The Hood Survival Guide: Make It Out Alive

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Each and every one of them must be de-beaked or it will do no good. This process is very critical, especially in view of the birds being groomed for release. This is true because the young birds will need a full beak for plucking and cracking weed seed and grains, also for catching insects. Here is how you do it: if you have access to an electric de-beaker, use that. If not, a heavy duty toenail clipper will work. Snip just enough of the top beak only, to the point of it turning pink. DO NOT cut it so severely that gross bleeding takes place.

You may damage the nerve endings of the beak if too much is taken, to the point of it never growing back.

In any event, have a cauterizing agent available, such as silver nitrate, to stop any bleeding that occurs. De-beaking young pheasants is an art; too little taken off will not deter the problem and, of course, too much will stunt the re-growth of the beak. Go slow until you get the hang of it. Catch them one at a time and as you finish one bird, put him in an area apart from the others left to do. This will ensure that you get them all done. The disadvantage of de-beaking is that it is only temporary and will need to be repeated as the beaks for grow back. A more common solution is to apply rubber hoods to the birds at around 5 weeks of age.

About a week prior to putting the hoods on use electrolytes in the water to give the birds some extra energy to endure the stress. You should also put extra water and feed out for them and keep that out for awhile after the hoods have been applied. Keeping the lights on in the brooder building the night before hooding will give them ample time to drink and eat. When ready to apply the hoods, insert the plastic pin through one hole in the hood depends on if you are left or right handed which hole will be more comfortable for you. Position the hood on the top beak of the bird. Push the pin through nostril hole and into opposite hole of the hood so that barb of the pin is past the nostril and through the hood.

If applied correctly, the hood will stand up on its own. The hood should not drop forward or droop off to the side of the beak. Keep an eye on the birds for a couple days after application. Make sure they are in a warm, dry environment to minimize stress. One last point is this: Pheasants will almost always start feather pulling on the back area, a very subtle process, hard to spot with an untrained eye because of the wings folding over and covering the back area.

Periodically, catch several birds, separate the wings and examine the back area for feather pulling. This should be done initially at about two weeks of age. Upon checking there should be a single row of small feathers running down the center of the back just under where the wings fold over. If it is missing or partially missing, the birds are feather pulling and you best do something right now. Getting your birds outside as early as possible, about five weeks of age, for a few hours each day, will make or break your project from a livability standpoint after releasing.

Several things happen when you introduce the birds to this outside environment:. A project like this tends to draw every critter in the country. In fact, please check out our Nite Guard Solar product as additional help to keep away those critters. Remember to run the birds back into the building each night at least on nights when you know the weather will be cold or rainy as a heavy rainstorm could drive them into the corners resulting in piling.

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NOTE: Birds should be 8 weeks of age or older before you put them outside permanently because their feather development is complete by this age. The back feathers are the last to come, so you would very likely experience bird loss during a night storm where the cold rain makes direct contact with their skin.

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Good, thick cover is always helpful in these situations too. This is a widely debated topic. One thing is certain, ringneck pheasants are living and thriving in North America today because they were brought here in cages from China and released. This is historically documented. Having said that we offer our suggestions based on over 40 years of raising pheasants and observing their behavior in a variety of settings including hundreds, probably more like thousands, of release projects.

Pheasants should be released into the wild at one of two ages; either at 8 weeks of age or fully grown adults in the spring of the year. The adult bird release will generally give you more return for your expense and effort. At the very least you are releasing an adult pheasant into the wild with hopes of survival. At the best the hens will nest and raise progeny that will have never known captivity. These adult pheasants, if raised under optimum conditions will have overcome imprinting to humans and will have developed natural instincts including foraging for food and avoiding predation.

Eight week old birds, upon release, will be looking for some help as they are still imprinting to humans and need to wean away from that. Avoiding predation and finding food and water will be a challenge that many of these birds will not overcome.

What is hypothermia?

These same birds if raised to maturity living in large spacious pens with solid, thick cover to hide in will hone their instincts. The behavior shift from imprinting to attaining natural instincts is something we have observed over many years and will make or break your release project. This is a difficult question to answer, it depends on many factors, most beyond your control. First, the birds will have to re-adapt to freedom, which means finding food, water and shelter on their own. It also means fending off predators. This all has to happen within a few hours, certainly a day or two, after release and quite frankly many birds will not do well quick enough.

The quality of the birds being released has a big impact on what happens, meaning in terms of genetics and how good of a job you did raising them from day old. Begin the planning for your flight pen as early in the year as possible. Decide what size it should be based on the number of birds you are keeping, use square feet per bird with good cover as a rule.

You will need to have good cover in the pen for the birds to hide in, so plant something like rape, milo, or sorghum you can actually prepare the ground and plant before you begin construction. Check out our sister company Nite Guard Solar to learn about further predator control solutions. Depending on the size of your pen, you will need to provide lengths of 9 gauge galvanized wire periodically running the length and width of the pen.

Copyright — , Oakwood Game Farm Inc. All rights reserved. Elderly people, homeless people, and those under the influence of alcohol or drugs are particularly vulnerable to hypothermia.

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Children and people with certain health disorders are also susceptible. So are outdoor enthusiasts who spend time boating, fishing swimming, hiking, or skiing. How quickly a person becomes hypothermic depends on a variety of factors, including personality, behavior, physical condition, clothing, and environmental factors. Everyone reacts differently to the cold, even under the same conditions. Generally, children lose body heat more quickly than adults and thin people lose body heat faster than overweight people.

People dying of hypothermia in the U. Water this cold always presents the danger of hypothermia. In cold water, conserving body heat is essential for survival and for increasing your chances of being rescued. The rate at which a body cools varies with body size, age, gender, water and air temperature, waves, wind, water currents, and other factors.

Swimming isn't recommended unless there is little chance of being rescued and shore is less than a mile away. If you find yourself in cold water without a PFD and nothing to climb onto, tread water. Traditional drown-proofing by repeatedly lowering your head into the water and floating speeds up heat loss. Savvy outdoors enthusiasts know that insulating critical heat loss regions head and neck, sides of chest, armpits, and groin forestalls hypothermia, frostbite, or simple cold discomfort. Layering appropriate fabrics helps preserve body heat, also.

Kayaker and freelance writer, Tim Sprinkle, has three rules for dressing for a potentially chilly day outdoors:.

Clothing made of modern watertight materials like nylon and Gore-Tex are good for keeping warmth in and cold water out. However, they require carefully selected underclothing since the garments may not have built-in insulation.

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If flotation materials are not used, then wear a PFD in addition to watertight clothes. Wear a personal flotation device PFD. For the greatest protection against hypothermia, insulate the critical regions of your body with specifically designed PFD. A vest PFD offers more protection than a collar-type, and will improve your chances of survival.

Insulated flotation jackets protect more of your body than vest or collar-type PFDs. A hood protects the head and neck area, and a removable seat panel reduces heat loss in the groin area. PFDs designed to prevent hypothermia are recommended for anyone who spends time on or near cold water. To increase your visibility in the water, add reflective tape to your PFD. A strobe light, whistle, or emergency position indicating radio beacon EPIRB will increase your chance of being rescued.

Even though the law requires merely having a PFD in the boat, wearing it is recommended. Trying to put on a PFD after falling into cold water is almost impossible. The more body area you keep out of the water, the better your chances for survival. The drown proofing technique of repeatedly lowering your head into the water and floating causes substantial heat loss, and is not recommended in cold water.

If possible, climb onto your capsized boat or pull yourself out of the water onto a floating object to increase your chances of survival. If you have no personal flotation device and nothing to climb onto, tread water. The more energy you use in cold water, the more your body cools off. If you cannot climb out of the water, conserve body heat by remaining as still as possible and reducing the amount of your body exposed to the water. Protect your critical heat loss regions: the head, sides, armpits, and groin. Do not swim unless shore, a raft, or an overturned boat is nearby.

The Hood Survival Guide: Make It Out Alive (Unabridged)

Swimming accelerates heat loss. Remaining still in the water increases your survival time. Hold your arms tightly against your sides and across your chest, pull your legs together and up toward your chest. The H. A group of two or more people wearing PFDs can huddle together to conserve body heat, offer moral support, and provide a larger target for rescuers. When you first fall into cold water you gasp torso reflex.

Next, your skin begins to cool, and your body constricts surface blood vessels to conserve heat for your vital organs. Blood pressure and heart rate increase. Muscles tense and shiver; this produces more body heat, but results in a loss of dexterity and motor control. As your body's core temperature drops further, blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rates all decrease. As conditions worsen, your mental attitude and level of consciousness change. Resisting help and acting irrational or confused are common indicators of hypothermia.

As your core temperature drops dangerously low, you become semiconscious, then unconscious. Stress, shock, and low core temperatures may cause cardiac and respiratory failure. Hypothermia sneaks up on you, so you probably aren't the best judge of whether or not you are hypothermic. Signs that a person is nearing a hypothermic state include shivering, poor coordination, and mental sluggishness. As hypothermia progresses, shivering ceases, coordination is severely impaired, and confusion is coupled with incoherence and irrationality.

Severely hypothermic people have icy skin. Extreme lethargy merges with unconsciousness and they might appear dead. Since each individual reacts differently, the severity of hypothermia is best measured by taking a core temperature reading using a rectal thermometer. Oral measurements do not accurately measure changes in core temperature.

Minimize the victim's physical exertion when removing her or him from cold water. Rescuers may have to enter the water to get the victim. Once out of the water, gently remove wet clothing and cover the person with dry clothing or blankets. Protect the victim from wind, especially around the head and neck.

Move them to a warm environment if possible and avoid re-exposure to the cold. Warm compresses and warm not hot liquids that are non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated also help to restore heat. If you are helping a hypothermic person, be gentle; internal organs are sensitive to physical shocks.

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The victim should remain as inactive as possible so blood from their cold extremities won't reach their core too quickly. A cold heart is particularly susceptible to ventricular fibrillation. During all first aid efforts, watch for changes in the victim's temperature and vital signs. Hypothermia victims with moderate to critical symptoms should see a medical professional as soon as possible.

Some medical professionals and rescue personnel recommend rewarming mildly hypothermic victims in the field with body-to-body contact in other words, by sharing body heat. However, research suggests that this technique may not be beneficial. The rationale comes from the fact that the person offering up their body heat is giving about as much heat as they are taking away by restricting the victim's shivering response. And, the heat donor becomes colder in the process. In a study 1 evaluating whether body-to-body rewarming would enhance the recovery of a mildly hypothermic subject, researchers found that sharing body heat was approximately as effective as letting a person rewarm from their own shivering.

In a different study 2 , researchers simulated severe hypothermia by suppressing a victim's shivering response. In cases where a person cannot shiver themselves back to normal, they report that body-to-body rewarming yields a faster recovery than letting a victim passively rewarm but it is significantly less effective than applying a heater and a rigid cover to the victim's chest. Alcohol consumption can speed the onset and progression of hypothermia.

Alcohol impairs motor skills, magnifies the torso reflex, and affects clear thinking. As the alcohol level in a person's body increases, coordination abilities decrease. At high doses, alcohol damages thermoregulation, which lowers the body's resistance to cold water.