Peahen/Chicken/Turkey questions for a newbie

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by cpowers_21, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. cpowers_21

    cpowers_21 New Egg

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    Hi, I'm new here and new to the art of chicken keeping.First off, I have no idea which category to post this in, so sorry about that. I'll soon be getting 4-8 hens and potentially a rooster, at this time I am leaning towards getting hybrids. I would also like to get a peahen to at least hopefully get some kind of hawk protection, whether or not a peahen will help I am willing to take a gamble. I know for certain that I want my hens to free range all day, everyday. I have already researched quite a bit about keeping both chickens and peafowl so I do know about Blackhead and such. However some questions I still have are;
    1. Is it possible to introduce a peachick directly to chickens to allow them to raise it? How about if I slowly introduce them?
    2. If I can get the hens to raise the peachick, would they treat it as their own? I am mostly concerned with them keeping the peachick warm, otherwise I will have to place it in a brooder.
    3. I live in Florida and during the summer (now) the outside daytime temps rarely dip below 80 degrees and nighttime temps do not go below 70 degrees. It is always humid so heat is constantly trapped in the air. It will also be warmer inside of the coop. Is it still necessary to place the peahen, and for that matter, chicken chicks if I decide to get a rooster, in a brooder despite the Florida heat.
    4. If I can keep them together, should a keep the peachick starter in the coop with the other chickens, or will they eat it? I could be able to feed the peachick separately in early morning, just before sunrise (I have school), and in the afternoon through the evening.
    5. I would like the peahen to protect my hens from hawks when it is full grown and from my research I have found that people have somewhat mixed results with this. I wanted to possibly supplement the protection along with a rooster so that I cold also have fertile eggs if I choose to breed. Food costs, chick costs (Cheapest peahen chick I've found is ~$45, cheapest turkey chick is ~$5), amount of protection they could offer, noise, and maintenence considered, would a female turkey or a peahen be a better choice? I am not concerned with them laying eggs, although it would be a bonus.
    I know that this is a lot, I'm just worried that i will lose a considerable amount of my already small flock to hawks and such, as we have at least 4 medium sized hawks living on the neighboring property. Any input or advice is greatly appreciated...
     
  2. Sarahal88

    Sarahal88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't raised peafowl but I have done chickens and turkeys so I'll take a stab based on my own experience. Maybe some peafowl owners can chime in.

    1. Since I know hens sometimes raise ducks, I would guess that it is possible to get them to raise a peachick, but only a hen who has been solidly broody and sitting on eggs (real or fake) is going to accept a new chick of any species and even then it isn't guaranteed that she'll accept it as her own. I have heard of hens who have a young brood of chicks allowing other chicks to be added after the fact, but I think that's even less guaranteed. But if you just put a peachick in with a hen who hasn't been setting, she's likely to pick on it rather than mother it. Even if she has been setting, you'll need a backup plan in case she doesn't accept it.

    2. IF you do manage to get a brooding hen to accept a chick, once she has accepted it she will treat it as her own and keep it warm. Which is great - much less worry for you. But that sounds like a big if in this case.

    3. I don't know about specific heat requirements of peachicks, but assuming they are similar to chickens, I would say even in that heat they still would benefit from supplemental heat at night for the first 2-4 weeks depending on the weather, and in the day time for the first couple weeks as well. If it is a lone peachick, it would need heat longer, because it doesn't have friends to snuggle for warmth. It's probably better not to raise a single chick of any kind by itself. They are social. Again, I don't know about peafowl but I assume.

    4. All the fowl will eat whatever food is left out. When I have birds of different kinds (chicks, adult hens, turkeys) I leave out Purina Flock Raiser Crumbles which seem to work for everybody. Laying hens need some extra calcium (oyster shell) in that case because Flock Raiser feed doesn't have calcium by design because your non laying birds (chicks, peafowl) don't need it and it will hurt chicks. That way you can just leave one kind of food for them all.

    5. I don't know anything about peafowl protecting from hawks. I have a great rooster and he does help shepherd the flock underneath the coop when something flies over. I have hawks nesting all over my property and have not lost a single bird to a hawk. But I think I have been really lucky. If turkeys are supposed to protect chickens from hawks, I didn't know that. My turkeys ranged all over and didn't really hang out with my chickens. They jumped straight in and out of the chicken run and went wherever they pleased. I can't really see them helping with hawks. Maybe if you had one turkey she would stick with the chickens more. Or maybe she'd take off into the woods to join the wild birds. Depends on your setup, what kind of turkey etc.

    Hope that helps a little.
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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  4. Bluechick2u

    Bluechick2u Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My peafowl are very skittish, I don't imagine they would be much of a deterrent to a hawk, but my red bourbon turkey has decided she loves my chickens and protects them from hawks just by being with them. However, my peafowl were not raised with chickens, I was advised that peachicks should not be in with chickens until they are 6 months old due to possible diseases and parasites. (Capillary worms?)
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    I don't expect a peafowl to be protective of chickens. Couldn't you just have a very large run with wire or solid top (would also protect from weather)? And eventually get a livestock protection dog?
     
  6. cpowers_21

    cpowers_21 New Egg

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    While that is an option that I may fall back on if I have issues with losing much of my flock, I am avoiding having them cooped up as I would prefer them to be as free range as possible unless they are in major danger. As much as I love the idea of getting a dog for protection, it is completely out of the question due to the fact that I already have 4 dogs, 2 of which are known chicken killers. But thank you for the advice
     
  7. Bluechick2u

    Bluechick2u Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Too bad you can't get a pair of llama or alpaca, they will keep everything away from your chickens, including dogs. I always have a small heart attack when my tiny seramas run amongst my llamas legs, but the llamas are very caregul not to hurt them.
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Some say that Turkeys can get black head disease from chickens. You may want to find info on that to see how likely it is.
     

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