Adult pheasants will eat just about anything! They will scratch with their feet and probe with their bills for insects and worms. Pheasants like grain, seeds, acorns, buds and berries. They also will eat oats, buckwheat, barley, apples, pears, peas (fresh from the shell or dried) and green sprouts. Pheasants eat gravel to help them in the digestion of their food.
A newly hatched chick will survive on insects for the few 3 weeks of its life. Insects are high in protein and good for growing bodies. They also need plenty of fresh water. After this time, they will start eating seeds.
In the winter, many fields are cut and plowed underneath. Flocks of pheasants may move to frozen cattail swamps and wooden thickets for cover, only coming out to feed. They will eat corn and other grains that farmers have left on the ground. They also feed on weed seeds, sumac berries, fallen apples and any other plant food they can find.