In over my head - need help with Peacock

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by chicsrule, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. chicsrule

    chicsrule Hatching

    Jul 10, 2011
    Hello. I am new to this. I often read forum posts trying to learn how to best care for my chickens, turkeys, and peafowl. This and a healthy relationship with my feed store staff has kept me from panic on more than one occasion.

    I am not a farmer, rancher, or any kind of well educated person when it comes to farm type animals. We have a little bit of land so we started with a few backyard chickens for the eggs. Then through a crazy series of events and my reckless enthusiasm for helping every creature I see, I end up with 12 Turkeys, 9 hens, a Rooster, a peahen & peacock.

    Generally the chickens and turkeys are no problem. We have an easy and trusting relationship based on my consistent feeding schedule. My problem is with the peafowl. I don't know if I'm doing right by them.

    My peahen came first. She was found, if you can believe it, in a Wal-Mart parking lot next to a spaghetti bowl of freeway intersections. We built her an aviary and I had to hand feed her for several weeks until we could get a peacock companion because she was deteriorating rapidly. She's ok, skittish, but not unapproachable. My peacock, however, is so fearful that he will hurt himself trying to get away from us. The only reason he is still here is because of the peahen. If it weren't for her, I would have lost him the same day we brought him home.

    So, last night, we're out giving penicillin injections to the birds for an outbreak of pox on my turkeys. I've been treating the sores topically, but my feed store adviser suggested I give all birds the penicillin so that they can fight off any possible infections etc... My husband's attempt to catch and hold the peacock resulted in a ton of lost feathers and a bird so stressed out that he hid all night wedged between a wall and dog house where no one could reach him. He was so stressed; we did not try to complete the injection we just left him alone to calm down.

    Now I am so stressed about his distress that I'm wondering if I'm doing more harm than good by trying to keep peafowl. He's out this morning and did eat my bread & fruit peace offering, but is pacing the aviary looking for a way out. His feather loss was so extreme I worry if he can even fly.

    How am I supposed to handle these powerful birds if they need medical care? Or should I find them a more experienced owner? I don't care about having a beautiful lawn ornament; I only want what is best for them.

    Sorry if this is too long for the forum.

  2. Cadjien_De_Louisiane

    Cadjien_De_Louisiane SWLA Gamefowl Breeder

    Apr 18, 2011
    Welsh, LA
    Hello [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. un-named

    un-named Songster

    Sep 15, 2010
    Welcome.... hang on, someone will come along with help!
  4. Frosty

    Frosty Songster 10 Years

    Mar 30, 2008
    There are a lot of folks with flighty peafowl... especially some of the Java's. If you need to medicate them, there are a few things you can try. You can put oral meds in something that they like to eat, or if you need to treat something else where they need injections a fish net to catch them might work better. I wouldn't stress about the lost feathers, while you probably feel bad they will grow back.

    How much space do they have in their pen? And do you know what kind of peacock he is?

  5. little blue

    little blue Chillin' with my Orps

    Jul 11, 2010
    Mansfield, CT
  6. chicsrule

    chicsrule Hatching

    Jul 10, 2011
    My peacock is an india blue.
    Their aviary is about 12x18 (216 sq ft) & 14' tall at one end but slopes down to 10' at the other. We'd like to get a taller flight area for them, but that's as good as it gets right now.

    Thanks for the welcome.
  7. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane 8 Years

    Jun 10, 2010

    Some of our peas are about as flighty as your are talking about- we have one hen who will immediately begin pacing the pen wall looking to get away if we go in. The best way to capture these birds is to do so after dark when they are roosting. They cannot see you nearly as well when it is dark, and if you are quiet they will usually let you walk right up to them. When we grab them, we either grab over the top and pin the wings, or we grab for the legs. They will be able to struggle much better if you grab over the wings.

    If you grab by the legs, they will panic, but just let them hang upside down until they are done flapping, and make sure they are away from anything they can hit. Hold both legs together in one hand, or don't do it- holding them by one leg, or by one leg in each hand, can seriously injure them. Holding them by both, upside down, will 'sedate' them temporarily, allowing you to turn them over and fold an arm over their wings or place them on their side on the ground.

    Another method I have heard, though I don't recommend, is tossing them a little bit of vodka-soaked bread to calm them down. I have not personally tried this, as I have always been able to catch them sleeping, but I have read others doing this to catch their free-range birds that would otherwise be impossible to catch.

    However, bear in mind that unless these birds are actually sick with something right now, I wouldn't dose them with anything.

  8. DMFarm

    DMFarm Songster

    Jan 4, 2010
    Winona Tx

    If the peafowl was around the turkeys they will come down with fowl pox too. I would treat them also. I use a net to catch mine that the best way this should be done during daylight only don't try to catch them at night if the bird get spook he will fly up and could break his neck. I don't go in any of mine pens after dark for this reason. After you catch him with the net hold him by the upper wings at the shoulders don't try to hold it or catch it by the legs you could easly break it leg or slip a tendon.
  9. Fowler Hencock

    Fowler Hencock In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2011
    We always just put a towel over their heads (or have someone cover his head with their hands while you hold him), and they immediately calm down. It's the old "fool them into thinking it's night time" trick. Same deal as tucking a chicken's head under it's wing. They may still try to get away, but they won't fuss as much.

  10. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    I also use a landing net....i do hold with both legs, (wear gloves nails and spurs will cut u) Peafowl will need treated in they have been with the turkeys. hold wing with 2 nd hand , lay them on ground . hands and legs i can give shots , but newbes may need a 2nd person.


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