Brooding Dilemma...What Would You Do?

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by Willowbrook, May 28, 2010.

  1. Willowbrook

    Willowbrook Chillin' With My Peeps

    192
    1
    119
    Dec 7, 2008
    western PA
    I have 10 peafowl that are two years old. They were raised here from chicks and have never been penned, except for when they were young. They free range daily, sleep in the trees or barn at night and have, in my opinion, a wonderful life.

    I have a blue hen that has taken to laying a clutch of eggs on a higher platform in the barn. There is no straw or any nesting materials whatsoever, but she's sitting on a clutch of eggs of which I'm not certain of the count. I did see her breeding so there is a good chance that the eggs are fertile.

    So far she seems to be very good at brooding them and rarely leaves her "nest."

    The dilemma I have is that, one, I don't know whether they are fertile, and two, if they are and do hatch, the chicks would kill themselves once they were mobile as they would fall to their death below.

    I could incubate the eggs, but I have strong feelings about fowl in general not being able to hone their mothering instincts as eggs are taken away from them and they never have the opportunity to use what I consider natural behaviors.

    All of this to say that once the eggs hatch, if I brought the chicks down would the hen/mother take care of them on the ground level or should I then brood them in a brooder to ensure survival?

    Thanks for any advice in advance.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    21,157
    5,047
    556
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don't have peafowl so no experience with them. I have seen a mother hen get her chicks down from a 10 foot high barn loft. She tells them to jump and they do. Their wings keep them upright and do slow their descent a bit, but without feathers they really are not flying. They were landing on a realtively soft manure/hay floor. I'm not saying there are no risks. Obviously there are, but all these chicks walked away.

    I'm probably not helping much, actually probably making your decision harder. Good luck, whichever way you decide.
     
  3. Choctaw Valley Farm

    Choctaw Valley Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    927
    1
    129
    Jan 16, 2010
    Oklahoma
    I wouldn't worry to much about the chicks they will stay close to mom and by the the time they venture out the chicks can pretty much take care of them self, but mom will be right there to help, the eggs are probably fertile and also may not all be hers but if she is sitting on them they are now [​IMG] .

    GOOD LUCK ON YOUR HATCH.

    Steve
     
  4. Willowbrook

    Willowbrook Chillin' With My Peeps

    192
    1
    119
    Dec 7, 2008
    western PA
    Thank you both for your advice.

    If they do hatch, should I put food and water up there for them? It might keep them more content and they would stay longer before venturing out.
     
  5. Choctaw Valley Farm

    Choctaw Valley Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    927
    1
    129
    Jan 16, 2010
    Oklahoma
    You can if you like, but she will take them to food and water so if it is close they will not have to venture out to find it.

    Steve
     
  6. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    9,491
    38
    293
    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Peachick are hatched with some flight feathers. few pointers feed them a medicated starter, mother can and do raise peachicks, but if you want to raise 100 % of them. you may need to pen them. predators may take a few.

    Yes if you take them down she will still take care of them....
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by