Help! First time Pea owner.

How long have you raised peafowl?

  • Less than 1 year

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1 to 5 years

    Votes: 4 57.1%
  • 5 to 10 years

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • More than 10 years

    Votes: 3 42.9%

  • Total voters
    7

PavoFowl

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
80
7
48
South Texas
Hello!

I am soon to be a first time peachick owner! I am incredibly excited. I have raised guinea fowl, geese, and ducks, though I'm now venturing into the gorgeous peafowl!

I live in South TX. I ordered my six peachicks, (as well as a group of 50 guinea chicks to add some diversity to my flock), from Stromberg Farm. They should all arrive at the end of May/ early June. Having raised an array of birds and incubated their eggs, I have experience with care, brooders, pens, etc. Though the peafowl seem to have some different requirements, which is understandable and I'd love to learn more.

I have a few direct questions, though ANY advice is greatly welcomed and appreciated!

1. How long should the peachicks stay in brooders, specifically, out of any dirt?

I have researched this, and many sites recommend at least 3 months out of any dirt because of parasites that the birds do not have resistance to until that age. But, they don't say WHAT these parasites are? Is there a way to treat the dirt for them? 3 months in a brooder/ out of the dirt seems a bit drastic, especially considering their growth rates. If this is an absolute necessity, is there a way to slowly introduce them to the dirt to increase immunity?


2. Any advice on wormers, electrolytes, or other meds/additives when days old or longer?


3. I plan to use a 24% medicated chick starter for the first two weeks or so. Some say add grit, some say no grit is necessary.
Can grit harm them at this age? I'd rather give grit and have them not need it, than to not give grit and regret it later.


I can't think of any other specific questions at the moment, but I will add them on the thread if I do.

Thank you all in advance!

Seana
 

DylansMom

RIP 1969-2017
6 Years
Jan 10, 2014
3,742
582
248
PA
Hello!

I am soon to be a first time peachick owner! I am incredibly excited. I have raised guinea fowl, geese, and ducks, though I'm now venturing into the gorgeous peafowl!

I live in South TX. I ordered my six peachicks, (as well as a group of 50 guinea chicks to add some diversity to my flock), from Stromberg Farm. They should all arrive at the end of May/ early June. Having raised an array of birds and incubated their eggs, I have experience with care, brooders, pens, etc. Though the peafowl seem to have some different requirements, which is understandable and I'd love to learn more.

I have a few direct questions, though ANY advice is greatly welcomed and appreciated!

1. How long should the peachicks stay in brooders, specifically, out of any dirt?

I have researched this, and many sites recommend at least 3 months out of any dirt because of parasites that the birds do not have resistance to until that age. But, they don't say WHAT these parasites are? Is there a way to treat the dirt for them? 3 months in a brooder/ out of the dirt seems a bit drastic, especially considering their growth rates. If this is an absolute necessity, is there a way to slowly introduce them to the dirt to increase immunity?


2. Any advice on wormers, electrolytes, or other meds/additives when days old or longer?


3. I plan to use a 24% medicated chick starter for the first two weeks or so. Some say add grit, some say no grit is necessary.
Can grit harm them at this age? I'd rather give grit and have them not need it, than to not give grit and regret it later.


I can't think of any other specific questions at the moment, but I will add them on the thread if I do.

Thank you all in advance!

Seana
Hi Seana, congrats on the soon-to-be new arrivals.
I will answer what I can here. It is recommended that they be kept off the ground for the first 3 months mainly because of coccidia and black head, peachicks are very susceptible to both and often by the time you realize something is wrong it is already too late to save them. Both can be in your soil, but they can also be carried by wild birds that frequent your pens, believe me it is almost impossible to keep the wild birds out. Capillary worms are often a problem for chicks as well. In order to be prepared you will want to purchase some Safeguard cattle drench(available on line or at TSC) this will treat capillary and many other worms. You will want corid or sulmet to treat coccidia and you need metronidazole (fish zole) to treat black head. Treating your soil is probably not going to work due to the wildlife flying around. I was unable to keep mine off the ground until 12 weeks, as a result I lost 2 to coccidia before I realized what was happening, once I had the proper meds on hand I did not lose anymore. Poultry vits with electrolytes are a good idea once a week. Personally I think 24% protein is too high, but some will disagree. Too much Protein is thought to cause leg growth problems, overeating is as well. I had some leg problems until I started to remove the feed at night, with the heat lamps they were eating day & night and the little fatties were putting too much stress on their still pliable bones. We fed a normal chick starter around 20% protein and medicated with amprolium.Temps must be 95 the first week and decrease by 5 degrees each week after. Do give grit, chick feed is easy to digest but the grit still helps. Hope this helps, if you have any other questions just post them or PM me.


 

PavoFowl

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
80
7
48
South Texas
Okay, 20% would be best cost-wise, because that's what we'll be feeding the guinea chicks. I know a lot of people have really pushed the 24%. I don't want to over or under protein them, so if the leg problems are a sign of too much protein, is there a sign of too little protein? Just curious.

Okay, so ya'll aren't pulling my leg when you say 12 weeks/ 3 months... You're serious! Yikes. I just feel bad for them because we don't have a way to keep their large pen dirt-free. I don't want them to have to be kept in a smaller area for that long, but if it is that or die, I think they'd prefer the smaller area.

So, as far as meds, they'll need the chick starter with amprolium, SafeGuard, Corid, Sulmet, and Metronidazole (fish zole)? Where do I get these? I know where to get the SafeGuard and starter, but the other three meds sound like prescription meds from the vet. *EDIT - a quick google search answered my question about finding Corid and Sulmet. Fish zole has proved harder to find. * When do I administer all of these? If they show symptoms of Cocci, black head, or worms? Or before they go in the dirt? Sorry for all the questions!

Another question - Do the pea's need a wormer? I have heard they need rotation worming 2-4x a year, but what about as chicks? We worm the guineas with Terramycin in the water as soon as we get them. Actually, that's the water we use to teach them to drink, to make sure they ALL get some ingested.
 
Last edited:

PavoFowl

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
80
7
48
South Texas
I have already fallen in love with these babies, and they haven't even arrived! They are a graduation gift to me, but I know how expensive they are. I want to be able to give them the best care to be most happy and flourish, not just keep them alive because they were expensive. I am so glad I was given a few weeks warning before they would arrive so that I can prepare and research! I don't want them to die because of my lack of knowledge and inexperience.
Thank you for your help, @DylansMom , by the way!
 

new 2 pfowl

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 13, 2012
3,067
511
321
Dunedin, NZ
You are going to love them so much more once you get acquainted!

I had no idea what great personalities peas had until I spent time around them.
They are interested in everything, curious (= incredibly nosy), friendly, and very easy to love...
 

PavoFowl

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
80
7
48
South Texas
@new 2 pfowl , wonderful! When I was younger, my friend's neighbor had geese. She only found one egg at the time, and didn't figure he'd live being alone. I took the egg, incubated it, and when he hatched we knew we couldn't put him outside alone because he would cry and either die of stress or attract a coon or some other predator. He grew up in our bathroom. He would come and sit in my lap, come when I whistled, and my dad taught him to wolf whistle. If you kind of clicked your tongue, he would whistle to you. He was such a sweetheart. A couple weeks later, we ended up with 12 more, but they grew up outside and weren't nearly as imprinted as he was. We put them in the pens when they were old enough, and then after awhile started letting them out in the day time, but bringing them back in at night, because we have really bad predators, like raccoons and coyotes. The raccoons were able to pull the chicken wire off from the frame, and ate them all. It was so sad. We are going to make much more formidable pens for the Peas. We are looking at making them with pipe and chainlink fence, then covered by half inch wire to help prevent any nasty paws from getting in. Definitely at least 6' tall, probably 7-8' so that I can walk in and stand comfortably, and they have more room to jump up.
 

DylansMom

RIP 1969-2017
6 Years
Jan 10, 2014
3,742
582
248
PA
I have already fallen in love with these babies, and they haven't even arrived! They are a graduation gift to me, but I know how expensive they are. I want to be able to give them the best care to be most happy and flourish, not just keep them alive because they were expensive. I am so glad I was given a few weeks warning before they would arrive so that I can prepare and research! I don't want them to die because of my lack of knowledge and inexperience.
Thank you for your help, @DylansMom , by the way!
You are very welcome. Great graduation gift!

Okay, 20% would be best cost-wise, because that's what we'll be feeding the guinea chicks. I know a lot of people have really pushed the 24%. I don't want to over or under protein them, so if the leg problems are a sign of too much protein, is there a sign of too little protein? Just curious.

Okay, so ya'll aren't pulling my leg when you say 12 weeks/ 3 months... You're serious! Yikes. I just feel bad for them because we don't have a way to keep their large pen dirt-free. I don't want them to have to be kept in a smaller area for that long, but if it is that or die, I think they'd prefer the smaller area.

So, as far as meds, they'll need the chick starter with amprolium, SafeGuard, Corid, Sulmet, and Metronidazole (fish zole)? Where do I get these? I know where to get the SafeGuard and starter, but the other three meds sound like prescription meds from the vet. *EDIT - a quick google search answered my question about finding Corid and Sulmet. Fish zole has proved harder to find. * When do I administer all of these? If they show symptoms of Cocci, black head, or worms? Or before they go in the dirt? Sorry for all the questions!

Another question - Do the pea's need a wormer? I have heard they need rotation worming 2-4x a year, but what about as chicks? We worm the guineas with Terramycin in the water as soon as we get them. Actually, that's the water we use to teach them to drink, to make sure they ALL get some ingested.
Don't get all worked up over the 12 weeks off dirt thing. I couldn't do it, we hatched 45 last year and I had a small wire bottom pen the size of a very large rabbit hutch. Now, all 45 were not hatched at once so it wasn't that crowded, but I had to put them on the ground at about 6 weeks. I had them on the Amproloium medicated feed and thought that was enough to take care of the Cocci, but it was not. When I lost those 2 I took a poop sample from a third sick one to the vets and they found a vey bad Cocci infection and a very mild case of Cappilary worms, so we treated for both and # three pulled thru beautifully. I did things differently after that. I did not wait to see signs of illness, I knew the Cocci and the Capillaria were there so once they were on the ground I wormed with safeguard after 2 weeks and then at 2 week intervals until they reached 12 weeks then it was Keep a close eye one them and if they started to look at all droopy, we would treat again. Same thing with Corid, every 2 weeks in the water to keep the Cocci manageable until they built up a tolerance. Cocci is something you simply cannot avoid or get rid of, as the birds get older they will build up a resistance to it and then they can live with it, occasionally an older bird may become debilitated from something else and become susceptible again, then it is like any other opportunistic infection. Metronidazole is also known as Flagyl(under that name it is prescription only) however you can buy it under the name fish zole on ebay or aquarium supply sites, it is used to treat fish also. Metro is used specifically for black head and I've never had a case of that here, so (knock on wood) I've never needed to use it, but I have it on hand just in case, I purchased it as fish Zole from ebay. Most all of these meds can be found at either TSC or on line, I actually get quite a few from ebay. There is normally no need to treat before they go on dirt, because they have had no exposure, but since they are coming to you from a hatchery, you might want to keep a close eye on them. I've no idea what Strombergs practices are like or if they could get exposed to anything before reaching you. If anybody on here disagrees with anything I'm telling you, I hope they add their 2 cents we all do things a little differently and what works for one may not work for all. Unfortunately raising Peas doesn't seem to be an exact science. When it comes to dosing your birds you will want to get a scale, dosing is based on weight and since they are babies that is going to change a lot over the next year. Once the Peas are a year old I worm twice a year, Oct. & March, safeguard usually and ivomec every so often. As for the protein thing, I've seen a lot of twisted tibia and perosis in pea and guinea chicks so I prefer the lower protein, others may have had different experiences. I can say mine were all raised on the 20% and they are all fine. If I missed anything let me know, Mindy
 

PavoFowl

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
80
7
48
South Texas
Yet another question - What do you use for brooders?

With the guineas, we used the biggest rubbermaid storage tubs we could find, I believe they were 22" wide by 38" long, not sure how deep, and we made wire lids with 1/2 inch square wire. We lined the bottom with pine shavings and covered them with paper towels for quick clean up twice a day, and dumped and refilled the shavings once a week or more often if needed. We put a T post in the ground next to each brooder, so that we could clip the heat lamp on it and adjust the light holder up or down to adjust the temperature. I don't remember how many birds we put in each the last time we bought 50 guinea chicks. I'm going to buy the biggest tubs that I can find, but was thinking I'll need at least 6. My mom says we only need 4... We're getting 50 guineas, and 6 pea's. I don't think 56 birds, especially wiht 6 that start out twice as big as guineas, will fit in 4 tubs.

With 4 tubs, it would be

16 guineas
17 guineas
17 guineas
6 peas

OR

14 guineas
14 guineas
14 guineas
8 guineas and 6 peas.


That just seems WAY TOO packed. I think 6 would be perfect.

With 6 -

10 guineas
10 guineas
10 guineas
10 guineas
10 guineas
6 peas

OR

9 guineas
9 guineas
9 guineas
9 guineas
9 guineas
5 guineas and 6 peas.

It's a possibility that the peas could squash and kill the guineas (likely accidentally) because they are bigger to start out, and grow so much faster. Probably be best to keep the peas alone, so they don't kill the guineas, right?

Thankfully, the guineas only have to be kept in brooders until they molt to get real feathers and can stay warm on their own, with heat lamps on the pen if they choose to go under them, so once we have the guineas out in the pens, we can use the brooders they were in (after being sanitized, of course) to spread the peas out better, because I know they get really big, really quick.

I have seen some say to use cardboard boxes - I think, YUCK! The tubs are great because they can be sprayed out and sanitized really well. Also, predators can easily destroy cardboard, while the plastic and wire is a little more formidable.

What do ya'll think? Any better ideas for brooders?
 

zazouse

Crowing
10 Years
Sep 7, 2009
11,009
690
406
Southeast texas
Okay, 20% would be best cost-wise, because that's what we'll be feeding the guinea chicks. I know a lot of people have really pushed the 24%. I don't want to over or under protein them, so if the leg problems are a sign of too much protein, is there a sign of too little protein? Just curious.

Okay, so ya'll aren't pulling my leg when you say 12 weeks/ 3 months... You're serious! Yikes. I just feel bad for them because we don't have a way to keep their large pen dirt-free. I don't want them to have to be kept in a smaller area for that long, but if it is that or die, I think they'd prefer the smaller area.

So, as far as meds, they'll need the chick starter with amprolium, SafeGuard, Corid, Sulmet, and Metronidazole (fish zole)? Where do I get these? I know where to get the SafeGuard and starter, but the other three meds sound like prescription meds from the vet. *EDIT - a quick google search answered my question about finding Corid and Sulmet. Fish zole has proved harder to find. * When do I administer all of these? If they show symptoms of Cocci, black head, or worms? Or before they go in the dirt? Sorry for all the questions!

Another question - Do the pea's need a wormer? I have heard they need rotation worming 2-4x a year, but what about as chicks? We worm the guineas with Terramycin in the water as soon as we get them. Actually, that's the water we use to teach them to drink, to make sure they ALL get some ingested.
FYI Terramycin is for eye infection , it is not a wormer so i do not know how you wormed your guineas with it.



Most of us use safeguard for goats 3cc per gallon of water for 3 days,make a fresh batch every day, i put it in scrambled eggs but i have no way to get it in my birds any other way as they free range plus i know they get a full dose of it that way also.



You can get fish zole at most pet stores you will need to look for something like this .
If you do not see a box like this look for the ingredient on some of the other boxes that is how i found it.
 
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