How to tell individual peafowl apart

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by Waterfaery, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. Waterfaery

    Waterfaery Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2014
    Hi,

    We've been keeping chickens for a few years now but are quite new to peafowl. We have two peacocks, both brothers from the same hatch. We got them about 6 weeks ago and were told they were one year old but I think they my be slightly older, as they are already starting to call and are bigger than the peahens.

    We got our two peahens from a different breeder, both sisters from the same hatch. We got them about two weeks after we got the peacocks. We were told they will be one year old in June.

    They have settled really well and are fantastic birds. At first we were worried that the cocks were picking on the hens but they are all getting along very well now and seem very happy together in their new home. They are all indian blue.

    We are having trouble telling them apart. One of the peacocks has slightly more feathers in his crest and tail, but that may change as they continue to grow. He is slightly friendlier too, but that may also change. We can't tell the peahens apart at all.

    Is there anyone who has kept peafowl for a long time that might know of some tricks for identifying individuals? Are there any subtle marks or anything that can differ from bird to bird? Ideally something permanent so we will always be able to use it to tell them apart.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2014
    Various kinds of rings on their legs (until they lose them [​IMG] ) -- bird/poultry markers. Try Cutlers, Tractor Supply, Amazon -- make sure they are big enough! Wing tags (attach permanently to wings -- make sure to get knowledgeable, experienced assistance putting them on.

    Or just give it up and give them all the same name, like "George" and "Penelopea". [​IMG]

    Oh yeah, and check the leading edge of the wings up by the shoulder -- they might already have tags and you'd never notice unless you felt them....
     
  3. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Finding leg bands locally (and reasonably priced) for me is nothing but a pain, so I use colored zip ties, they are cheap and available at most hardware stores, just make sure to not zip them too tight, they should still move freely up and down the leg... If you need more 'colors' do two ziptie combos...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Waterfaery

    Waterfaery Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2014
    Thanks for the replies

    I had a feeling there wouldn't be an easy way!

    They're just starting to trust us so I don't want to scare them by catching them to attach a ring.

    I suppose I'll keep spending more time with them and see if I can get to know their personalities better. If we still can't tell them apart I might try leg rings in the future. The zip ties are a great idea. Would they try to eat the rings / zip ties? I've read that they eat crazy things that aren't food!
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    In my experience they totally ignore the leg bands like they were not even there...

    As for catching them that can certainly be a challenge, mine will allow me to get close enough so that I can sweep grab their legs out from under them... Although if you have a coop big enough for you to enter, waiting until night when they are at roost is much easier...
     
  6. Waterfaery

    Waterfaery Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2014
    At first they would go mad if we came near them at all. Now they come over to me or my husband when we have mealworms. Also, sometimes if they're busy foraging or showing off they seem to forget we're there and come quite close, but they still tend to keep about a metre between us and them. I hope eventually they will get even closer but I don't imagine they will ever let us pick them up like the chickens do. We're really working on building their trust so I think we'll manage without the rings for now.

    For future reference, do they stay completely still and asleep like chickens when they roost? Or would they wake up and panic if we tried to handle them at night?
     
  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    That is probably about as 'tame' as you will get peafowl unless you devote a huge deal of time working with them, and in general no you won't find them letting you pick them up and carry them around like chickens...

    They roost still like chickens but they will panic if you get close and even fly into a wall or what not, plus they are a lot bigger and stronger then chickens you are not going to just scoop them up like a chicken off the roost... I personally try to avoid 'handling' them, as I said I get close and sweep their legs out from under them, and pin them and use the ground or other surface to pin them down and control them... At that point I could bear hug them and carry them around but with a 2nd set of hands helping me I can do pretty much everything while they are pinned down by just controlling their legs and holding their wings back...
     
  8. Waterfaery

    Waterfaery Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2014
    Thanks very much, you've been really helpful.
     
  9. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you gradually come and go at night in their coop, they will get accustomed to your presence. That's helpful. My birds let me get close enough (while they are perching at night) that I can reach out and touch them. It's a good thing to get them accustomed to, in case you ever need to medicate them. It helps to gradually work closer to them over time.

    I am too scared to try leg grabbing (if you only get one, the bird can be injured), and I'm not very good at crawling on the floor.

    If I have to medicate one, I go out when it's dark, and gradually approach from the side, making calming kinds of noises (I dunno if it calms the peas, but it makes me feel better). I get a hand on the back at the shoulders and press down firmly to keep them from jumping up, and I slide a towel across the back with my other hand. Then I wrap the towel down and pick up the bird which keeps the wings down and turns it into a kind of bird burrito. My thought is to keep them from injuring a wing by flapping, and have a firm grasp of the bird.

    I'm also trying to stay clear of kicking legs and spurs... I wear long-sleeved shirts & long pants, and closed shoes when I bird-wrestle. Some people wear gloves, but I don't think I could manage the towel wrap wearing gloves. In the towel wrap, I can point the sharp leg/toe parts away from me while I carry the bird.

    Once the bird is wrapped in the towel, I can put eye medicine in, or pry open the beak to put in other meds -- I am usually trying to manage the birds by myself, which is tricky without a towel. Otherwise, it is much easier if you have a skilled person holding the bird while you medicate.

    For small chicks, a little vet wrap will temporarily keep the wings in place -- that can be really helpful if you need to do anything with them that they are unhappy about [​IMG]

    After a few days of putting in eye ointment, I've noticed they get pretty much resigned to being picked up and handled. They don't love it, but they seem to know that it's not worth fighting about.
     
  10. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, and I sit calmly with the bird and stroke it a bit before I put it down, and I put it gently (but with a little down pressure) back on its feet, then remove the towel with as little fuss and drama as possible. By ending "quietly," they don't get the idea that it's a big deal and they don't get all excited. I just want the whole experience to be low drama for the bird...
     

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