The golden pheasant, or “Chinese pheasant” is one of the most popular pheasants kept in captivity, but difficult to see in natural habitats; the wild behavior of these birds in dense, conifer forests is little known. (George Washington raised them at Mt.Vernon) Like many animal species, the male is more brilliant in appearance: males are 90–105 cm in length, two thirds of which are the tail, with a silky golden crest and golden rump, bright red body, scarlet breast, and a light orange cape with blue-black borders. Females, or hens, resemble common pheasants, as their plumages are brown, with buff blackish brown breasts and sides. The average female is 65 cm.
Golden pheasants feed on the ground on leaves/vegetation, grains, berries, seeds, and invertebrates but roost in trees at night. Running is their preferred means of transportation, although they can fly clumsily in rather short bursts. During mating season males are known to have a metallic call. Males are often show offs, and will display their ruff even when no hens are around. Golden hens lay 8-12 eggs at a time and will then incubate these for around 22–23 days. As long as they are not mixed with other pheasants, Goldens are extremely compatible with other types of birds.