Peafowl/Mandarin pen is finished!

Discussion in 'Ornamental Fowl (Swans, etc.)' started by 3BirdGirlz, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. 3BirdGirlz

    3BirdGirlz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We started this project in September, but with our weather it took way longer to finish than expected! Here is when we started:[​IMG] Here we got more of the rails put up:[​IMG] I had to do a lot myself as my husband and I both work, plus our girls are involved with stuff. 2x4 wire is doubled up on the bottom with chicken wire (both I got for free from a friend ) On the top half is 1x2 galvanized wire that I bought. For the top is Top right nylon coated 1x1 netting. I've been letting the Mandarins out everyday and they put themselves to bed in the shed every night and I close it up. I still have to move my Peacock and hen into the pen, but I'd like it to be a bit nicer to do so. Here are pictures from from today...the Mandarins are swimming in snow!:) [​IMG] [​IMG] I am so happy it's finished. I can't wait until spring to add plants and dress it up a bit! I want to put a flower garden around the outside and some bushes to help with cover.
     
  2. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    Very, very nice! Love yer sweet White hen, reminds me of mine! [​IMG]

    I do have a concern and this coming from a complete village idiot when it comes to peafowl and not knowing if they LEAP in the air when startled...I know Mandarin Ducks do tho.

    Do you have any owls in the area?

    I ask because it is common for an owl to be attracted first to any rodents. Them owls (seen about five types here and adore them!) are MOST welcome here to do a night sweep...hee hee...but not a "day" sweep when our birds are out and about on the lawns! Eeep...no duck or chook dinners please...not at our expense...agh! [​IMG]

    Owls are a great thing to live in harmony with so long as they don't figure in that our captive birds are something worth attempting to harvest.


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    What often happens when the roof of a pen is not built solid (this pic above is of one of our two identical American goose houses, Pear a Dice and on the right is the Oz Black swan building, Eden), but when the roof is netted, is the owl will fly and settle on top of the netting or along the brace pieces of the pen.


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    When a raptor lands on the roof of a pen, it will certainly scare the occupants below (I realize you put them away each night and as do we...very good husbandry fer sure!) and the defence of a duck (not sure on peafowl?) is often to leap UP in the air...straight up...way way straight up! [​IMG]

    I am not sure if the peafowl will leap up if surprised or threatened...I do see pheasants do this and the duckers...your Mandies might be one wing clipped or even pinioned too, so not HIGH fliers...

    The owl sits on top of the netted top and grasps the birds as they leap up within reach. The owl kills the bird easy enough but if the netting is not cuttable, the owl then has to drop the injured/dead bird to the ground. People have told me they have lost an entire pen to a single owl in one incident...all because the owl continues killing simply because the birds below keep panicking and leaping up into the owl's waiting talons and beak. I blame none here, not the raptor or the prey, even the keeper is not at fault if they are never told of this nasty scenario happening. I was clueless until I saw an open netted pen with a suspended section of netting below and asked the fella, what gives regarding DOUBLE netted?

    Now you got some real good things on the go, you put the birds away at night, locked up and safe but the issue I have, owls can still come round when it is light...they don't prefer it but if they get real hungry (and this year with lots of snow cover to hide the rodents they usually consume, they may get desperate!) they will hang about early morn and early eve to get a meal if able. Extreme hunger makes them go outside their normal comfort zones.

    So what others with open netted pens do is about a foot or so below the top of the roof, use a bird proof (don't need to be predator proof) barrier of netting below the top. This acts as a dead zone, no go place and any owl sitting atop (no laughing, when I lived on the WEsT Coast as a kid, we came out to let our precious chooks into their outside run before school--only to find a mature Bald Eagle perched on the pen eyeing up our chickens thru the window inside their coop! Really...really? Agh....) will not be able to harvest leaping birds.

    Not sure if you will be able to manage to put a barrier space under the current height of your pen without an upright human bonking head. Might elevate the overall pen height with my next suggestion (planks) or maybe just a six inch barrier between...dunno. Kinda like me asking you to shut the barn door after the horses are out but I guess I can say, first time I have seen your building progressing along. I may be too late or you may just say, "Got no owls (or eagles, not sure if hawks do this!) to worry about" and that would be a great thing! Best I guess I say something I suppose.



    So here's another thought for maybe your NEXT project with a pen...take it or leave it but over time, this is what we do now just 'cause it works out so well for us and man alive, do we have an entourage of predators that would LOVE to eat our creatures up for us.


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    We place the pens on top of a plank, usually a 3 by 12 plank (unpainted and non-toxic wood) which by itself, inhibits the diggy predators from accessing your pen--I mean if given enough time, things like a 'yote could dig in but we usually do a once round look each morning/evening doing chores to make sure no activity is on the go. We did try putting wire (something like a dig barrier) straight out from the sides of the pens BUT the durn mice build homes by digging UNDER the wire which then acted like a roof for a house for them...Grrr....perfect conditions for raising mice, eh?

    We provide food and water for the birds, lotsa oat straw bedding and then the nice building sites of wire around the outside perimeters for the micey varmits to set up house and home. Dang buggers! [​IMG]

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    This is Smokey (Aus Black cob) inside his side of the Eden swan building. See the plank there under the pen...not only anti-dig but I figure it helps keep the white latex painted bottom boards used as the bottom of the pen from rotting out. Even the house has some wood barrier to help keep the inside quarters safe.


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    Some may say we are overkill on the buildings but not sure how often what we have done has been tested and found to be up to snuff. I won't do carnage too well...I remember coon attacks as a kid (no real say over the facilities) and I just can't seem to handle horror at home at the sanctuary. I get that things have to eat but prefer it not to be my dependents...I just don't got that inner strength to deal with it no more I guess. Like zoning out in happy land where bad things don't come to visit and cause you grief.


    We have had zero predation since Earth Day 2007 (I left a silly yard banty Brahma hen out, owl ate her because I became lax a daisy on the "head count" prior to evening shut them in--every day same number, got complacent and a hen died over my stoopidity of not doing what I should be doing always and forever on) ... and none past the one incident in over fifteen years. Doing some things right I expect...YAH!


    Looking at your pen again, you might snug up some planks around the outside perimeter too or maybe there are less predators in your neck of the woods to be concerned over. Nothing saying either that diligent mice won't set up home UNDER the planks but so far, touch wood (my head), we don't have any living UNDER the planks here. Not saying there is no chance though. I never stop learning that there are no hard and fast rooles on all things. Sorta that the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know much at all.

    Just some suggestions that I hope you don't take offense to...otherwise... [​IMG]on the good digs Woman! Yee haw...bring on the spring times...lucky ducks and lucky peafowl. Very nice indeedy; pretty and practical--that white door trim ROCKS but I'm kinda a suck for white coloured accents on the outbuildings! Girl's gotta have a colour scheme in mind... [​IMG]

    Doggone & Chicken UP!

    Tara Lee Higgins
    Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm, Alberta, Canada
     
  3. 3BirdGirlz

    3BirdGirlz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Tara!:)

    Yep, I'm going to put railroad ties along the bottom. My family has been doing that for generations and nothings got in yet. But they're piled under snow, so come on nice weather, I need to finish stuff!!! We don't have much for predators around here...lucky I know. I have seen owls, but never had an issue with our chickens in the past 23 yrs (We bought the house from my patents). But thank you for the warning! The Bald Eagles are making a tremendous comeback, and last year I did see some around our area. I do clip my mandarins wings, but my Peas aren't. I will think about what you said, because I don't want an Eagle killing my pretties!
    Thanks again! Desiree
     
  4. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    Sounds like you got it all covered...not "quite" finished and I agree, under all that snow we have, puts a few projects on hold for now. Railway ties sound perfect too...me and creosote, don't get along too well and I'd certainly TAR and feather myself if I got too close to them...best I use just planks here--makes me l00k less silly hey? [​IMG]

    I look very much forward to all your plantings...the GREEN additions to your wonderful project...so when she is more grown in, please please post again to your thread here...love to see the plants around the perimeter in all their luscious beaut.

    Bald Eagles, saw a ton of them last winter (I am told they winter here) but not so much this time. BUT I did see an adult last week...I guess maybe calving season coming up should draw more into this neck of the woods. I just shudder at their sheer power...I think I would truly worry if you had one hanging around checking things out. Netting can be scary for winged predators but owls seem to be more the concern than those regal eagles...at least I hope that logic is true.

    Tara
     
  5. Katelynn08

    Katelynn08 Out Of The Brooder

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    Does anyone sell mandarin and ship them I would love some
     
  6. 3BirdGirlz

    3BirdGirlz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Look in buy/sell/trade section. I think MNwaterfowler had some for presale this year.
     
  7. 3BirdGirlz

    3BirdGirlz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Here they are in their new shed. That back wall is the last one thst needs covered.
     
  8. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

    Now don't they both look regally happy with your efforts.

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    Tara
     
  9. sophieoneill

    sophieoneill Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow those pens look great guys...I also finished a duck coop today and I know it's a great feeling to finally finish it and put the new residents into their new home, ha [​IMG]
     
  10. BYC-user-174785

    BYC-user-174785 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very nice! I am glad the ducks are doing well!
     

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