Just have to get it off my chest...

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by LedgeWoods, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. LedgeWoods

    LedgeWoods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been avoiding the forum for the last couple months after losing my pair of IB's. Besides keeping them penned up, I honestly don't know what I could've done differently. They managed to up and leave successfully after they were busted/caught on their first attempt back in August. They were very tame - eating out of our hands following us around like puppy dogs with not a care in the world. The hen would even let you hold her. There was never any sign of them in the neighborhood (although we live out "in the sticks"). I thought maybe after the crops were off and hunting seasons kicked in there may be reports of sightings or maybe feathers/carcasses....nothing.
    Now I've been dealing with a p.o.s. hawk that's taken out 5 of my 36 chickens in the past few weeks...scared the crap out of all the rest who, incidentally, are also molting. Egg production is about 2 eggs a day and the 10 month old Americaunas (who were laying nicely) haven't laid an egg for over 2 weeks! With the colder weather setting in, they have been in "lock-down" all week. The hawk needs to go elsewhere - this buffet is closed!
    I guess my frustration is just getting the best of me...but it seems like nothing has gone right the last few months with my birds. I'd LOVE to get another pair of peas, but keeping them in a pen wouldn't be my preference (although DH has offered to build them a fancy addition...bless his heart). I loved having my morning coffee while watching the peas preen themselves on the deck railing right outside my dining room/patio doors. Their calling, their funny personalities (chasing deer out of the yard & garden, staring at themselves in the chrome bumper of the truck), their beauty...I just miss them [​IMG]
    So...right now I'm thinking about getting some eggs to hatch in spring and starting over in hopes that if they are hand raised I can get them to bond even more. My hen was hand raised, but the male was raised in a pen with very little handling.

    Anyone have input?? Will I have better luck raising them from chicks??
     
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    LedgeWoods,

    so sorry that you lost your birds. As others say on the forum....'don't beat yourself up'. There probably isn't anything that you could have done differently. I support your idea of hand-raising chicks, and I think that lots of folks have and used to have (many decades ago) Peacocks around here--and it is pretty rough country regarding predators, they were successful and had their birds for long periods of time.

    ...so give it another try. Especially since your have enjoyed them so much.
     
  3. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I have never had pea fowl, so I can't help with advice. I just wanted to say I am sorry for your loss and hope that you can get some more to help fill the void. I decided against peas because I, too, live in the sticks and whereas loosing the occasional chicken(s) is hard (but to be expected) I couldn't bear the loss of a pair of $150 pets! I have to admit though, that your description of the joy yours brought you is tempting me to reconsider...
     
  4. featherhead

    featherhead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LedgeWoods, I'm so sorry you lost your birds. Most of us have birds that are pets, which makes it doubly hard to lose them. All free-range and wild birds are at risk of predation and there's nothing we can do to change that. In example, we got started with peas many years ago when a stray IB male decided to set up camp in our back yard. The backstory to this is that there were originally two other males with him. Both met unfortunate fates rather quickly, but somehow Big Bird managed to survive. After 6-8 months in our back yard, I told my husband that I thought we were supposed to take care of him and keep him safe. We built a large aviary, probably large enough for a dozen peas, and got him a 12x14 lofted barn for comfort. The 2 keys to his safety were a welded-wire roof and buried welded wire on all sides of the enclosure. We have hawks, owls, raccoons, and the coyotes are moving closer after the summer drought.

    The beauty of this is that we have park benches in the aviaries where we sit and enjoy the birds, hand-feeding them and letting them sit on our laps and root through our pockets for peanuts and raisins. It's the best place in the universe to enjoy your morning coffee, or to relax after yard work. As long as the birds are well cared-for, and I'm sure you do that, there are far worse things than being confined. Once we taught them to go into the barn during extreme weather, they began going in on their own. No more exposure to ice storms, heavy snows (for us a heavy snow is 6") or high winds. Now they head for their barns during rain as well. They don't like to get wet.

    The hawks and owls come around but don't stand a chance of breaching the enclosure. A few years ago, we saw signs that something had tried to dig under the walls but the buried wire prevented it. I sleep well during bad weather knowing that the peas are safe and dry. They probably sleep better too.

    Don't give up on the idea of having peafowl. They obviously mean a lot to you. I hope you hatch beautiful chicks and enjoy them for many years!
     
  5. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

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    Perhaps there is still hope...I know of two people who own peafowl and they said their whole flock will leave for a month sometimes to eat the leftovers from someone harvesting corn or eating pecans that have been crushed up from someone mowing their lawn. Just hearing them say that and seeing how un-worried they were about that amazed me. I would flip out if I had a big flock of free-range peafowl and they left for even a few days to go eat at someone else's place. Maybe they are just checking out the neighborhood and will come back. Give them a little time before you totally give up.

    My first pair we free-ranged and after a month and a half of them being so good and staying in the yard but sometimes going to the neighbors the male was just gone. Right on Christmas day he was gone. My parents didn't tell me until a few days later. We had no idea if he was just hiding or what. The peahen was still in the yard so we left her out in hopes that she would lure him back. She ended up running off. We put lost peafowl posters in mailboxes and called neighbors and some had seen my peacock but they said he had already left. We never did find him but sometimes we hear a peacock calling off in the distance and I can't help but wonder if it is him. The peahen we found in the backyard of a beautiful 2 story house. I guess peafowl have good taste. She was lying in their backyard sunning herself and we netted her. This runaway peahen happens to be Ice and she is doing just fine being in a pen and I think it is a good sign that she even hatched out chicks in a pen so she must be pretty comfortable in the pen. I do hate keeping them in a pen especially when the yard is so big with huge oak trees I know they would roost in and neighbors who love peafowl so they wouldn't mind me free-ranging them. I did get fed up with the predators breaking in so I opened the door one day for the peafowl to free-range but they didn't set 1 foot out of the door. They just stared out the door and then turned around and went back to lying under the bamboo in the pen. It made me happy to know that they are fine with living in a pen.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    If the peafowl don't come back and you get more peafowl, try penning some and free-ranging the rest. That way you won't lose all your peafowl if some wander off. Also having some peafowl penned on your property helps anchor the free-rangers. Every time I go to another peafowl breeder's place, I always notice the free-range peafowl like to perch on top of the pens and look in at the penned ones. Hopefully the fact that you raised the peahen might make her feel more attached to you and make her want to come back home.
     
  6. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    So well said Minx Fox!
     
  7. jbourget

    jbourget Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2008
    CT
    you should post more of your aviary! from what i can see it looks great [​IMG]
     
  8. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    You have chickens, why not let a broody set on some peaeggs and raise them herself?

    I've done that many times & it worked out well as for the fosters staying around as they grew up. They would learn from the hens where 'home' is and also have some orientation towards chickens, which are always out there for company & call back via noise.

    At first the foster babies will stick to the hen like glue however as they mature, they will show the same peafowl personality, exploring, visiting the decks etc. If you use a tame, trusting hen, she will teach the babies you are not something to be afraid of(some people think letting hens or peahens will cause wild or not tame peafowl).

    Also think the suggestion of some confined some free range is excellent idea. For buyers of pairs intending to free range, I often suggest the idea of keeping the pair confined until they hatch chicks whichever way they want to raise them so that way if one of the pair 'disappears' it's not a total loss, plus these birds can act as call-backs if the missing bird merely had wandered off out of sight.

    No harm either in trying several methods at once, some under a hen, some hand-raised, a bought pair kept in an aviary- btw i agree they will be just fine in one, but do understand the enjoyment of free birds. My first flock was completely free range, never confined. one of my fondest early memories are of how these birds would come flying and gliding into the yard from wherever they were during the day for feeding time after school. [​IMG]
     
  9. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

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