’s official bird to be placed in the zoo.
Upon receipt of the birds, it was first announced that they had been “trapped in the wild,” but this was quickly straightened out and proper credit given to the Seeman farm.
Mrs. Yost said she is faced with numerous problems – topped by the fact that pheasants are cannibalistic.
“Only about 50 per cent of the hatched eggs live and we can’t put two hatches together – otherwise the older birds will eat the young ones,” she said.
The eggs lay out in the open since the pheasants don’t nest and it’s necessary to check the pens frequently and collect the eggs before they are eaten by the birds, she added.
“The wild pheasant hen usually does nest – finding a good hiding place for her eggs,” Mrs. Yost said. There are approximately 400 eggs in each hatch, with a total of five hatches counted last year.
Other problems are cats and horned owls “who are constantly a threat to the young pheasants, although Mrs. Yost said she has had little trouble with hawks or skunks.
“It takes about 24 ½ days for an egg to hatch and 16 weeks before the bird is full grown,” she said, adding: “We clip one of the chick’s wings at birth to keep them from flying away. If we didn’t we’d have to put a roof on the pens.”
The pheasants raised on the Seeman farm are a cross between the ringneck and mongolian pheasant, she said.
When asked if the drop in the state’s pheasant population has bolstered her business, Mrs. Yost replied: “We sold more pheasants last year than we did a year ago, but I don’t think this had anything to do with it.”
“Pheasants which are raised on a farm such as this are much tastier eating than the wild ones,” she said – a fact which has probably played a major role in the recent success of the farm.