Advice on Free Range Peafowl

LittleRedShed

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
48
0
29
Hello everyone -
We recently purchased a one-year-old Peacock. He is currently being housed in our chicken run with our other chickens. We plan on free ranging them in about eight weeks once everyone is familiar with where they're supposed to sleep at night. Will it be likely for him to meander over to our neighbors property? We are on 5 acres and we have mature pine trees and a creek right behind the coop. I'm hoping he won't go to a neighbors house but I'm not sure how far and how brave he will be? I'm looking to get some insight into this issue.
 

DylansMom

RIP 1969-2017
6 Years
Jan 10, 2014
3,742
582
248
PA
Hello everyone -
We recently purchased a one-year-old Peacock. He is currently being housed in our chicken run with our other chickens. We plan on free ranging them in about eight weeks once everyone is familiar with where they're supposed to sleep at night. Will it be likely for him to meander over to our neighbors property? We are on 5 acres and we have mature pine trees and a creek right behind the coop. I'm hoping he won't go to a neighbors house but I'm not sure how far and how brave he will be? I'm looking to get some insight into this issue.
If he can see it, he will likely go check it out. If nothing bad or scary happens to him he will continue to visit and assume that the neighbors are part of his territory.
 

new 2 pfowl

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 13, 2012
3,067
511
321
Dunedin, NZ
Your boy will definitely go to the neighbor's house and beyond...if you dig around here on the pea forum, you'll find that our wonderful member and pealady Zazouse has 100 acres and she still needs to keep a close eye on her peas and make sure they don't go astray.

It may be that free ranging won't work for you. Are your neighbors friendly? Are you near any busy roads? Do you have a lot of predators?

Also, you say "once everyone is familiar with where they're supposed to sleep at night." Does this mean you think he will come back to the coop to sleep at night? Because it's likely he'll sleep wherever he feels like sleeping. Pine trees are a big favorite here, but if he likes your neighbor's trees better he might sleep there instead...
 

LittleRedShed

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
48
0
29
Our coop is surrounded by mature pines - 45 feet. But the neighbor has a tempting pond and maple tree. We are not a very busy road - but there are fast drivers unfortunately. We don't have predators thankfully.
 

MinxFox

Crowing
9 Years
Sep 16, 2010
4,117
323
326
Pensacola, FL
I have limited experience with free-ranging, but when I free-ranged my first birds it didn't end well because one day they decided to cross the busy road and run away. I got the hen back but not the peacock. They would roost in a large oak tree at the very edge of our property and sometimes when they flew down in the morning they would fly down onto the neighbors side. They are silly birds and don't realize they can fly over the fence, or maybe they didn't want to, so they would spend the day at the neighbors. The neighbor loved them but I always panicked when I couldn't find them in the yard.

On the other hand, I have seen a free-range situation where tons of peafowl are confined to about a 1 acre sized backyard that is fenced in. The reason why they stayed in the backyard the owner says is because if they leave the safety of the backyard the coyotes in the surrounding woods will get them. Everyone has different results with free-ranging, but overall peafowl are very curious and will wander off. One lady who I got a few peafowl from said sometimes hers will be gone for days over at a neighbors eating up the pecans that got chopped up after he mowed his lawn. I personally would worry too much if I had birds loose that made it a habit of visiting a neighbor a few houses down for a few days.

It can't hurt to just see what he does. If it doesn't work out you can just pen him. Some people can get their peas to go into a pen at night. I read once about someone having a peacock that would wait for all the chickens to enter the coop before he entered it for the night. It was like he was watching over them making sure all of them got in safely.
 

LittleRedShed

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
48
0
29
So far our Oscar seems to be protective of our chickens and guineas. I'm really hoping he sticks close to them! I really don't want to keep him penned. I just worry about our neighbors. I may hurt have to warn them.
 

MinxFox

Crowing
9 Years
Sep 16, 2010
4,117
323
326
Pensacola, FL
Hopefully he will be like the chickens and stay in your yard. Since you don't have another peafowl it isn't like he has an example of what a peafowl would do free-range as far as wander and he won't have a partner in crime for wandering so hopefully it will all work out and he will be like the chickens and guineas.

Your neighbors need to know what a peacock sounds like so they don't get scared. I never thought they sounded like a screaming lady, but some people get scared because they think it sounds like someone screaming for help.
 

zazouse

Crowing
10 Years
Sep 7, 2009
11,009
690
406
Southeast texas
You have been given very good info, Neighbors and peas do not mix, i told my daughter long ago when the Peas came to her house run them off, she loves flowers and so do our Peafowl, but that is not a big deal to her, like i told her, you may like them now but when they get on that new truck or SUV you will not be happy, so on the rare occasion the younguns make it across the driveway she puts the wiener dogs on them and runs them off.

When my peas see something in the distance they go after it and one thing i learned is they can see things in the distance very very well, i watched mine stalking something 150 yards away , when i got closer i saw a coopers hawk fly off.
Peas are very territorial, they try to run off critters and wild birds bigger than themselves many times.








This is what you will have to worry about most.
Peas on automobiles they like to get up on things.

We were having some construction, i warned the workers not to leave their autos in certain areas but they just parked where they wanted and this is what happened with 10 minutes, they did not care they parked their 3 more days.






Also you stated you have no predators.. Think again, we all have them around, may not see them but they are there.








 

LittleRedShed

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
48
0
29
Thank you! Great info! If we don't let them free range, what's the best size pen for his run?
 

MinxFox

Crowing
9 Years
Sep 16, 2010
4,117
323
326
Pensacola, FL
He needs enough room to display so it can't be too narrow. The pen should be at least six feet tall and at least 10ft wide. Many people go by 100 square feet per bird. When deciding on how big to make the pen, make sure you take into account if you will be adding more peafowl into the pen in the future. Peafowl can be very addicting as many members here will tell you, so you might want to plan for more additions. I mentioned the pen should be at least 6ft tall, but because peafowl love to roost up very high the higher you can build it, the better. It is nice to have high up roosts so that the peacock's train doesn't touch the ground and get dirty while he roosts.

You might be able to let him out eventually from the pen every now and then under supervision. I let my birds out sometimes to let them explore a bit in the yard and then I herd them back into the pen. When you herd them it works to do it slowly and watch all of their behavior. If he starts to crouch down he might be getting ready to take off flying so you need to back up. Normally I have just had issues with peahens wanting to fly off when I try and herd them. The peacocks are generally more calm, but that is just with my flock.
 
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