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I'm with a heavy heart today - Frankie has been eaten!

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by Martha C, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Martha C

    Martha C Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks to all of you who have helped me become a "pea" person in the two months that FRANKIE showed up at my door. I never meant to be a "pea person" but this wonderful bird converted me. It was a crash course in learning how to care properly for her.

    I always "tucked" her in at night - went to her tree to make sure she was safely on her roost - and she was last night. However, this morning she was no where to be seen. This has not happened before. She was always anxiously awaiting her morning meal. I removed food when she went to roost so other animals would not be attracted to her feeding site. My heart is broken - as my husband and I walked through the yard we found more and more feathers and finally feathers with flesh. I just don't know how this could have happened. She was so attentive to her surroundings; aways alert. We have spotted fox and coyotes in our area. We knew the danger was there, but were in hopes that Frankie was vermin savvy and could fend for herself.

    When to start again, spring? How to keep birds safe? I've heard of a breed of large white dog that you get as a puppy and put in a pen with lambs so that they think they are part of the flock and the dog grows up to protect the sheep. Wonder if I could do the same with pea chicks?

    Would appreciate any and all suggestions how to not let this happen again and how you would advise getting started. Is it wrong of me to want only two hens and no males? My neighbors may not appreciate the calls of a male. Frankie only announced once a day as she went to roost.

    Thanks you for your support. Frankie is sorely missed.
    Martha
     
  2. Habibs Hens

    Habibs Hens Cream Legbar Keeper

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    My Coop
    sorry for you loss

    i would suggest a closed sleeping pen at night for any more that you get

    its always safer to lock them up then to allow roosting in trees
     
  3. Martha C

    Martha C Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2012
    Remembering I am very uninformed - Frankie just showed up at my place so I considered her free ranging. I like the idea of "free ranging" (but am learning the price to be paid). Are you able to get a free-ranging bird to go into a pen at night? Please forgive me for my ignorance, I'm trying to learn as fast as I can.
     
  4. TerriLaChicks

    TerriLaChicks Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm so sorry you lost her. They are very special birds & will surely work their way into your heart.

    Mine are kept in a totallly enclosed run- we have many predators here & I've learned through the years I've had chickens that this is the only way I can be sure they will be safe.
     
  5. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    So sorry about Frankie,bet somthing got the drop on her in the early morning
    it is good to have more than one in a flock, i have a dozen and they do ot miss a thing and are sure to let all around know exactly where it is.

    I have dogs and they do a great job but the peas often go well beond where the dogs can hear them, I keep my woods and fields clean of any overgrowth and debree so a wild critter ain't go much of a chance of sneaking up on something here and there are 100's to choose from.

    Start over in the spring , if you are going to let them free range they will tke to the trees at night sooner or later you will get tired of trying to get them down, Me i just let um be after climbing on the roof a few times, they were going to sleep where they wanted.
     
  6. Martha C

    Martha C Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you, Terri, for your condolences. Yes, it is hard to believe how tremendously attached to her my husband and I became and how quickly.
     
  7. frenchblackcopper

    frenchblackcopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I read these stories over and over again (And it really gets my peanuts roasting) about how beloved free ranging peas become fodder for wild predators,,,anytime people become more involved with peafowl trying to make them tame-pets,, the bird naturally is less "on guard" about animals in it's surrounding area.Peafowl are basically defensless against any predator at night and if they are accustomed to seeing dogs why would they fear a coyote or fox? A peafowl cannot distinguish quickly enough between a domesticated dog,or a wild coyote until it's too late in many circumstances.And we as humans are directly responsible.
    All predatory animals has eyes facing forwards on their heads,,animals not predatory has eyes on the sides of their heads,,this alone thru nature proves Peafowl are "hunted" and not hunters,,,,the laws of nature is stacked against peafowl from the beginning because they are a food source for other animals.
    I am sorry for the loss of the peafowl but if you seriously want to keep them you need to provide more than just daily feed and water.Sooner or later a wild unprotected pea will be a dead pea and this is especially true if the peafowl is used to being around people and our domesticated pets such as dogs.They have no natural reason to fear us.
    Build a fully enclosed pen giving 100 sq ft per bird and since it's obvious you have predators closeby,bury a barrier around the exterior of the wall fence and put a top net over the enclosure and make extra precautions for hawks,ect that can still swoop down and nab a pea on a perch.Put a sight barrier up around the perimeter wall fence so any predators that casually walk thru your place will not easily see any peafowls sitting on the ground in the pen. Granted unless we build a solid concrete floor and walls,anything with enough hunger-desire-strength can make short work of our secure efforts.But it's hoped that the level of difficulty to gain access to an easy meal slows down or deters preadtors enough to leave well enough alone.
     
  8. new 2 pfowl

    new 2 pfowl Overrun With Chickens

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    Martha,
    I am so very sorry to hear about Frankie. Peas are so endearing and it is easy to become attached to them. I'm sorry for what you must be going through.

    I agree with zazouse about having more than one pea for safety's sake. Our free rangers really keep each other informed about what's going on and, in particular, the presence of predators. We have coyotes and bobcats here and the peas are always on the alert. Although peas are, as fbc notes, the "hunted," they are remarkable resourceful and evade predators well.

    I'm sure your experiences with Frankie will make you an excellent pea-mom next year!
     
  9. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sorry to hear about Frankie.
     
  10. maitia17960

    maitia17960 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry to hear about Frankie. I know what you feel like. It is hard when you lose them.
     

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