How can I make friends with my peachicks?

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by MizPookie, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. MizPookie

    MizPookie Out Of The Brooder

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    We recently bought two peahen chicks to keep company with our peacock chick. He just lookedl lonely when he was in the pen with the regular chicken chicks. It's like they have different games they play.

    However, all of the peachicks are rather shy. I don't know how - or if - I can get them to be more friendly. I have tried giving them some food trreats. The male, who we had as an egg, will eat the treats, but not out of my hands. The peahen chicks run as far as possible. Maybe they eat the food later, but they won't come for it.

    The hen chicks are here only a little more than a week, and one of them is about 7 weeks old, the other about 12 weeks old, I think. The older one spent the first week honking unhappily whenever we were in the yard with her, but thankfully, she at least has quieted down. She was the last one left of a hatch of peachicks, so maybe she missed that Rubbermaid tub she was living in - I don't know. She wasn't with a mother peahen, so she wasn't missing her mom.

    Any hints on how to get these chicks to be more friendly?
     
  2. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

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    Hang out with them. It's really the best way to get them used to you and not afraid of your presence.

    It sounds like you just have them free ranging already? If so, I'd just take a lawn chair and a book, scatter some treats "near" you (far enough that even if you scrambled to your feet and made a lunge you couldn't grab them at first, and slowly move the treats closer), and read (read to them even! They will learn the sound of your voice and to not be startled by your voice). The one you hatched from the egg sounds friendlier, and if they observe him coming in close to you and getting treats, they will learn to associate your presence with treats. Don't make sudden movements around them if you can help it, don't raise your voice, and don't try to force connections (petting, moving food closer if they are coming closer, etc) just let them come to you, and try not to stare at them. When you're looking at them, it's like a predator watching prey and they will be uncomfortable. Eventually you'll have moved the treats to being at your feet and you can try to offer treats only from your hands and if it's something they really want, they'll come get it. Maybe they will even prefer it (but probably not).
     
  3. Fowler Hencock

    Fowler Hencock Out Of The Brooder

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    What we've had the best success with is picking the chicks up and wrapping them loosely in a towel on our laps. A chick instinctively will calm down covered up in the dark, because they are programmed to respond to their mother's wing like that. When the hen covers the chicks up, they know it's night and time to be quiet.

    After the chick settles down in the towel, put your hand inside and gently cover it's head. The chick should push and shake against your hand, like it would under it's mother. After doing this a few times, the chick will start trusting you and you should be able to set it on top of the towel eventually and cover it's head with your hand. This is how we've gotten our chicks to become tame. It may take a few sessions with the chick, but it should make them at least more at ease around you. And the younger the chick, the better chance of success you'll have. We try to handle out chicks from day old on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  4. Glenmar

    Glenmar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 3 month old chick that I was not good about handling earlier. He is a bit wild now. I will try that procedure.
    Any other suggestions for older chicks.
    I am trying to work with him everyday.
     
  5. MizPookie

    MizPookie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 25, 2011
    Thank you for the suggestions.

    Right now the peachicks are in a small pen with a low 'ceiling' so I can't comfortably hang out with them. And they run to the other end when I try to make friends. I guess we need to move them into something I can walk into or else they will continue to consider me the big strange predator who feeds them!
     
  6. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

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    You could try just sitting outside the pen if they can see you. Sit long enough that they can't maintain fear and begin to forget you are even there...
     
  7. MizPookie

    MizPookie Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I found that if I sit with them when they have emptied their food bowl, they will take food I throw to them. They're shy, though with these regal birds, shyness seems like haughtiness. They will condescend to take bits of food.

    Speaking of which, I have still not found the food that they like best. We've tried: fruit (apple and pear), leafy greens, mixed scratch grains, and bits of scrambled egg. They will eat a little of each, but not much of any one of them. Is there some food that would really excite them?

    I also tried dried cat food, broken up into smaller bits because they are still chicks. That one was a non-starter. maybe it's because the food is brown so it doesn't stand out, but they didn't seem interested in it at all.

    I found that singing to them got them more used to my presence. They seem to favor Lady Gaga songs. I think it's the repetitive nonsense syllables. It sounds a little like their own language. [​IMG]
     
  8. Lunar Ice

    Lunar Ice Out Of The Brooder

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    I dunno about all peafowl...but mine would probably go willingy into a predator's waiting claws if it was holding a piece of watermelon. Bread is also a very tasty treat.

    When feeding catfood, I usually put it in with a hardboiled egg and a little greek yogurt and mix it up really good and spoon it into little gooey balls (if you add too much yogurt, it gets too runny, just put enough for it to stick together). My chickens love this too. I use meowmix (which seems like a univesal favorite of all animals) but I can't imagine your birds are THAT picky (YET) to only prefer one particular brand. >D

    Good luck ^.^
     

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