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PEACOCK HOUSING QUESTIONS (not answered elsewhere)

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by ScarlettFever, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. ScarlettFever

    ScarlettFever Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2010
    East Central Alabama
    We've moved to a farm in north Alabama, just beyond the Georgia border, and we finally have enough land to have peacocks! I'm in research mode these days, and today I've spent the last three hours combing threads on this site and searching on Google, but there are still a few details I haven't been able to nail down. And if these WERE answered in another thread, I'm very sorry! I promise I read through them, but that doesn't mean I didn't overlook something!

    WHAT I HAVE LEARNED:
    1.). Need at least 80-100sqft per peacock
    2.). Flight pen should have at least 6' high sidewalls and, ideally, additional height added with an arched support for the netted cover
    3.). Coop needs 4"-6" wide roosts set at different heights, starting at 4' and going up to at least 6'
    4.) Peahens need straw nesting spots
    5.) Each peacock needs at least 2-3 peahens; and if ample space is given this ratio should prevent fighting (but individual bird temperament is another big factor)
    6.). Blue peacocks are the hardiest and most cold tolerant

    WHAT I'M STILL NOT SURE ABOUT:

    1.) Is that square footage per BIRD, or just per MALE? If I eventually hope to have 3 males and 9 females (and I may not be able to safely free range) do I need at least 1200sqft (around 35'x35'), or would closer to 600sqft (around 25'x25') be plenty?
    2.). Does the length and width of the coop area count in the square footage determination? In other words, will the coop area only get used for nesting and roosting, or will they also hang out in it as much as in the flight pen portion?
    3.). I've seen widely varied coop sizes (coop only, not including the flight pen), but none seem to be giving each bird 100sqft! So I'm assuming they tolerate being closer together at night. But is there a minimum of space each bird needs while roosting?
    4.). Do they prefer to roost together like chickens do, or will each bird want its own roost? And, I know the height and width, but is there a preferred LENGTH for roosts?
    5.). I also can't find a single reference to the required HEIGHT of the coop. Many people mention using prefab wood or metal sheds, etc, but I haven't been able to find any with ceilings higher than 7' (and then only at the peak). If a roost is set 6' high, how could the standard shed possibly provide enough height?! What am I missing?
    7.). I also see three sided coops being the most common design, with the flight pen obviously attached to the open side. But is that suitable for Alabama's winters? They do go below freezing ever-so-often at night (usually barely below freezing, but sometimes mid to low twenties, and once in a blue moon it may drop below 20). Snow doesn't come every year, and when it does it's a few inches AT MOST and usually completely melted within 1-3 days.
    8.). Blue peacocks are labeled as cold hardy, but will they still require heat in the coop? And if so, is there a certain temperature below which heat is recommended, or is it simply needed every night in Winter?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who takes time out to help me with this! I'd like to make sure this stuff is done right the first time, and ready to go before we start buying birds!
     
  2. q8peafowl

    q8peafowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2014
    Kuwait
    Enjoy the world of peafowls, the most important thing about their pen is to keep the predators away, this should be your biggest concern.

    Check these farms to see peafowls pictures and pens pictures:
    Leggs peafowl
    texaspeafowlfarm
    rocking ranchpeafowl
     
  3. q8peafowl

    q8peafowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2014
    Kuwait
  4. ScarlettFever

    ScarlettFever Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2010
    East Central Alabama
    Thanks so much for replying! And don't worry, I'm definitely planning on hardcore predator proofing! (I just didn't have any questions left in that department after reading everyone's advice!). And I didn't realize that the "India Blue" breed actually includes a range of other color varieties! VERY good to know! My son is Autistic and peacocks have been his obsession from a very young age. He could sit and listen to them all day! So it's really exciting to finally be able to give him a few of "his own"! (I've wished I could have them since I was young, myself, so he's also the perfect excuse to indulge!)
     
  5. DylansMom

    DylansMom RIP 1969-2017

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    Jan 10, 2014
    PA
    In your area a 3-sided shelter will be fine for the cold hardy blue varieties. Here in PA many Peacocks choose to roost outside in the elements all winter long, most are fine but occasionally , due to inadequate width of the roosts, they will get some frostbite on their feet. I lock mine in the barn at night for safety and because "I" feel better having them out of the elements. Providing shelter from the wind is the most important thing. We use 12x12 pens in our barn, and the roosts in the pens are at around 5', with doors to outside flight pens of 20x30 feet. Usually around 8 birds per pen and the do fine.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. q8peafowl

    q8peafowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2014
    Kuwait
    I hope you and your son will enjoy raising them, they are fun to watch, actually the prettiest ever to watch, just one more advice, there are few threads here about peafowls health care, its also important to read about worming peafowls and the common diseases they could get, it will help in learning about all the poultry in general, peafowls were the key for me to know about caring for other fowls.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  7. ScarlettFever

    ScarlettFever Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2010
    East Central Alabama
    Thanks, that info really helps, DylansMom!

    And do either of you recommend any books as references for health issues, or do you stick with online research? I'll definitely research those forums, just thought I'd ask if you have favorites! (I do like to have at least one really good book to turn to in case my critters get sick, but it's hard to know which ones are actually worth purchasing!)
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  8. ScarlettFever

    ScarlettFever Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2010
    East Central Alabama
    Ignore this! I posted that I wished I could add something to my last reply, then immediately figured out that I COUKD edit it. Now I can't seem to delete the obsolete comment, but didn't want to confuse you by leaving it there!:D
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  9. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2014
    Just want to add -- 6' is not tall enough for pens -- I need to redo mine as my largest male has broken all the tips off his train this year. Also, I have a roost in the flight pen at about 3 1/2 feet off the ground, and when he was stretching his wings and preening this morning, the nearly 3' clearance above the roost was not enough for his wings to fully clear to top as he stretched. I honestly don't feel that even 7' is truly high enough for the flight pen -- when I redo mine, I plan on going at least 8'. I think taller than that would be better. Think about what happens when you add clearance above a 5' or 6' roost...

    When you think about lengths for the roosts, consider that my males like to turn around on the roosts, and often walk down the roost when maneuvering and deciding where to jump down. The shorter the roost, the more they brush the train into the sidewalls (and in my shed coop, the back wall) and damage it. That also limits their ability to turn, because the wall keeps the train from swinging around and following the bird. I've been using a shed for a coop, and would suggest you get the tallest, largest one you can manage, or build your own. Gosh, don't you need a barn on your new place??? [​IMG]

    Perhaps you found references in your search, but in case you didn't, also be aware that many folks have lost peas in "predator proof" pens because the birds were hanging out on a roost (or sleeping on a roost) too close to the wire, and a predator reached through the wire or netting (waaay up in the air) and broke the neck or pulled it over and managed to take the head off. Raccoons don't care how high the pen is, they can climb like the dickens. [​IMG] I have occasionally found hawks sitting on the netting on top of the pens... that makes you do a double-take too. But at least that's a daytime threat. The raccoons strike at nighttime. In some regions, roosts have to be kept away from the sides of pens completely, so sometimes roosts are built freestanding in the middle of the pen, rather than at the edges.

    Edited to add:

    You also asked about space on the roost.... Sometimes the birds like to sleep crowded together on the roost, and sometimes farther apart -- it depends on how the birds get along. But something I did not consider when I was setting up my shed roost, is the amount of space it takes a bird to get on and off the roost. Not only do they need sufficient room to land (horizontal distance from roost must increase if the roost is higher) -- which I did think about -- they also need width of roost to land on the roost (wingspan), which decreases as more birds get up there. If the roost isn't long, once several birds are up there already, it makes it a little more challenging for the bird to time the hop/wing flap up and get wings closed without crashing into other birds and/or the sidewall. So just because all the birds fit together neatly when roosting doesn't mean they can all get on and off easily. The roost length needs to allow for takeoffs and landings.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  10. Frenchman Creek

    Frenchman Creek Chillin' With My Peeps

    You have already been given lots of good advice so I will just add a few things.

    1. My birds survived many days and nights during the winter of 2014/2015 with minus 35 night time temps and wind chills down to minus 70 without heat. All of those birds are alive and well today.so your birds will do fine in your temps.

    2. If you are going to build them a coop it should be four sided with a pea door and a human door. That way you can leave doors open so they can access their pens or close them in at night for peace of mind.

    3. If you are going to have outside perches then try for pen height of 8 feet. Install an overhead inclement weather protector made of 2 by 3 lumber and metal roofing from home depot. Once that is installed drop down two and one half feet and install your two by four or two by six wood perch laying flat. This will put your perch five and a half feet above the ground which should stop most predators from jumping up to the birds. The perch should be installed on two inch metal conduit from home depot or if you have to use four by fours pressure treated wood you should use galvanized stove pipe and wrap the stove pipe tightly around the four by fours and either tape it together or use screws to secure it. The metal will keep the predators from being able to climb up to the birds perch.

    Good luck and enjoy those beautiful birds.
     

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