This film is part of Free

Pheasant - from egg to larder

The stages of a pheasant's short life are shown in this fascinating film - from being an egg to its violent end on someone's dinner plate

Amateur film 1929 18 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Wessex Film and Sound Archive


This fascinating film about pheasant rearing takes place between early spring and the 7th December, 1929. We start with cock pheasants chasing hens about presumably prior to conception. Next we see Bert handling a clutch of pheasant eggs before these are placed in pens, with domestic chickens acting as foster mothers. The hatched chicks, or poults, are filmed growing over the following 16 weeks, before their untimely demise - shot for the pot by tweed-clad men with dogs.

The Manydown Estate, located in Wootton St Lawrence near Basingstoke, Hampshire, was bought by Sir Edward Bates in 1871, and remained with the family until the end of World War II. It was then acquired by Colonel J Oliver-Bellasis, whose family established a local farming business, the Manydown Company Ltd, in 1960. By 1964, Manydown House, where Jane Austen received her only proposal of marriage, and where Colonel A S Bates, might have been living at the time he made this film, fell into dereliction, being destroyed by fire two years later. Basingstoke and Hampshire Councils bought the freehold of the 2000 acre estate in 1996 and have planned a large, though controversial, housing development on the site.