basics of care?

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by georgialee, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. georgialee

    georgialee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    I was hoping there would be a sticky over here for peafowl care...

    What can y'all tell me about basic care? I would be buying chicks and raising them. Can they be housed with chickens? Can they free range? Do they tend to stray if they free range?

    There is someone on craigslist with some chicks ... can I put them in with regular chicks and let them eat the chick crumble?

    Sorry for so many questions!
     
  2. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    2,219
    83
    226
    Jun 10, 2010
    Michigan
    Don't quote me on any of this... I just hatched my first little pair of peachicks and I'm basing care around the things I've read so far. So this is just what *I* have going, someone who's raised more peachicks can probably give you better information.

    They need a higher temp in the brooder than chickens do- one place said as high as 101 degrees. They also aren't supposed to have drafts, but they're in a room here with a fan and they don't seem to mind. They don't even like sitting under the heat lamp, but they stay there more now that I put a stuffed animal in for them to cuddle with.

    I was advised that they should be fed medicated starter and watered with electrolyte water. Since the two I have are being housed in a brooder with my microduck, they can't have pure medicated starter... so I put a little in their dry food and then offer them a wet mash 3 times a day. It's got medicated starter, ground oatmeal (non instant), mashed hard boiled egg, and plain yogurt (the sort that only has 3 ingredients). I softened it with pedialyte from Meijer (which is a super-center like Walmart... only not full of scary people). I warm up about half a teaspoon and give it to them off my fingers and they love it. I add liquid bird vitamins and pedialyte to their water tower (~6-8 drops of vitamins and 1/4 the mason jar is pedialyte). I got the vitamins from Petco. Their dry food is a mix of duck starter, pheasant starter, and a little bit of medicated chick starter.

    My brooder is a cardboard box I got from work that I modified with a leak-proof cleanable bottom and a screen cage top I can put the heat lamp on. It's about a foot and a half deep. They've got a quail water tower (I would give them a normal chick waterer, but the duckling they're with will try to sleep in it) boosted on an overturned bowl. They have a furry stuffed animal in one corner (which they use to sleep on/under/near and they lord over the brooder from the top of it). They've got 2 feeders- one is the bottom of the waterer they can't have and one is a bird-cage feeding bowl for parrots. Mostly they eat out of one and the duck eats out of the other and if there's any interchanging, someone's getting their face pecked.

    The first 0-8 weeks is supposed to be the most fragile. I don't really know what that means, aside from that I assume most deaths occur during that time.

    I don't think they would have a problem being in with chickens, you can probably put the chicks together. They can free range, but from what I understand they don't like to 'come home' at night, instead roosting in trees. I would keep them penned if they're important to you or if you want to breed them. We had an adult peacock (who disappeared one day, we think he heard the peahens at a nearby farm) and we fed him with the chickens- crumbles, cracked corn, and let him free range... and then we nailed little bowls to the highest roost and the fencing he liked to perch on and filled those with kitten food and pheasant crumble because they need higher protein.

    Mine personally don't seem to be having any problems except being clingy. They sound like they've swallowed a whistle, wheeeep wheeeeep wheeeeping constantly for me to come over to the brooder. The first one hatched in the middle of the night and I had work in the morning so after a while of listening to a broken little whistle in the incubator, I got up and brought it back to bed with me. It slept under my pillow for the rest of the night, and still loves to take a break from the brooder to come upstairs and snuggle or camp out in my lap under my quite hot laptop while I'm playing games.... I'm probably not supposed to do that, but they are so cuddly and quiet when I do.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  3. georgialee

    georgialee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanks for the info!

    I picked up 4 peachicks yesterday and they are SOOOO flightly!!! They were hatched by broody hens and obviously have had no human interaction. I have no idea how old they are... they lady was older and didn't have any help with the animals since her husband was sick - she couldn't remember when they hatched. If I had to guess I would say one is a week old and the others are 3 weeks. I have them ouside in a wire hutch with a box for shelter. The hutch sits low and is in the corner of a fence so it should be relatively draft-free. I have a heat lamp out there for at night.

    Do they become easier to move at night like chickens do? I'm concerned they won't go in the box so I'm going to have to move them.
     
  4. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    2,219
    83
    226
    Jun 10, 2010
    Michigan
    Well, I would guess they're easier to catch at night.... but I have never tried. Our adult that we had we only had for a little bit, and we'd gotten him from someone who didn't hand raise them so he wasn't very friendly. We only caught him once, and that was to move him from inside to the outdoor coop. He'd been in the barn for about a month, and he stuck around the farm, coming back to the barn at night and for feeding time, and then he took off after another month and hasn't been back. I decided hand hatched/raised was definitely the better way to go.

    I intend to make these chicks VERY friendly so having them come to me will never be a problem.... they currently come right to my hands and let me pick them up and they are working on figuring out how to leap out of the brooder to me when I open the top to bring them wet food (and a few more inches and they'll do it, too). Mine have the heat lamp on 24/7 (it's a red light) so there's not really a 'night' for them. They usually sleep for a few minutes at a time, or for about 30-60 minutes when I take them out, and the rest of the time they wander the brooder whistling for me to feed them warm, wet mash instead of the icky dry crumbles. Brats. I hope yours with their natural light cycle will fall asleep enough for you to capture and move.
     
  5. buttercuplover

    buttercuplover New Egg

    2
    0
    6
    Jun 30, 2010
    I am interested in getting a peacock, probably from peachicks, so that it will be friendlier, but I haven't found a good place to get them. Does anyone have any ideas?
     
  6. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    2,219
    83
    226
    Jun 10, 2010
    Michigan
    I would, if you can, hatch them yourself. There are plenty of places to get eggs online, and as with any bird, those birds will have a higher chance of imprinting and being friendly. Otherwise you can try buying chicks from someone on BYC in the auctions area, check your craigslist listings for your area and anywhere you are willing to drive, or google "peachicks for sale" and see what comes up. But as is the case with the OP here, you have no control over how the peachicks have been handled from hatching to your doorstep, and they may already be flighty or scared of people. I hatched mine, talked to the eggs every day through the incubator walls, and was there when they hatched and they are incredibly friendly.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by