Peachick Newbie


6 Years
Jun 20, 2016
I could use some advice with our peachick- black shoulder. It is our first. He is about 5 or 6 weeks now. I can't wait to fully introduce him to our chickens and move him out of our porch. Questions...

1- I have been letting him hang out (supervised) with our chickens - 6 hens and 1 rooster, who all get along. Our peachick clearly enjoys hanging out with them. He preens and looks for food. HOWEVER, every time one of them gets too close or tries to peck him, he displays and goes all judo bird on them, attacking them with his feet. (We thinks it's a boy.) He also does this wacky thing where he runs around like a ping pong balls and flys and jumps - which the chickens find terrifying. So... I'm doing short, supervised outings and hoping eventually he will be too big to get his butt kicked and he'll stop trying to prove he's tough. I'm fearful that the chickens will hate him because he is such a jerk. Any advice?

2- We are hand-rearing him. (Long story.) He is still a baby and wants to be with me 24/7. Within the last week, he has been more independent. At what age will he be confident on his own? At what age do I need to start worrying that he will go off on his own? (Now I know he will always be within 4 feet no matter where I go or what I'm doing - and chirp if I get too far away from him.)

3- We are definitely going to need to increase the height of our chicken fence. We'll need to clip his wing. (I'm sorry - I know that upsets a lot people.) With a clipped wing, how high should we make the fence. He can already fly about 5 or 6 feet without any effort. Our house is attached to the bird yard --- think the roof is about 8-10 feet high. Worried he may be able to fly up. Advice/thoughts?

4- He has been chirping. Within the last couple days, he is making big bird noises. At what age do they start to truly vocalize?

Photo from a week or so ago. I should mention he was born with his little toes curled under. We taped them down and the straightened out --- and then within a day or two, they had all curved to the side. I obviously did something wrong. But his feet are flat, so he can roost. His toes are just curled like chinese throwing stars.
And --- at what age should we be worming him? Recommendations on what to use? (I hate giving shots.Things that can be dissolved or put in food are my preference.) Dosages?

I would keep him away from the chickens. Peachicks do not have a strong immune system and chickens are major carriers of disease for peafowl. Cocci is a huge killer for young peas so I would keep him away from them and make sure you're giving him either medicated feed or feed with probiotics and electrolytes. When it comes to hand rearing they get more and more independent as they get older but I would advise getting at least one other peachick for him to spend time with. Cock birds can get very aggressive as they get older if they are reared alone in such close quarters with people as they think that people are peacocks and treat us accordingly. This does not always happen but either way he will benefit from the company of other peas. When it comes to vocalizing every bird is different because they mature at different rates plus the sexes make different noises as they get older. When it comes to flying out clipping wings doesn't do anything. Even with them clipped an adult can jump over six feet without much difficulty and 8-10 is not outside the realm of possibility. Clipping is usually frowned upon because it makes it easier for predators to catch them. I would also look into fixing those toes again as it can cause stress as the bird gets older and can sometimes interfere with mating. Your chick appears to be a cameo which is one of the many color mutations out there. If you know what the parents were it might be possible to figure out gender too. Hope this helps.
Wow! Thank you so much, Midnight Man for your response. Very helpful.
How would we have his toes fixed at this point?
Would you recommend having a fully enclosed pen?
The fella who gave us the peachick isn't sure who the parents are. He has many varieties of peafowl, so it's anyone's guess. He does have black tail feathers that are blue at the base.
If he's got those kind of feathers he is possibly a cameo blackshoulder. What that means is his color is a cameo and the blackshoulder pattern is on top of it. A bird can have any pattern or even multiple patterns but they can only exhibit one color. Another example is Midnight blackshoulder which is what my own profile picture is. Since patterns can stack you can have a midnight blackshoulder pied, a midnight blackshoulder pied white eye etc.

Patterns of peafowl: White Barred wing (wild type), Brown wing, Blackshoulder, Pied, White, Silver Pied White eye

Colors: India blue (wild coloration), purple, cameo, peach, violette, midnight, charcoal, opal, taupe, mocha, mahogany, hazel, bronze, jade, indigo,

You might still be able to do the tape boots for his toes but if you can consult a vet they'd know more than I on that one. I'd also make sure he's getting good vitamins as that could be exacerbating the condition (like how humans can get rickets).

I would definitely recommend a fully enclosed pen. I use anti deer netting secured to guy wires which is strong and flexible so if the birds are startled and fly up they don't hurt themselves on it.
Really interesting. I didn't realize the difference between patterns and the colors. Fun learning this stuff! I was looking for peafowl books, but there are so few and they don't seem to be all that comprehensive. (Your midnight blackshoulder is gorgeous!)

I think you're right. We'll need to enlarge our enclosed outdoor area and make it higher. Recommendations for size? You use that black deer netting just on top, correct?

We're set-up for chickens- we have a 12 x 8 coop, a 10 x 12 fully enclosed area and a fence enclosure 100x50' area attached to our home for them to wander around. It has been perfect - we're out in the country and I constantly hear about our friends' chickens being killed by weasels, raccoons and even bear. So our guys have been safe and have space. It would be too much right now to try to enclose the entire space, sadly. We honestly didn't intend to have any peafowl, so we're adapting as s/he (aka Mudd) grows.

I have been feeding Mudd 50% medicated chicken starter and 50% game bird starter and have been putting electrolytes in his water since about day 3. I also give him chick grit because I take him outside in the field for outings and he eats everything.

I think his toes might be ok. He is able to roost and run around like a little devil. (He is very cute.) I had checked with the fella we got him from and he checked with another breeder. They said that he should be able to function normally and should be fine. Probably too much info, but here is the backstory. I was over at a friend/client's who has peafowl. I guess the mom had hatched Mudd in a giant mud puddle and then left him. When our friend found him, he was cold and caked with mud and his toes were curled into balls. Our friend was leaving for a week and said - Do you want him? If you don't take him, he'll probably die. So... I took him. I should have taped his feet immediately, but he was so fragile that I left him in the brooder for 2 days without bothering him before I put on his little shoes. I put the shoes on for like 4-5 days and voila, his feet were perfect. Within 2 days, the toes curled. That seemed odd. I tried the shoes again, but the cartilage must have set. So while his toes are curled to the side, his feet are actually flat and he can grip with his little toes. The nails are slightly to the side, so they don't bother him.
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