Damsel is on a Nest!


9 Years
Sep 16, 2010
Pensacola, FL
There was a scratched out place next to some cast iron plants in my pen and I knew it was a nest in the making. Sure enough a few days later there was an egg in the nest. I wasn't sure if it was from Ice, my blackshoulder peahen, or Damsel, my pied peahen. I kinda guessed that it was Damsel since last year she chose to nest under a plant. A few days ago I found another egg in the nest, leading to my conclusion that this would be an actual nest. Today instead of finding another egg I found Damsel on the eggs. Lucky for me I saw her raise up a little and I was able to see that she was on 3 eggs! She picked a good spot to nest yet again. That area of the pen gets a lot of good shade and she is right next to the cast iron so that helps add to the shade. Last year poor Damsel sat on one egg and when it was within a few days of hatching somehow the egg broke and we found the peachick dead in the pen. It wasn't ready yet to hatch so it died. It's eyes were not even open. That was pretty sad but because of her devotion last year I am sure she will stay put on that nest. So far the other peafowl seem to be ignoring her which is good. When I walked over there to look at her Ice's three peachicks from last year stood there too looking at Damsel. The white Peachick, Snow White, seemed especially curious but they didn't get too close to Damsel. I think she will be just fine.

It has taken 5 eggs to get to the point where someone nests though! 2 Eggs were laid in a corner of the pen and have been untouched and are not in a nest so I think they are not going to be messed with by the peahens. The first egg is still under a roost, maybe someone accidently laid it from the roost, then another egg I found was broken. All the inside was there so I don't think someone was eating the egg. Somehow it just broke. I found that near the bamboo. Then the final egg, which is really big, is on one side of the pen in some grass. That one hasn't been messed with also. I might collect them now but I am not sure if I want to take care of peachicks again or if I just want my peahens to do all the work. It is pretty nice sitting back and watching a peahen take care of them, but then again I do like holding a cute little peachick...Peep has turned out pretty well...Hmm I shall see...

Soooo since Damsel is an India blue pied and she mated with Alto, my India blue, does that mean I can expect the peachicks to all be India blue split to white? I know there is no way I will be getting pieds since Alto is just an India blue *sigh* I did want to hatch out a pied this year but I can wait.

I hope everyone else has some good luck hatching by incubator, peahen, or chicken!
Yesterday Damsel was not on the nest the whole time I was out there feeding the peafowl. I hope she was just off of it for food, water, and to cool off. It was very hot out and maybe it was hot enough that she knew she didn't have to be on the eggs for a little bit. I am trusting her to know what to do. I hope I find her on the nest today when I go to feed them.
Congrats on the eggs! I know you went through a lot last year and this just seems to take away that hurt for a few moments and that makes it a good thing.
I hope Damsel hatches them out for you, I am excited to see how well it goes for you.
Why didn't you add other eggs to her nest- peahens can sit on up to 5-6 eggs? if it's already 2 days, might be too late. within 24 hours it's fine.

her chicks will be half split white, half split pied.
Very exciting news, Minxfox!
I can't wait to hear about Damsel's progress, and her chicks!

About the other eggs you found: I'm not sure if this is true, but from what I understand, peahens sometimes make "decoy" nests.
They lay eggs somewhere other than their real nest to detract predators from the eggs they will be really hatching.
new 2 pfowl: Yeah I was thinking that maybe they were decoy nests.

Kev: I thought about it but I didn't want to mess up her good eggs. The other eggs have been in the pen for a while and I wasn't sure if it would be bad to add them with her fresh eggs.

Well one of her eggs busted...It wasn't sure if that egg would make it...It had parts of the outer layer of it's shell missing but I left it alone. I probably should have taken that one out of her nest when I first noticed it. She wasn't on the nest but luckily the other eggs didn't seem to be covered in egg so I just ended up taking all six eggs I had in the pen and I now am working on regulating the incubator temp for the eggs.

So if some of the chicks would be split to white and some split to pied how will I know the difference? I guess I just won't unless I breed them? I guess some will have a bunch more white and those will be the split to pieds? I kinda was planing on free-ranging something anyways so I could just take her peachicks and do that.
Ah too bad that egg broke- if you still would like her to hatch something, leave 4 eggs in the nest and eventually switch them in a week with a full clutch of 4-6 "desirable" eggs if she continues sitting. They won't mind as long as they are not constantly bothered or the nest site is messed with too much like adding straw or something that wasn't there before.

If the holes were due to pecking/chipping, they sometimes can be saved by covering the holes with clear nail polish. I've had to do that & the chicks hatched fine on their own.

The general comments I've got on split white vs pied have been: split whites tend to show white feathers on flights & split pieds tend to show none or just a few little white feathers- not the flights(primaries).
So split to whites show more white then a split to pied? Hmm now I wonder if one of Ice's peachicks from last year is actually split to white...

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