BUFFALO, N.Y. — More than a thousand pheasants raised and cared for by New York jail inmates have flown the coop.

One hundred ringneck pheasants were released late last week into western New York’s Zoar Valley. They were the last of 1,200 pheasants raised by inmates at the Erie County Correctional Facility, where they arrived as day-old chicks this past spring.

The Jail Management Division’s Pheasant Brooding program began last year as a way to increase the population of the birds. The chicks are kept in coops then protected flight pens until they are released.