Basic info on peafowl please.

harleychik66

Hatching
May 6, 2015
2
0
7
Janesville WI
Hello all. I'm hoping to get a little info/help here.

A little background. Hubby and I bought a house on 20 acres and are redoing the whole thing ourselves. I grew up a farm kid and hubby has always been a city boy. While I grew up a farm kid we never had any type of birds at all so my knowledge of anything feathered is extremely limited.

My ONLY knowledge of peafowl is the neighbors a couple miles down the road raised them and all I remember is their gawd awful screams. Well and the little info I have gleaned the past couple months in researching them.

Anyway, last fall...oh around August/September.... a peacock and peahen decided to "adopt" us. Yup one day out of the blue I heard the unmistakable sound of the peacock. Since we've had the property for 2 years now I KNOW they weren't there before. I have no idea where they came from as no one around has them.

The dynamic duo decided that they liked it there and were going to stay. They lived in our huge pole shed during the winter. I should mention I live in Wisconsin so cold and snow and such. While they would strut around they obviously were not what I would consider tame birds and would fly/run away if we got within 20' of them. They loved to roost 20' up in the rafters and didn't get at all flustered if we checked on them.

Spring comes and I assumed the male would get his tail feathers. He didn't so research leads me to believe this was a young pair. Although in getting close to them...or as close as they allowed...I could see they are pretty good sized. I would say the female was around 8-9lbs and the male around 10-11lbs.

This past weekend as hubby and I were walking the land we see the minimal remains of the peahen. I am assuming a coyote got her as I can think of nothing else with her size that would. I admit to being pretty bummed out about that.

Soooo, to be honest I am not a bird person BUT I don't want the male to be all sad and depressed. I know it probably sounds silly but even though they are fairly wild and I never wanted them I still feel some sense of responsibility towards them. And the thought of the male missing his mate bothers me. And if I'm totally honest, while I am not a fan of birds the thought that someday we would have little bitty chicks running around was kind of exciting.

So if you have gotten this far...YAY and thank you...and now on to my questions.

I have read that peafowl do best when in pairs or groups. So what will happen to the male? Will he stick around our place that he knows or will he take off and look for another female? As of today he is still out there strutting around. Will he be ok by himself or should I look to find him a mate. And if I do that how do I know she will stick around?

I did read that you should take around 2 weeks to keep them caged before letting them free range if you are going to raise them that way.

And if I cage her for a couple weeks is that going to drive the male crazy till she is released?

I'm sure most of you are rolling your eyes right now thinking amateur. Ya, I own that but if you could give me any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.

~Shawn
 

new 2 pfowl

Crowing
Jan 13, 2012
3,069
519
331
Dunedin, NZ
Hello! And a hearty



Your boy will be lonely out there by himself...
sad.png

But please await further advice from those with similar experiences!
 

thndrdancr

Songster
12 Years
Mar 30, 2007
2,211
90
246
Belleville, Kansas
Unfortunately, peahens usually nest on the ground, leaving them dangerously accessible to all predators! I am sure that's what happened to your peahen.
Any females u buy will be prone to having the same thing happen. Some people lock theirs up during the spring/summer breeding season and just take the eggs or incubate them themselves. In my experience they rarely sit on a nest if penned, it can happen but it depends on the hen.
I personally used to live in the country and like Zazouse I had my LGD patrol so my hens were ok while nesting. Most people don't have that luxury though and it takes a couple of years to train a dog.
Any way around it, if you get another peahen she will be at great risk while nesting. Sometimes the males do wander off searching too so it's a crap shoot. I love having them but it can be a worry.
 

DylansMom

RIP 1969-2017
6 Years
Jan 10, 2014
3,742
585
248
PA
Hello all. I'm hoping to get a little info/help here.

A little background. Hubby and I bought a house on 20 acres and are redoing the whole thing ourselves. I grew up a farm kid and hubby has always been a city boy. While I grew up a farm kid we never had any type of birds at all so my knowledge of anything feathered is extremely limited.

My ONLY knowledge of peafowl is the neighbors a couple miles down the road raised them and all I remember is their gawd awful screams. Well and the little info I have gleaned the past couple months in researching them.

Anyway, last fall...oh around August/September.... a peacock and peahen decided to "adopt" us. Yup one day out of the blue I heard the unmistakable sound of the peacock. Since we've had the property for 2 years now I KNOW they weren't there before. I have no idea where they came from as no one around has them.

The dynamic duo decided that they liked it there and were going to stay. They lived in our huge pole shed during the winter. I should mention I live in Wisconsin so cold and snow and such. While they would strut around they obviously were not what I would consider tame birds and would fly/run away if we got within 20' of them. They loved to roost 20' up in the rafters and didn't get at all flustered if we checked on them.

Spring comes and I assumed the male would get his tail feathers. He didn't so research leads me to believe this was a young pair. Although in getting close to them...or as close as they allowed...I could see they are pretty good sized. I would say the female was around 8-9lbs and the male around 10-11lbs.

This past weekend as hubby and I were walking the land we see the minimal remains of the peahen. I am assuming a coyote got her as I can think of nothing else with her size that would. I admit to being pretty bummed out about that.

Soooo, to be honest I am not a bird person BUT I don't want the male to be all sad and depressed. I know it probably sounds silly but even though they are fairly wild and I never wanted them I still feel some sense of responsibility towards them. And the thought of the male missing his mate bothers me. And if I'm totally honest, while I am not a fan of birds the thought that someday we would have little bitty chicks running around was kind of exciting.

So if you have gotten this far...YAY and thank you...and now on to my questions.

I have read that peafowl do best when in pairs or groups. So what will happen to the male? Will he stick around our place that he knows or will he take off and look for another female? As of today he is still out there strutting around. Will he be ok by himself or should I look to find him a mate. And if I do that how do I know she will stick around?

I did read that you should take around 2 weeks to keep them caged before letting them free range if you are going to raise them that way.

And if I cage her for a couple weeks is that going to drive the male crazy till she is released?

I'm sure most of you are rolling your eyes right now thinking amateur. Ya, I own that but if you could give me any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.

~Shawn

If I were in your shoes I would try to find a friendly Peahen or 2. They do exist, I have several here, usually these are "imprinted" birds that were hatched in an incubator and grew up thinking that people and Peafowl are the same species. It sounds like your male at least is a young bird, with no big train growing in he is likely a yearling which is good. His testosterone won't fully kick -in until he is about 3, that is when you would really worry about him leaving in search of a mate, but he may leave in search of company. If you can find yearling Peahens that would be good as they probably won't lay eggs this year, and they will have a whole year to get used to whatever routine you want to establish for them. I would recommend caging for more than 2 weeks, try 2-3 months, gives them time to forget their old home and think of your place as their new home. If you have a dog kennel type pen that works great as they can interact with the male even though there is chain-link between them, they still get to know each other, make sure it is predator proof if you do this. This will not drive the male crazy, they are a flock animal and he will be so happy to see that he has company. They will likely be too young to have babies this summer, so that will give you time to research how you want to handle future breeding seasons. If you have a game/trail cam. I would use it to get an idea of what is roaming your 20 acres after dark, and what you will have to protect against. While they seem like big birds, much of that is feathers and the predators know this, they can be killed by weasels, owls, and even hawks, as well as raccoons, and many other nocturnal visitors, because they are practically defenseless after dark. You can find all kinds of great info. on this forum from people who free range 100% to people who pen 100%, to those who manage to do a little of both. Welcome to BYC Shawn, hope we can be of help to you and your adopted boy! Oh, and be warned Peas are addictive, why else would I have 40 of them?
lau.gif


 

harleychik66

Hatching
May 6, 2015
2
0
7
Janesville WI
Thanks so much for the responses.
big_smile.png


Some concerns, more questions and a statement or two lol.

For now hubby and I don't/aren't living out there. We hope <<<<---knock wood and with the way things go who knows
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to be living out there by no later than October. So I would not feel right getting any hens and penning them when I couldn't be there to check on them. Ya, I'm out there daily but in my mind that wouldn't be enough nor fair to the new girls. Especially at night when if something was going to happen it probably would.

So based on what you say even if the hens are not laying fertilized eggs they will still get all nesty/broody in the spring correct? I would bet then that that is what happened to Brit. <<<----Yes I named them when they first showed up even if I didn't know if they'd stick around.
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So if I get a couple imprinted hens will Kevin always be a wild man? Honestly I don't care if he ever lets me get close to him. I'm fine with him doing whatever it is peacocks do but I would not want him with his wild mentality ways to drag the girls into a life of wildness and reckless abandon.
tongue.png
OR would there be a way to somewhat tame Kevin down. Not to where he follows us around but where he as least doesn't fly or run away when we get closer than 20' from him. If there is a way HOW would you go about doing that?

I should note though that Kevin doesn't show alot of fear. He did have to check out...which means hang out...in the bed of my truck one day when I was out there working. Brit was too skittish for that.

As far as critters. We do have a wildlife cam and the wildlife is pretty much what would be expected around here. We've got coons, fox and coyotes not to mention red tailed hawks. Of course we have the more benign critters as well...woodchucks, possums, skunks ect but I doubt she tangled with a possum or a woodchuck. We have no venomous snakes around here so that's a non issue.

I am surprised you mentioned a dog kennel. I got one free and had no idea what to use it for because we never outside kennel our crew. It's about 6x10 and 6' high. Would that even be big enough? I would think they'd need more room to flex their wings.

And is it normal for them to not be overly keen on flying? Kevin is more the flyer than Brit was. Brit would always just roadrunner away lol. Heck one time she ran down the stairs from the lofted area in the pole shed but never considered flying although I know she could because I saw her do it once or twice. But only for about 20' or so. Obviously she has to be able to or else she couldn't have roosted 20' up in our rafters.

GAH....so much to take in lol.

And I know this is a horrible picture but my nephew took it with his cell phone. This is the two of them this winter happily roosting 20' above us. You can click on the picture to enlarge it.

 
Last edited:

DylansMom

RIP 1969-2017
6 Years
Jan 10, 2014
3,742
585
248
PA
Thanks so much for the responses.
big_smile.png


Some concerns, more questions and a statement or two lol.

For now hubby and I don't/aren't living out there. We hope <<<<---knock wood and with the way things go who knows
roll.png
to be living out there by no later than October. So I would not feel right getting any hens and penning them when I couldn't be there to check on them. Ya, I'm out there daily but in my mind that wouldn't be enough nor fair to the new girls. Especially at night when if something was going to happen it probably would.

So based on what you say even if the hens are not laying fertilized eggs they will still get all nesty/broody in the spring correct? I would bet then that that is what happened to Brit. <<<----Yes I named them when they first showed up even if I didn't know if they'd stick around.
roll.png


So if I get a couple imprinted hens will Kevin always be a wild man? Honestly I don't care if he ever lets me get close to him. I'm fine with him doing whatever it is peacocks do but I would not want him with his wild mentality ways to drag the girls into a life of wildness and reckless abandon.
tongue.png
OR would there be a way to somewhat tame Kevin down. Not to where he follows us around but where he as least doesn't fly or run away when we get closer than 20' from him. If there is a way HOW would you go about doing that?

I should note though that Kevin doesn't show alot of fear. He did have to check out...which means hang out...in the bed of my truck one day when I was out there working. Brit was too skittish for that.

As far as critters. We do have a wildlife cam and the wildlife is pretty much what would be expected around here. We've got coons, fox and coyotes not to mention red tailed hawks. Of course we have the more benign critters as well...woodchucks, possums, skunks ect but I doubt she tangled with a possum or a woodchuck. We have no venomous snakes around here so that's a non issue.

I am surprised you mentioned a dog kennel. I got one free and had no idea what to use it for because we never outside kennel our crew. It's about 6x10 and 6' high. Would that even be big enough? I would think they'd need more room to flex their wings.

And is it normal for them to not be overly keen on flying? Kevin is more the flyer than Brit was. Brit would always just roadrunner away lol. Heck one time she ran down the stairs from the lofted area in the pole shed but never considered flying although I know she could because I saw her do it once or twice. But only for about 20' or so. Obviously she has to be able to or else she couldn't have roosted 20' up in our rafters.

GAH....so much to take in lol.

And I know this is a horrible picture but my nephew took it with his cell phone. This is the two of them this winter happily roosting 20' above us. You can click on the picture to enlarge it.


Yes, if you are not there at night it is probably not a good idea to cage any birds there. The pair that showed up at your place were not necessarily the same age. It is really hard to guess age on a hen after she hits one year old, a male you can judge by the train feathers until he is around 3, then it is a "Crap shoot" with them as well. That said the hen may have been 5, in her laying/brooding prime and really wanting some young ones the male as a yearling probably wasn't fertile, but they don't know that, and he will still go thru the motions so she may have thought she had viable eggs. If you get yearling hens they probably will not lay any eggs until they are 2 years old and therefore they will not get all nesty/broody until then.
The surest way to tame down a Peacock is thru his stomach, they love treats and if you find out what he really likes and start throwing some to him every time you go out he will get closer and closer. He will never be an imprinted, "yes, you may pet me" Peacock, but he will become accustomed to being near you and you not trying to kill him. Having imprinted hens will just speed up this process because they will be right beside you and will get all the yummy stuff first, he will have to get closer to get his share, plus I truly believe they learn from watching others. In this case he will learn he doesn't have anything to fear. As long as you supply treats the chances of him rubbing off on friendly ones is slim to none, IMO.
Sounds like you have the usual predators to worry about and at this point the safest place for Kevin is right where he is, ranging in the daytime, but roosting up high in your barn at night. Perhaps setting up the dog kennel in the barn would help, 6x10 is truly too small if you were planning on keeping them in it, but as a temporary pen, I've seen worse. It might help the girls get the idea that the Barn is the safe place to spend the night. Many folks on here will free range hens, but they will follow them and collect the eggs before the hen can start sitting, this keeps her from going nesty/broody and getting killed. This can be tough though, they hide the eggs and themselves very well, and we can't sniff them out like a Coyote can. My hens are not as fond of flying as my boys are either, I have some log perches in some pens and the boys love flying up on them, but I seldom see hens do it. They seem to reserve it more for life and death situations, not sure why that is.
 

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