Apr 28, 2020
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Does anyone free range their peas? Do you build a structure for them? If so, would you share a picture?
(I really want to thank everyone at backyard chickens! What an amazing and helpful group! I wasn't anticipating being a pea mom and couldn't have done it without all of the wonderful info and advice)
A bit of back story and any insight and advice is very much appreciated: A peacock decided to move in a few years ago. We found him a peahen friend and moved them to a temporary pen so they could acclimate. The idea had been for them to free range but we wanted to make sure they would be safe. After they adjusted a bit we started letting them out everyday. The peahen always returned to the temporary cage about an hour before sunset and the peacock would join her. A few times when we went to shut the door to the cage just before sunset instead of about an hour before, the peacock would have already flown up into a neighboring tall tree, but the peahen would still be in the cage. He seems happiest in the trees and she happiest in a cage. I feel torn because I think ideally they would be safest penned at night, but I think he is happiest when completely free range. There are now 5 peas total and I am trying to find the best solution for them as far as housing. At the moment, there is some construction going on in the area they were living, so they are in a large temporary pen and run by the house. I am trying to figure out a permanent structure for them whether it is just an open shelter or pen to closeup at night. I think whatever it is, it will at least needs to be temporarily enclosed so they can acclimate again. I was thinking a pergola like structure with a raised and enclosed section might work? Something cover and to block some wind. Or should I be happy they were coming back to the pen every evening and just make a more permanent pen structure? We have also given them a heat lamp in colder times of the year and made sure the perches were wide so that their toes could be protected by their plumage. I have been researching and looking for advice, but would love any ideas.
I know Zaz free ranges, but is that all day and night? I know this may seem like a silly question, but where do you put out there food and water. Thank you all!!!
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
6,399
12,350
596
USA
What climate are you in?
How cold does it get?
It makes a big difference in how much weather-protection the birds need. A cozy enclosed building may be great in the far north, but gets dangerously hot in the tropics.

Location of food and water: somewhere the birds can get to them, where the feed does not get rain in it, preferrably where rats and mice cannot easily get it.

(I don't actually know about peafowl, but I've had enough experience with chickens to know some general things about bird needs and bird housing.)
 
Apr 28, 2020
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Thank you NatJ,
We are in the pacific northwest. The pen we had built before was mostly roofed and had a space that was roofed and closed on 3 sides. This is where they would all sleep. They really do not like windy days.
It doesn't usually get into freezing temps, but winters are seeming to get less and less predictable. I was thinking of making a pergola like structure with a raised and walled (3 or 4 sided... still weighing options) taller area. The idea would be that they could free range and then have a mostly open but tall and safe place to go at night. Kind of like a peafowl treehouse. I haven't been able to find pictures of people trying this and want to make sure to make something that will be the best for them.
Thank you for all and any ideas/ feedback
 

KsKingBee

Crowing
7 Years
Sep 29, 2013
6,721
4,028
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The Scenic Flint Hills of Kansas
You never know where a free ranging pea will decide to spend their nights so my advice to you is to build something you will enjoy looking at and make it your feeding station. If they are used to getting feed and treats in it you will have a chance they return to it.
 

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