We have a 3 year old I.B. peacock who free ranges with his mate on our farm. Recently he has become aggressive to the other poultry. It has came to a head this past week as he KILLED one of my 2 saddleback pom. ganders. I also found a bantie hen dead at the barn yesterday who also looks as if she was flogged to death..... so my question is: has anyone else experienced this problem? And any ideas on how to correct his behavior? He has been on the farm for 2 years & we have never had a problem before. The poultry he is attacking are all free range & he has 24 acres to ramble over..... so it is not an overcrowding issue..... And as unbeleivable as it seems - I know it is him - we have caught him fighting the geese repeatedly.....
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
Looks like you have 3 choices.(1) Pen him up and use him as a breeder only and never let him free range (2) Sale him to someone that don't have anything else free ranging (3) This is what we do when they get aggressive towards people and they attack you when you try to feed and water them, but its the hardest one and last resort, sale him to a taxidermist .
My other question would be: Since he is 3 years old, this sounds like the age that he would be reaching maturity? Could this just be his hormones talking, and could he settle down after breeding season?
Edited to add that I am new to peafowl and can not offer advice on the situation. I am only asking questions because I want to learn, too.
Edited by Frosty - 1/23/10 at 9:30am
An India blue will start breeding at the age of 2, so if they are free ranging them the other poultry can get away from him but the way it sounds he his going after them not to mate, you could get some peahens and see what that does, but he has the taste for it now and you may not get it out of him. Now I know this will sound dumb to most because we have raised it from a chick and its our pet, but peafowl are wild birds they will turn on us just like a good dog you will never tame them in side everyone of use there is a wild side that will come out when you least expect it, kinda like this is my turf and you can't have it. I hope you see where I am coming from out of the 7 plus yrs of raising peafowl we have only sold 2 to the taxidermist, one attacked my wife when she was feeding, the other attacked anything that moved. I know this sounds like a bunch of B.S. and maybe someone can explain better than I can.
The male that attacked my wife his dad was easy going would take food from your hand follow you like a lost puppy, and out of 12 males hatched from that season only one (1) was mean and none before or after. I guess the wild side just came out in him (he was nice until he turned 4 yrs) so I would say there's a chance but who knows for sure.
I understand perfectly where you are coming from... and 'pet' or not, I will not tolerate a bird around here that attacks people. It takes the joy out of working around them, and I feel that there are to many nice ones to tolerate a mean bird. This guy sounds like he is attacking other birds, so I was wondering if it is homone driven while he defends his turf. But then again, there is a lot of behavior in critters that may start as homonal, but end as learned behavior. Your nice bird had one that was mean... I am wondering what the temperament would have been of any offspring from the mean bird? Is temperament at all heriditary in peafowl? I know that with other poultry, temperament seems to have a lot to do with if the breeder is breeding for quality or quantity.
I would pen him and give him a girlfriend or 3 or 4 to focus his attentions on. After breeding season he will calm down and be the pet you remember.
I have a lot of peacocks and I have only had 1 pied male that gets nasty at breeding season. But hes my favorite peacock because he appears so much smarter than the rest of them. He just has a way about him that tells me he is always thinking. Ya know, with extra brain activity they need an outlet for it (just like my dogs do). They require more management. But in the end, they are much more fun to have around.
My pied male that got nasty last year (at age 3) He decided to stalk me, and after a few close calls of him jumping at me I needed to pen him. This year already I see him watching me, but not following me so close yet. Soon I will need to pen him. last year when I entered his pen to collect eggs from his hens, I needed to take a net in the pen with me for protection lol. He would then keep his distance and not charge me. After breeding season I let him free range again and he was fine He has always been quite tame and even though he was getting nasty with me during breeding season he would still take food from my hand. And is usually one of the first to come running for treats when he sees me.
Good luck. Sorry you lost some birds from your guy.... but perhaps they were not well and he knew it before you did...... animals always pick on the weakest.
Edited by peachick - 1/23/10 at 3:24pm
Thanks for your replies.... about the same thoughts we had.... I just hate to pen him up.... To answer a few of your questions... yes last year he did act up a little but not as bad. He also flogged my wife once last year - but she was moving the half grown goslings in a tractor to a new grassy area - he seems to be very protective of all of the young poultry both from humans & other animals.
Over the weekend (Friday) he also flogged the wife again... he never does act aggressive to me or to my 11 yo daughter. Wife says she was just feeding... I THINK IT IS all due to breeding season. He has been very vocal the last few weeks with his mate. I caught him fighting the remaining gander Friday evening but nothing else occured. We were delugged with rain Sat evening & Sunday but it is sunny today so we will see what happens.
I would hate to lock him up - he is sooo happy free ranging... and I would hate to get rid of him because he normally has a great personality - he is my farm work bud - follows us around no matter what we are doing & will perch up above us & watch the procedings! I think I am going to begin to free range the Blue Slate Turkeys & see how he reacts to them (we raised several this year & the coyotes seem to have went away). If he fights with them - then I will pen him awhile & see if that helps. I have also been thinking he thinks the geese are part of his harem - mainly because he was very protective of them as they grew up (hand reared & placed out in tractor at about 12 weeks of age). He would fly over & into the tractor & stay with them. Once we free ranged them he always hung out near them as they grazed - more than he stayed with his mate. The geese are not quite a year old now (feb will be 1 year) & the ganders have just began being "ganders" so perhaps that is the issue. As for the bantie hen - still not sure he did it & so far no other casualties other than flogging the wife..... so...... i guess we will watch & wait....
- Rest in Peace 1949-2012
Out of over 100 peafowl, the only one that i have is one hand raised pet peacock that will attack people. He will follow me and grandkids around eating from anyones hand. Now when breeding season begins he will attack any person, has attack me more than ones, just cant trust him during breeding season.
Bad thing about any male animal that is imprinted on people, males fight during breeding season. You are just part of the flock or herd to them. So they will attack you.
Just wanted to give everyone a FYI on this situation..... He has decided to be nice again! He is still calling but the aggressiveness & trying to breed everything has calmed down.... I am not sure if it because we are cold/wet/windy again after those nice days or if he simply decided to stick with his mate. He no longer is fighting the other poultry nor "stalking" my wife. Back to normal - thank goodness as I really did not want to lock him up - his tail is about 6 feet long and beautiful right now & I hated to think about it being torn up while penned!