Failed Peafowl Hatch has a happy ending

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by cparian, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. cparian

    cparian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My peahen laid four eggs in my coop that she shares with the chickens and I decided to let her set on them when she went broody since she was in a good spot and I could safely shut her in at night. After the 28 days none of the eggs were hatching. I let her set on the eggs another week just to be sure and then I thought(hoped) she would realize the eggs were no good and get off the nest herself like my hens sometimes have. She still had not gotten off the nest after another 2 weeks and broken heartedly I took away her eggs. She did then get up that day and take a dust bath and start to forage. I just felt so bad for her. It turns out the eggs never even developed.

    During this time that she was broody, I got a shipment of 30 chicks that I was going to split up between broody hens for them to raise. Usually every June I have a coop full of broodies, but this year as luck would have it when you order 30 chicks I only had one broody hen. So when I got the chicks I put all 30 with the one broody hen in an enclosed area of my coop. I did loose 4 of the chicks due to spending an extra day in shipping transit. But that hen accepted all the chicks and was doing a great job of taking care of all of them with the assistance of supplemental heat from a heat lamp in case any of them couldn't get under her for warmth. I usually only keep my hen and new chicks locked away from my flock for a week to get strong enough to free range, but since there were so many for her to take care of I kept them in three weeks before I let them out.

    Anyway by the early evening of the day I took the peahens eggs away I noticed her following around the hen and her 26 babies. The chicks had already been with and bonded with their mother for 5 weeks at this time and were a bit scared of this strange looking bird following them around the barnyard. That night when I went to shut the coop I was almost brought to tears when I saw her on the floor of the coop in the same area the mother hen beds down with all the chicks at night. She had such a happy look on her face with chicks under her and also laying on top of her back. She has been with the mother hen and 26 chicks now for 3 weeks and they have fully accepted her as their 2nd mommy. She softly clucks to them and helps them find food. She also attacks the cats and dogs when she feels they get too close to them.

    But the best thing of all was yesterday morning I was getting in my car and all of a sudden two large birds flew right over my head. I turned to look at them as they jetted by. It was a very large hawk with the Peahen on his tail, trying to catch him. He flew up into a tree in my neighbors yard and she followed it right up there and attacked it knocking it out of the tree. Once she had him beating a hasty retreat to areas far, far away I'm sure, she flew back home and to her adopted babies.

    I am so glad this turned out so well for her as it killed me to take away her eggs when she had been so determined to have babies. I am also glad she did adopt them as her own as I am sure the mother hen would not have been able to defend the babies in herself.

    Just thought I would share my little happy ending.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Good story.
     
  3. new 2 pfowl

    new 2 pfowl Overrun With Chickens

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    Very sweet! :clap
     
  4. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Beautiful story.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. 3BirdGirlz

    3BirdGirlz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome!!! :)
     
  6. mbbrinegar

    mbbrinegar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Precious story! [​IMG]
     
  7. SunBaked

    SunBaked Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ahhh, what a sweetheart your peahen sounds like. I hope she hatches some peachicks of her own next year. That is awesome your hen is tolerant of her helping w/ the chicks. I'd love to see pictures of the happy family if you have some :D I bet they are adorable.
     
  8. cparian

    cparian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Here are some pictures of the happy family
     
  9. cparian

    cparian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The sad part is I don't think she will ever be able to hatch out her own chicks. I got this pair of purples from Deerman 4 years ago in the fall. They were a year old when I got them. The spring after I got them I tried to hatch her eggs in my incubator with no success. They never developed. (Whenever I hatch chicken eggs in same incubator I have a very high hatch rate, like 28 out of 30 sometimes)Last year I put her eggs under a broody hen and once again, never developed. And now this year with her doing it herself no development. I have seen the Peacock mating with her and think maybe one of them is infertile. I am thinking of buying her some fertile eggs if she goes broody next year to give her a chance to be a mom. Then maybe I will get another unrelated peahen from the hatch and see if the peacock is infertile or not.
     
  10. new 2 pfowl

    new 2 pfowl Overrun With Chickens

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    This is an even sweeter story since she is a Deerman girl.
    Good idea to get her some fertile eggs so she can be a "real" mom!
     

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