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Eggs should hatch soon questions about free ranging

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by ronzxcvb, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. ronzxcvb

    ronzxcvb Chirping

    May 6, 2017
    Chester South Carolina
    We got a 5 year old peacock about 4 months ago he was free ranged at his previous home.
    Then about 3 months ago got a 2 year old peahen so we could let him free range.
    She was hatched in an incubator and lived in a coop.
    And is sitting on 4 eggs now that should be hatching soon
    Funny thing is he has always seemed totally content to live in his coop
    But she seems to want to be allowed out she was always watching the guineas and chickens that free range and trying to interact with them
    We have 9 acres in South Carolina 2 pastures about 6 acres with 4' horse fencing
    has a lake on 2 sides and good neighbors on the other 2
    They are my wife's birds and she is afraid they may take off if let out
    but agrees that it would be better to let them free range with the other birds
    We are planing on having them sleep in there coop at night
    1. Should we let them all out once the chicks are about a week old and able to get on the 7 foot perch?
    2. keep them all in there a little longer until the chicks are even older?
    3. Just let the chicks out when they are old enough?
    4. Let them all out once chicks hatch
    5. keep them confined

  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Crowing

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    I am with the wife------I know personally I have had some to show up on my farm and there has been several post lately where some just showed up. If "I" was raising them I would build them a large pen and they would live in it----no free ranging here for them. That's Your/her call. Good Luck!
    MrPepers likes this.
  3. So much depends on your total situation. Do you have any livestock guardian dogs to keep predators at bay? We love freeranging some of our peacocks but we keep the hens and chicks contained during the breeding season. We consider the quality of life that the birds can enjoy versus the risk of being killed as worth that risk. Our birds are protected by a couple of Great Pyrs although the risk of owl attacks is still present. We have many pens of very expensive birds that I will not let out so our pens are quite large for that purpose. The best way to introduce free ranging is to let only a bird or two out at a time and get into the habit of herding them back into the pens at night. Eventually, you will become more comfortable with them being free and will start letting them live free. Just be ready for the risks of that freedom.
  4. ronzxcvb

    ronzxcvb Chirping

    May 6, 2017
    Chester South Carolina
    The predator threat would be more for the younger birds
    We have a few owls that live around our property and have seen hawks occasionally
    and am constantly on the lookout for snakes
    I am home during the day and check on everybody a few times at night
    so far the largest predator I have seen is an opossum
    We have a 7 year old Pembroke corgi and I got a mixed breed puppy that was supposed to be the chicken guard but looks like she will only be around 40 lbs when full grown so we have another house dog
    next year will probably get a great Pyrenees or a Caucasian mountain dog
    We do have a pony I have heard both that they are like donkeys and will chase off coyotes and that they wont do anything to protect the property
    But honestly we are prepared to lose them to predators (adult birds)
    the chickens and guineas do fine
    but are afraid they may just fly off
  5. The only time they will 'fly off' is when they get spooked. If they lose their way the calling by the birds still in the pen will help them relocate home. Start by only letting one bird out at a time and pick a different bird every day for a while.
  6. ronzxcvb

    ronzxcvb Chirping

    May 6, 2017
    Chester South Carolina
    Thanks for the help
    One of the items on the future project list is making a 14'x32' covered run for the peafowl in the front yard. Too keep them confined at night and during the breeding season.
    So going to keep them in there coop until they move into there witch wont be anytime soon
    I also want to get some white ones in the future and build up to a combined flock of 6-10 birds
  7. When planning your runs go big as you can afford. I try for about 150 sf per bird so I will have vegetation growing for them. Grass and weeds will help use up some of the nitrogen and put a cushion between the poo and the birds feet helping to keep them healthier.

  8. Midnightman14

    Midnightman14 Songster

    May 23, 2016
    I'd keep them confined. Chicks are easy prey for predators and the mothers are often in the same boat when they have little ones. I used to free range mine but it was more trouble than it was worth. Now that I have some of the rarer mutations I keep everyone confined.
  9. ronzxcvb

    ronzxcvb Chirping

    May 6, 2017
    Chester South Carolina
    We were planning on fencing in an area in front of the roofed section and putting a shade sail over part and netting on the rest so if we squared it off would be close to 150 per bird

    They started hatching this morning :D
    So far have only seen one but sounds like more are under her
    (She is sitting on 4 eggs)
    and they will stay confined to there coop
    KsKingBee and Junochick like this.

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