My name is Jason Mattingly and I am a Senior at Gilroy Highschool and the Reporter for the Gilroy California Chapter Future Farmers of America. I became interested in pheasant production because of 2 reasons. One being, I wanted to follow my dad and have the experiences he had for his project with raising pheasants for his FFA project, and the second reason is, I have witnessed in our rural area a dramatic decrease in pheasant population and I wanted to rejuvenate the population. Last spring I spoke to my parents about buying some pheasants from the Hoovers Hatchery with the intent to have a release date in November. Our chicks showed up and my family became attached to them all. We knew what our intent was to do but however we couldn’t help ourselves. November came and went, so did Christmas and now January and I feel it is not right to release them since they weren’t in full plumage and the hens were slightly under weight. These last 10 months have been enjoyable raising the birds since I get to watch them interact with each other and I learn the character of the individuals. I have learned who is the dominant hen and rooster and it isn’t who I thought it would be.
My Chapter Advisors are getting daily updates on what the birds are doing since they are living vicariously through me on this unique project. They enjoy how I tell stories of “Chad” my Mutant Green walks around inside our house and harasses our cats, and will sit calmly on my lap while doing homework. In the beginning I was advised that this project would not have a financial gain and I would be at a loss. I did not look at this project as a financial gain, I was looking at it as an environmental niche that needed to be filled. My dad told me to have a project like this, it will be a challenge and you will need help. But you will find out, that you can’t place a monetary value on what you will enjoy. I see what he was saying now. After Highschool I will be going to college to further my education in wildlife management and Ag business. We are now in the beginning of egg production season and we are optimistic on what this year will bring. Thank you Hoovers Hatchery for helping me when my flock was having health issue and we didn’t know where to go.