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Pheasant, grouse, partridge, turkey, and peacock are among the five most delicious game birds that humans have been using for a long time to substitute chicken meat. Unlike the chicken, which has been domesticated for decades, these game birds live in the wild which means they must be hunted to be used as food.

The similarities between these birds are that they are all fowls (both land and game) and that they lay eggs, period! Otherwise, each of these birds is unique in its own way. My grandpa used to take me hunting for turkey when I visited him in Wisconsin. It was during this trip that I first began to learn about these birds and since then, I have learned a ton that I am happy to share. 

In fact, I still have souvenirs for the game bird hunts we went to. In our article today, we shall be comparing pheasant to chicken (land fowl), grouse, partridge, turkey, and peacock by looking at a number of factors including size, diet, habitat, color, and Colors. 

Pheasant vs. Chicken

Pheasant is a general term that consists of 49 species and many sub-species in the family Phasianidae while chicken is a subspecies of the red junglefowl.

The table below shows the difference between pheasants and chicken

FeaturesPheasant Chicken
Weight 2 ½ lbs.5.7 lbs.
SizeMale: 60 to 89 cmFemale: 50 to 63 cm70 cm on average
Colors Barred bright gold, fiery copper-red, and chestnut-brown with an iridescent sheen of purple & greenCuckoo, white, Columbian, golden cuckoo, black, wheaten, black-tailed buff, & birchen
Wing CoverageCream or white, black-barred markings on the tailBased on colors
HabitatGrasslands, shrublands, hay lands, idle fields, and croplands Farms & backyards
DietGrains, berries, small animals, insects, and seedsVeggies, grains, a variety of fruits, table scraps, wild seeds, earthworms, & insects
Sleeping HabitsTrees or Shrubs (warm months)Overgrown marshes (in fall)Perching on a roost
Life ExpectancyUp to 3 years on average5 to 10 years on average
OffspringMore than 12 eggs at a time1 egg per day

Table 1: Pheasant vs. ChickenThe table below shows the difference between pheasants and chicken

Pheasant vs. Grouse

While pheasant is a fowl in the family Phasianidae, the grouse is a sub-family of fowls.

The table below shows the differences between pheasants and grouse

Features Pheasant Grouse
Weight2 ½ lbs.530g (smallest)to 6.5 lbs. (largest)
Size Male: 60 to 89 cmFemale: 50 to 63 cm28 to 51 cm
Colors Barred bright gold, fiery copper-red, and chestnut-brown with an iridescent sheen of purple & greenGray, brown, red, split, and intermediate
Wing CoverageCream or white, black-barred markings on the tailDepends on the type of grouse – ruffed, dusky, gray, blue…
HabitatGrasslands, shrublands, hay lands, idle fields, and croplands Young aspen forests, bushlands, dense tree stands, oak, & lowland brush 
DietGrains, berries, small animals, insects, and seedsLeaves, insects, berries, woody plants, buds, seeds, shrubs, & fruits
Sleeping HabitsTrees or Shrubs (warm months)Overgrown marshes (in fall)Low tree branches
Life ExpectancyUp to 3 years on averageMax. of 11 years (av. of 7 to 8 years)
OffspringMore than 12 eggs at a time4 to 8 eggs every 1 ½ days

Table 2: Pheasant vs. Grouse

Partridge vs. Pheasant

Partridge refers to any fowl of a number of genera in the family Phasianidae (especially Alectoris & perdix).

The table below shows the differences between Pheasants and Partridges:

Features Pheasant Partridge
Weight2 ½ lbs.0.75 lbs.
Size Male: 60 to 89 cmFemale: 50 to 63 cm30 to 35 cm
Colors Barred bright gold, fiery copper-red, and chestnut-brown with an iridescent sheen of purple & greenBrown, gray, and white
Wing CoverageCream or white, black-barred markings on the tailFace: tan to orange with rusty stripes on the sides
HabitatGrasslands, shrublands, hay lands, idle fields, and croplands Coastal dunes, forests, rocky plains, farmlands, and grasslands
DietGrains, berries, small animals, insects, and seedsBarley, sunflower, ragweed, oats, Russian thistle, foxtail, corn, and wheat
Sleeping HabitsTrees or Shrubs (warm months)Overgrown marshes (in fall)On the ground tightly pressed to one another with their head outwards
Life ExpectancyUp to 3 years on averageMaximum of 6.5 years
OffspringMore than 12 eggs at a time10 to 20 eggs per clutch

Table 3: Partridge vs. Pheasant

Pheasant vs. Turkey

A large bird native to North America, Turkey belongs to the family Phasianidae and has two existing species, including the ocellated turkey of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, and the wild turkey of eastern & central North America.

The table below shows the differences between pheasant and turkey:

FeaturesPheasant Turkey
Weight2 ½ lbs.11 lbs. to 24 lbs.
SizeMale: 60 to 89 cmFemale: 50 to 63 cmMale: 100 to 120 cmFemale: 76 to 95 cm
Colors Barred bright gold, fiery copper-red, and chestnut-brown with an iridescent sheen of purple & greenBlack with a bronze-green iridescence
Wing CoverageCream or white, black-barred markings on the tailDark, boldly barred with white
HabitatGrasslands, shrublands, hay lands, idle fields, and croplands Forage floors, swamps, and grasslands
DietGrains, berries, small animals, insects, and seedsNuts, seeds, small insects, and seeds
Sleeping HabitsTrees or Shrubs (warm months)Overgrown marshes (in fall)Nests on trees at night
Life ExpectancyUp to 3 years on average3 to 4 years on average (wild)10 years (domesticated)
OffspringMore than 12 eggs at a time4 to 17 eggs at a time

Table 4: Pheasant vs. Turkey

Pheasant vs. Peacock

Pheasants and peacocks belong to the family Phasianidae.

The table below shows the differences between pheasant and peacock

Features Pheasant Peacock
Weight2 ½ lbs.6.1 lbs. to 13 lbs.
SizeMale: 60 to 89 cmFemale: 50 to 63 cmMale: 230 cmFemale: 95 cm
Colors Barred bright gold, fiery copper-red, and chestnut-brown with an iridescent sheen of purple & greenBlue, Cameo, Jade, Green, White, Opal, Midnight, Charcoal, Taupe, Indigo, Peach, Purple, Bronze, Sonja’s Violeta, and Hazel
Wing CoverageCream or white, black-barred markings on the tailBody patterns: barred wing, silver pied, white-eyed, pied, and black shoulder
HabitatGrasslands, shrublands, hay lands, idle fields, and croplands Bushland, farmland, forests, & warm areas with low trees
DietGrains, berries, small animals, insects, and seedsPlants, insects, ants, flies, fruits, seeds, amphibians, and snakes
Sleeping HabitsTrees or Shrubs (warm months)Overgrown marshes (in fall)High on trees or high shelters
Life ExpectancyUp to 3 years on average25 years on average
OffspringMore than 12 eggs at a time7 to 15 eggs at a time

Table 5: Pheasant vs. Peacock

Pheasant Male and Female

Do you know the difference between the male pheasant and the female pheasant?

FeatureMale PheasantFemale Pheasant
Size60 cm to 100 cm60 cm to 100 cm
Feather ColorGreen, black, blue, brown, orange, cream/buff, gray, red, white, purple/pinkWhite, cream or buff, and brown
Leg ColorBrownBrown
Wingspan70 cm to 90 cm70 cm to 90 cm
Weight2 lbs. to 3 lbs.2 lbs.
BeakCurved, brown, short, yellow, chunky, and whiteBrown, chunky, white, short, yellow, white, and curved
Natural HabitatsGrassland, woodland, farmland, and urban & suburbanGrassland, woodland, urban & suburban, and farmland

Table 6: Male Pheasant vs. Female Pheasant

Wrap-Up

Although pheasants, grouse, partridge, turkey, chicken, and peacock are all fowls, this is where the similarities and the differences begin. From the size of eggs, diets, and habitat among others, these birds (tamed and wild) have features that make them unique from each other.

By the way, if you are looking for a perfect wild meat with almost similar nutritional value to land fowl, these game birds provide your body with all the protein, fat, and calories they need to build the muscles and have a great taste. So, if you are tired of having chicken for dinner each night, you should try the scrumptious meat from one of these five game birds.

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