Choosing who to free range

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by MinxFox, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 16, 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    I have run into a problem...

    So just a quick recap...My first peafowl I free-ranged, they ran away, we were able to catch the hen (Ice) and bring her back home but the male was lost forever.

    Even though that happened a few years ago it has still left me a bit weary about free-ranging but I still am determined to free-range some peas especially after I visit a breeder that has lots of free-rangers looking pretty out in the yard.

    Alright so how do you choose!? Who stays in the pen and who gets to be trusted out in the yard? I know it is best to work with young birds or birds that have been at your place for a long time. Last year I "thought" that all the peachicks I would get I would then free-range. Well the chicks ended up in my plans for breeding since I still need to work on pairs and the three peachicks Ice hatched out that are all peahens will be very valuable for my breeding so I can't use those little hens although since Ice raised them I am sure they would have great instincts (Ice was from the zoo).

    Then there is my little baby: Peep. Since Peep was a little thing I have been taking him outside and waking around with him and letting him peck around in the backyard. My boyfriend calls Peep a very well mannered bird. Peep is very friendly and when I let him out of the pen he doesn't stray far from the pens unless I walk away and then he follows me. I am too attached to Peep though and would go mad if I free-ranged him and he ran away, was eaten by something, etc. I know he would love to free-range though because he loves to explore. Some of Ice's peachicks would make great mates for him though if I did pen him...

    Then I also have all of my whites. I could always let them out but I don't know if they are smart enough for free-ranging and they are white so they would stick out which is good for me but maybe not good when it comes to predators.

    My parents said I could just keep any peachicks that are hatched out this year and free-range some of them. I might do that...In fact will peacocks be okay if you free-range them without peahens? I might just free-range males but if they would like to have peahens with them then I could free-range both sexes but then I would have to worry about if the birds are related and stuff.[​IMG]

    I will work this out somehow I guess. It is hard to take the chance of them staying or not staying but I know I would just love to watch them roost in big trees and my grandma really wants me to free-range some more. She enjoyed seeing the peacock come up to the house and display in front of the garden. Hmm... Those were the days!

    Oh and one more thing...My idea of free-ranging peafowl was always a big peacock walking out in the open pecking at the grass and displaying out on the lawn. When I free-ranged my first pair they hid almost all day in the bushes. It was kinda lame. Does it just take them a while to feel more comfortable to the point that they walk out more in the open? Maybe they were afraid of something like sensed coyotes or something.
  2. new 2 pfowl

    new 2 pfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 13, 2012
    Makara, Wellington, NZ
    Hello Minxfox,
    Well, as you know (because you have given me excellent advice on many subjects!), there are a million things I don't know about peas. I certainly can't give you any useful advice about which of your guys to free range.

    But as far as your other question, it's my experience that free ranging peas go everywhere. The peas here spend their days wandering around, displaying their trains, and lying in the leaves in the sun, but they are also on the move a lot...sometimes I don't see them because they're busy scouting for bugs, etc.
    So I am guessing that you can expect to see your guys, but since they have a lot of their own peacock business to attend to, they're probably not just going to stand on the lawn!!!

    Also, as you already know (and I've found from painful experience), there can be unpleasant consequences to free ranging.
    You will probably have to accept the fact that once you let them out you can't really control what will happen to them...
  3. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 16, 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    Yeah I would get a bit worried with my first pair because I would look for them and look for them until I would finally find them in a bush at the far end of the yard. They are good at disappearing.

    I guess all I can do is just chance it. Now that I have a good amount of peafowl penned up it wouldn't be such a huge loss if I had free-rangers that ran away or something although I would hope that wouldn't happen. My first pair stayed for about a month then left around Christmas. We found and caught Ice in a person's backyard. She was living at a beautiful two story house and when we got there she was lying in their backyard sunning herself.[​IMG]

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