Free range peafowl HELP!

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by sinkships82, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. sinkships82

    sinkships82 New Egg

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    Nov 30, 2015
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Hi everyone! I'm the proud new keeper of a peacock and peahen. But I could really use some sound advice.
    They're just under 2 years old and came from a farm where they were free range. The gal who them to me suggested I keep them cooped up for about a month together with a few of her chickens. (There are 3 older hens and a young rooster.)
    I only have a small coop, not a big barn. I feel like they hate being with the chickens. They were here about 2 weeks, then ran off last Wednesday when I left the door open too long. Great news is, they've been found!! They've taken to someone's yard not far away. I'm so glad they're safe.
    HOW DO I GET THEM BACK HERE? I'd love to hear any suggestions and personal experiences. Animal control did not have any helpful suggestions, other than I can call them for transport.
    I've also now moved the chickens to a separate coop, so the peas will have their coop to themselves when they return.
    HOW LONG SHOULD I KEEP THEM COOPED UP BEFORE LETTING THEM OUT AGAIN? Weeks, months? I'm in NJ and we're going into winter.
    Any advice on transitioning them to being free range again? I'd love to keep them happy enough to not run away again.
    Thank you!!!
     
  2. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    I would"t turn her loose till after next breeding season is over, right now may be to early it just depends on the bird but you DO NOT want to let her alosse during laying season as she may seek a nesting area away where you can not find her and you got 4 to 7 tries to find it before she goes to sitting and take it from me they can hide very well in plain site and unless you know what to look for you may never find her... chickens are not going to make her stay another peafowl might but no grantee ..
    ..How much property do you have for her,
    do you have visible neighbors from your place?
    How far are you from a road where autos drive up and down
    All of these factor in when it comes to free ranging

    I would not keep her with chicken's they can cause illnesses and if you do not know what to look for you could loose her to any number of things
    Is she tame? will she eat from your hands?
    Have you wormed her?
    what do you feed her?

    I know these are alot of questions but they are important take it from me i been free ranging for years and they have taught me many things about free ranging

    You can scroll thru my photos below and it will show you many free ranging photos and give you an idea how my place is setup
     
  3. sinkships82

    sinkships82 New Egg

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    Nov 30, 2015
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Thanks for your response, and your peas are amazing!
    To answer your questions.. There are 2 of them, brother and sister. They are just under 2 years old.
    We live on 8 acres and about half is grassy yard. On one side is a visible neighbor beyond some trees, on the other side is a neighbor's large farmland. Behind us is a stream and woods. And up the hill in front is a 50MPH road. Surprisingly to me, that's the way they went. They crossed the road and have been hanging out at someone's house, walking around her front and back porches and eating cereal she throws to them.
    They are not tame. It took the previous owner several attempts to trick them into being captured to bring to me. She lured them with their favorite snack of peanut hearts.
    I have not wormed them, and I should ask if the previous owner ever did.
    They came from a large farm with expansive open mowed fields... Horses, chickens, goats, cats, dogs all live there. Here we have just the 2 peas, the 4 chickens, 3 cats and a dog.
    I can't remember offhand the kind of feed I bought.. I think it was high protein flock raiser? And I bought a 50lb bag of peanut hearts for them to snack on, as well as seed mix and meal worms.
    They were very skeptical of me, and would hardly even eat their treats in front of me. They definitely didn't want me touching them.
    I'm hoping first and foremost that I can even figure out how to get them here. Then I'll have to keep them in the coop through winter, which I feel so bad about! I wish I could just let them loose and they'd want to stick around for available food!
    Then maybe I should build a fenced in area?
    What do you think?
    Thanks so much! Your experience is much appreciated!
     
  4. Frenchman Creek

    Frenchman Creek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello. I have found that walking them home with some helpers works. In the past I have walked mine home as far as two miles away. If this is not practical, you should try to coax them into the neighbors garage and if they go inside, close them in and safely catch them with a large salmon net or a large bird net. You might be able to borrow or rent this from a sporting goods store or bait supply. The third way is to set up a snare using home depot twine to coax them in to this snare. This does work but you must make sure to catch both feet to avoid a twisted knee if you only catch one foot..

    Now that you have a home for them you need to build a pen that is covered with netting so that you can keep them inside the coop and pen for a month, preferably two before you let them out to free range but with winter coming on it might be best to pen them all winter.

    If after all this you feel you still want to free range then that would be up to you, however after using all the above methods to catch my free ranged birds, I have found that the only thing for me to be able to keep them home is to always pen the pea hens and only free range the peacocks. Using this method bringing home peafowl is a thing of the past. I also pen the males with the pea hens during the winter to prevent toe damage. Good luck.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. sinkships82

    sinkships82 New Egg

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    Nov 30, 2015
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    This is exactly the advice I was looking for! Thanks a million! I will certainly update with what happens.
     
  6. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Peafowl can be trained to stay in an area but it takes alot of time spent with them, i teach a new bact i decide to keep every year, it takes about a year for me to get threw to their peabrain when working with young ones till they are around 18 months of age, until the age of around 6 months they stay close to the area they were raised , i am retired and have this kind of time, if you work or are away from home alot i could not tell you how long it would take you, but by the age of 18 months mine stay put on about the 25 acres i want them to stay in i have more land than this but have trained them to stay well within the boundaries so even if they see something that they think needs their attention they are still on my place.. I have no close neighbors and my place is surrounded by my own woods with patches of woods threw out it , i have dogs that will stay with them when they get out of the safe areas where i can not see them, also over time they have learned that if they see something and start honking either i or the dogs will come to see what has their attention it takes time to build this bond but It works very well here, i have owned peafowl for almost 7 years now and have never lost a one to roaming nor predators as they are shepherded by me and my guardians and we make round several times a day weather permitting ,............ i do not leave my place till around lunch time when all birds on my place come up for a siesta unless i absolutely have to , i have had to leave all my animals for days at a time when my husband was in the hospital multiple times out of town , i totally rely on my guardians to keep an eye on things and they do their job very well ;) I have distance neighbors that can not even keep a free ranged birds of any kind for 6 months without something taking them.
    i do see predators and catch images of predators on my trail cams but they do not even try to take a bird because my scent as well as the dogs is all over this place and it is fresh so they keep their distance or pay the consequences .
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    We had geese drop in for a visit they got run off real fast
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    Pups in training
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    Watching the sky
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    Pup learning to make rounds with the big guy
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    Chillen on a hot summers day
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    new babies
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    The watcher
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    Protecting the peas from the tree trimmers
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    Digging deep for a fox that tried to come in
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    She smells something
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    Keeping a close eye on them at all times
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    Making rounds with the peas
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    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  7. SilverPenny

    SilverPenny Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2015
    Olathe, KS
    @zazouse - gorgeous pictures! I'm jealous of all the land you have and all your animals!
     
  8. barkerg

    barkerg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Salado, Texas
    Now thats impressive Zazouse. I would love to visit your farm. Your animals are all healthy and happy. You obviously know what you are doing because your land is just neat and I like it. Oh and the dogs, wow all I can say is, wow. Great job and thank you so much for sharing your family with us. Keep em coming, Bravo! Gerald Barker
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  9. SilverPenny

    SilverPenny Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2015
    Olathe, KS
    Yes, let's do a BYC Peafowl field trip! [​IMG]
     
  10. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

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    Don't turn them loose until they are fairly tame around you (eating out of your hand, don't freak out and hit the netting when you walk past them). Make sure you keep some food out for them when you free-range them to keep them around.

    I had a bad experience with free-ranging my first pair of peafowl. They ran away and I was only able to catch the peahen and get her back home. The male was much too quick and we never spotted him we just got info about people spotting him but by the time we showed up he was gone. From that experience, I decided that I would never have all of my birds free-ranging. I don't free-range any because I don't think I am in a good situation to free-range, but in the future if I am able to free-range again I will always have a fair amount penned so that if some free-rangers run away it won't be a huge loss.

    Some people have no issues with predators when it comes to their free-range flock, others have had large owls kill their entire free-range flock of peafowl.
     

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