Peachick limping AND male/female? Warning: several pictures!

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by CarlisleCluck, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. CarlisleCluck

    CarlisleCluck Out Of The Brooder

    I am new to peafowl and got 3 chicks on June 23 - aged approximately 6 weeks, 8 weeks and 10 weeks. I was told the youngest is an "India Blue no split", the middle one is "black shoulder" and the oldest is "India Blue split to white". They are now about 7 weeks older (so 13 weeks, 15 weeks and 17 weeks). I have them in a cage off the ground, awaiting their brand-new coop (a couple more weeks). They eat Turkey Starter crumble (medicated) mixed with organic Turkey Starter feed from a local farm. Often their water contains vitamins and/or apple cider vinegar.
    Problem: today I noticed the middle one (15 weeks) is favoring her right leg. It doesn't appear twisted (slipped tendon?) - she looks more "knocked-kneed" where as the legs on the other two appear to come down straight and parallel from their bodies. And she holds it up or limps.
    Picture:

    [​IMG]

    Thoughts?
    Second Question: Will anyone help me determine which are male/female? While taking these pictures, the oldest had his way with the middle (injured) one...so I am assuming the oldest is male and the middle is female - but perhaps I am jumping to conclusions? No idea on the youngest.
    Here are pictures of each, oldest to youngest:
    Oldest - tall one in back

    [​IMG]
    Middle - "she" is pale

    [​IMG]
    Youngest (closeup!)

    [​IMG]
    or (the one in front)

    [​IMG]

    FINALLY - what are the risks (at their ages) of letting them walk on the grass instead of being 6" off the ground on a cage floor? They would have more space and I'm sure find life more interesting! I do have free-range chickens and guineas, but the peafowl would be enclosed.
    Thanks - you are a helpful, knowledgable bunch!!
     
  2. msmolly

    msmolly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Boy- what beautiful birds!, Love the pale one! I'm not very good at sexing, but the green neck feathers make me think Hen- that's if they're India Blues. As for having them on grass, my birds are on grass free-ranging, and then hardwood mulch in the pen. I see your in NY and I'm in Ohio, so we've both had a very wet spring and summer. That said, my Peahen had her chicks outdoors on the cold, wet grass from 3 days old. I was very concerned- but they did fine. Although peafowl definitely want to be off the ground at night- preferably a tree or good perch.
    As for sexing questions, I would ask Birdrain, he's helped me. Good luck, Molly
     
  3. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    How is the knotneed one weight wise does she feel thin compared to the others.

    Very pretty peas thanks for sharing.
     
  4. CarlisleCluck

    CarlisleCluck Out Of The Brooder

    I am so tempted to get them out of the rapidly-growing-smaller cage and put them on the grass in the larger cage! The pale colored one with the injured legs looks fine weight-wise...do people actually handle these birds?!?! I picked them up when they were younger in order to move them to different places and they were NOT happy - I got some good scratches. I haven't tried picking them up since...I just talk to them gently and sit with them for a few minutes when I check their feed and water. But honestly, she looks good and clear-eyed.
     
  5. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    none of my peas like to be handled it is normal , they do jump up in my lap or on my leg and they peck at my clothing and boo boos i might have, in general mine are little pest right now, i noticed that when i had an underweight pea it was usually knotkneed like yours that is why i asked, polyvisol without iron does wonders , gives them a little boost
     
  6. msmolly

    msmolly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As far as handling them, it can be daunting but fear not. First, dress for the occasion- as they will probably poop on you. Wear long sleeves to avoid scratches. Handling at night, when they are settled down is easier. But keep the lights out- save for a small flash light(I've actually worked with a flash light clenched in my teethe!) You want to have an arm over their wings- and I mean really over- so they can't flap at all- and a firm grasp of their legs with the other hand. Always be carefull when restraining any birds, that you don't compress their chest to long or too tight- as they breath with their diagram, which means they must be able expand and relax their rib cage to breath.

    The other way of catching your peafowl, and this will help once they are out in their grass cage- is go buy a couple Bass fishing nets - you know the long aluminum handle with the black string net.
    They sell them at Dicks Sporting goods, and most hardware stores. I've put the net over them, hold it to the ground, and then pick them up from above , hugging the net with hen inside, and reaching under to secure the feet. Just make sure as you stand up to walk, the net handle is not between your legs (I only had to learn that once!).

    If you get a hold of thm, you want to feel for their keel. The chest bone that runs down- like on the turkey you carve for Thanksgiving. If, as Zaz supects, the hen is under weight, or ill, that keel bone will be more pronounced, without meaty muscle on either side rounding it out. Looking at a bird, will rarely tell you if they are ill or under weight- untill its really bad.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  7. CarlisleCluck

    CarlisleCluck Out Of The Brooder

    I haven't had to use a net yet, but I am familiar with the fact that they ARE used to catch fowl (I've seen them used for guineas). I purchased some UltraKibble which I understand is suppose to be very good nutritionally for birds, so I will add that to their feed and get some Polyvisol. I do have Rooster Booster which is suppose to be a vitamin and probiotic supplement which I do put in their water. Thanks for the tips.
    I will try to get a hold of her and see how she feels - I am assuming it is a "she"!
    THANKS!
     
  8. Although they can still surprise at that age, I believe you have two hens and a boy. The bigger bird with heavy barred shoulders is an IB split white or dark pied peacock. The white bird is a blackshoulder hen but I can't tell you what color. The other bird is probably an IB hen.

    Leg problems are not uncommon. It is kind of hard to accept but there is really very little you can do. 90+% of the time it is a minor injury and it goes away. I would not want her to keep getting lmounted though. They look really healthy otherwise and if they have been off the ground there is no reason to suspect any other issues. I would let her alone and see how it goes. If you can closely observe her try and see if she has an injury from the wire on the bottom of her foot. Al things being equal, catching her is probably going to cause both of you more stress than it is worth.

    One thing possibly worth reconsidering is the turkey starter. Very high protein at to early an age can cause leg issues. If this is like a 24% starter I might back off to a chick starter.
     
  9. Yoda

    Yoda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes the male is in the 2nd picture with the BS hen and the other one is an IB hen in last picture. You need to get a lower protein feed like medicated chick starter crumbles. Like stated above high protein can cause leg issues. You have chickens so you should have them on that one. Medicated turkey contains the medication to help fight off blackhead and Medicated chick starter contains the medication to fight off Coccidia. If you give your bird the medicated chick starter you will most likely be able to put them on the grass. Just be sure to worm them after a few days. Now just because you give them medicated food does not mean they will not catch Coccidia, just means the food will help them fight it off and build an immune against it, same thing with blackhead. So what will you need if the birds hit the grass: Wormers - SafeGuard liquid for goats and Ivermectin pour on for cattle, Corid powder for Coccidia and Metro (fish zole) for blackhead. Your birds are pushing 5 months old. Mine do not touch ground til about 6 months old but that is what I do. Just be sure to have the mentioned meds and you should be fine. The only vitamins I give are poultry chick vitamins. No to ultraKibble cause you are already experiencing leg issues, just give the chick starter and let their bodies "calm" for a few weeks. Everyone I know who goes after their peas with a net can't get near their birds. If you need to catch them get them into a corner and grab them hands coming down and grab the front of the wings and quickly go down the body with one hand and grab the legs pull upward and bend your knees and the bird's chest should rest between your knees. Now grab the other leg if you didn't get both the first time and hold them in one hand and use the other to support under the chest and you have your caught bird. I wear leather gloves or those rubber coated ones.
     
  10. CarlisleCluck

    CarlisleCluck Out Of The Brooder

    All that is great info - thank you SO MUCH. Y'all should write a book! I will change the feed to chicken feed - maybe with an Ultra Kibble treat occasionally, since I have it - let them on the grass and maybe give the middle female a little privacy to heal up. And thanks for telling me about male/female - just what I had hoped for.
     

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