How far will a male pea likely travel to challenge a rival peacock?

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by Chicken Keith, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Chicken Keith

    Chicken Keith Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am new to peafowl, and my neighbor, less than 1/8 mile away (we live out in the county) also has free-ranging peafowl. What can I expect come mating season, regarding fighting between our two flocks? Would greatly appreciate it if you share your experiences on this. Thanks!
     
  2. DylansMom

    DylansMom RIP 1969-2017

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    If they can hear each others calls there is likely to be some visiting between your 2 groups. I had a person probably about the same distance away and at first it was just his 1 hen, we had to call him to come and get her several times, so he penned her up. Then 2 of his males started to show up, same thing. Interestingly, my birds never went to his place, but I don't free range all the time and I don't let anyone free range at all until they are 3 years old. They really seem to get much calmer when they hit maturity. Not as nervous or likely to spook once they are older, at least that has been my experience. As far as fighting, if it is breeding season the males will likely spar, this is when you will really need to worry about one male chasing off the competing males. Hens shouldn't give you any trouble with fighting.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  3. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    I use to have a distant neighbor that had a pair penned and i never heard them at night but it is another reason i waited to get peafowl, i did not want to take a chance that mine would leave and go to their place and mess up my free range plan.

    When my birds keep testing me and trying to go where they do not belong i will call on my herding dog and have her round them up, they do not like being rushed or flushed so they pretty much stay where i want them, them younguns of mine can be pretty testing at times but all the older ones were also and they pretty much grew out of it.
     
  4. DylansMom

    DylansMom RIP 1969-2017

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    I agree. My only problems came from youngsters! If you really want to try to train them like chickens, I would recommend starting with young chicks. Keeping them penned up (where they can watch and observe the chickens coming and going) for the first 3 years. 3 years sounds like a long time, but I understand they can live to 30+ years(my oldest is almost 20). Then start slowly leaving one out at a time, they will not like being separated from their mates/pals so that should keep the loose ones close by. See how it goes. Our first pair were free range 100% of the time, no problems with them leaving but they eventually lost their lives because they were free. You cannot always keep them safe and give them their freedom it has to be a compromise.
     
  5. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    When i purchased my first pea chicks i turned them loose the day they turned 4 months old, they stayed real close to the brooder and barn for a couple months before they started to venture out into the pasture and woods, each year i added a few more birds and each year i turned them out they left the safety area of the barn and brooder faster.
    Last year i got to hatch my first pea chicks here and turned them all loose when the last i hatched was 3 weeks old, they wet back to the brooder on their own until the youngest was willing to stay outside with them it took 3 months for them to leave the safety of the barn and brooder as they waited for the last hatch to come along, i was fascinated by this, the bond between them is very strong and you can bet where one is the rest are their also.

    Baby peas are the way to go IMO you learn alot more about their habits and other things as they grow and they are alot less skittish easier to teach them to stay home.

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  6. Chicken Keith

    Chicken Keith Chillin' With My Peeps

     
  7. Chicken Keith

    Chicken Keith Chillin' With My Peeps

    Excellent information, DylansMom, THANK YOU! Here was my situation. In July I bought 3 IB eggs off ebay (what a gamble huh?) and put them under a setting hen (chicken). 28 days later, Buddy, an only child, was born. Buddy's now 6 months old, and lives in a 10X20 pen with a tarp roof. Buddy has two IB child brides I bought at 3 months, named Agnes and Daisy Mae. I swear I wasn't doing drugs when I named them. I let Buddy out of his pen periodically, and let him back in at night. When I do, he sticks around here because that's all he's ever known. Agnes and Daisy Mae, however, have been in their pen for 3 months, and they're juveniles too remember. When I let all three out, for the first time last week, everything was fine. They are 2.5 years away from being sexually mature but that "birds of a feather" rule applied, and they shunned the chickens to stick near Buddy. Buddy thinks he's a chicken so there! Anyway, the second time I let all three out, Agnes jumped the second fence (which encloses the pea pen and the chickens in the yard). Peas aren't very smart, or at least seem dumber than chickens and when I tried to "usher" Agnes back into the larger pen, she quickly spooked (even though I didn't corner her and she had an escape route), flew straight up and out for 100 yards up into a tree for the night. I figured she'd be back the next morning, so didn't fret about the $60 investment buying a juvenile hen. Next day, no Agnes. 48 hours later, in the dark, I go out to the chicken yard, and there's Agnes huddled back on the farm, on the ground. She seemed weaker and dehydrated but alive. I gathered her up and put her in the 20x10 pea-enclosure, where she remains now. Turns out Agnes went over to hang out at my neighbor's place, and he has non-free ranging peas. I think one day he wants his to free range. But if he does, I suspect our two flocks will mingle and roam between our places. Mine are not free-ranging now, but I hope to make them that way. We have other neighbors and I have no idea how all of them feel about peacock calls. Nor honestly, do I really care. I know that sounds selfish, but I'm just being really bare honest. I think peas mating calls sound wonderful and my immediate neighbors seem ok with it. We have raccoons, skunks and possums, as well as coyotes around here. I would like to see my free rangers become basically feral someday, but serve as lawn ornaments in the process. I have no interest in breeding or going into different colors. My main passion is beekeeping, honey production and wax candle making. I keep chickens for eggs and meat, and my peas have been my biology learning experiment. They are entertaining and educational on what birds offer to an ecosystem.
     
  8. DylansMom

    DylansMom RIP 1969-2017

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    Hi Chicken Keith, I love the names! My son names most of ours so we have birds with names like Roger, Fred and Kevin. People seem to expect "Fancy" or "Regal" names and when they here our names they look at me with obvious pity for my lack of imagination! LOL! As for Buddy being a gamble, that probably depends alot on how far away the seller was. I have sold eggs on ebay in the past and I get very little feedback from buyers as to hatch rates, but I did have one lady in CO that managed to hatch a PA egg. Generally the shorter the distance shipped the better they do. I traded with a gentlemen also in Pa and we shipped each other eggs, both of us had about a 50% hatch rate we each got 3 chicks out of 6 eggs. My fertility and hatch rate here was 95% and 90%, this past summer, so it says alot about what the rough handling during shipping can do.
    We are out in the country, but we are not at all isolated. When we bought our place 20 years ago there were a couple fewer houses, but it hasn't changed a whole lot. I have had the Peas for 19 years now and I can make a few observations from my personal experience. We also have chickens, guineas, and a turkey. The chickens are far and away the smartest, the peacocks and the turkey are pretty similar in the brains dept. and bringing up the rear (in a big way) are the guineas. If I added all their brains together it might equal 1 peacock. Peacocks are very much creatures of habit, if they do something a couple of times and get away with it and like it, it is almost impossible to break them of the habit. They are also very much "give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile" kinda birds. I have enough neighbors that I have to make sure my Peas behave, stay home and are good neighbors. We have had a few take off over the years and all of them were under the age of 3. Most times something spooked them and they flew, I think they just flew too far and couldn't find their way back. Once I had a couple of stray dogs spook my pied Harley who was in an outside pen, he flew and busted right threw the netting, he was probably 8 or 9 at the time. We looked everywhere but couldn't find him, he was gone exactly 1 week when he showed up in the back yard, very hungry, tired and docile, if he had been a juvenile I truly doubt I would have ever seen him again. When I let him out to free range he seldom even leaves the barn, I don't think he enjoyed his adventure too much. My mature males seem to have at least a vague idea of where our 5 acre property ends, they will often walk a circuit around it in the morning and evening and they are pretty close. I had 1 BS hen that started to cross the street to a neighbors place. She discovered that the lady there generally propped open the door to her covered and enclosed rear porch, this porch was even carpeted, very nice and not at all appropriate for a Peahen to hang out in. However she went over there maybe 3 times and went in the porch every time. I can no longer allow her to be loose at all because even now 10 years later, she will beeline for that porch. She got away with it and she liked it and I've never figured out a way to break her of that habit. I allow mine out in small groups only 1 mature male at a time, they take turns. I open their pen doors in the morning and then in the evening when we feed them we herd them back into the barn and they will generally walk right into their own pen. They get very upset when I have to move them from 1 pen to another, and they continue to want back in the other pen for months. Each group will be allowed to free range for a period of days and then they will start trying to avoid going back in in the evening. This tells me it is time to lock them back up and allow a different group out, if I don't they will eventually refuse to go in at all (give 'em an inch) [​IMG]. So for us it is kind of like a game of musical Peacocks. In addition to the predators you mentioned we have fox, weasels, and large owls. I've lost too many to varmints, so I will not allow anyone to sleep under the stars anymore, if I can help it. I have never had an imprinted Peacock, some of mine are actually rescues, so none are really friendly, but last summer I hatched a bunch of eggs and several became imprinted. I am curious to see how they turn out once they are mature.
    It was fun hearing your story and I look forward to more! Mindy
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014

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