Peas ran away and now I'm afraid to free-range

Kali-Peep

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
35
1
31
Northern Michigan
I have three yearling peas - one male and two females. I've let them free-range since they were three or four months old. They have never left the property, spending most of the day in their coop and playing tag under the pines in the mornings and evenings. Last week they disappeared. There was no trace of them whatsoever. I searched high and low, notified all my neighbors, posted on Facebook, and made flyers. Four days later, a neighbor called to say they were in his yard (he has two emus and they were eating the emus' food) . I was able to herd them home but now I am terrified they will run away again. I was so worried about them! They didn't seem like they had any intention of returning home on their own, as I've heard peas will do. So I'm wondering what to do. Should I still let them free-range, should I build an aviary, is this normal spring-time behavior, are they still too young to be left to their own devices? I hope some of you more experienced peapeople can give me some advice. Thanks!
 

BYC-user-174785

Songster
7 Years
Nov 23, 2012
1,723
93
178
welcome-byc.gif


I had similar issues before. I would occasionally let out my peas when they were younger, but herd them back at night. Eventually they would start to stray farther and farther away, but would come back. I have them penned now, but when my green peacocks got out, they both returned the next morning. I guess you better wait for someone to answer who truly free-ranges their peas.
 

jak2002003

Crowing
Oct 24, 2009
3,146
1,271
396
Thailand
If they have found that new emu food they will keep going back to that place to eat.

I would keep them locked up for about one month and then try again. By then they should have forgotten about the emu food place.

If you provide their fav, foods all day around your peas pen, they should hang about there, pecking t the food.
 

zazouse

Crowing
10 Years
Sep 7, 2009
11,009
741
406
Southeast texas
I learned along time ago if you are going to free range you need to be home as much as possible, just like training a pup you can not teach them not to do something unless you are there to catch them doing wrong and teach them different, it took a few times to get mine to understand that the blacktop driveway is off limits, now this is not a dangerous road by any means but it leads to a dangerous road so they are not allowed on it, but if there is something strange in their territory they forget all about not going on the driveway and they will follow whatever has got their attention.

My Daughter lives on the other side of thew driveway about 400 foot from the peas area, they are not allowed there but when she got a new kitten they could not help themselves, they had to go see it , when she was hammering on something over at her place every pea on the place stood on the edge if the driveway rubbernecking , they would not go on the drive because i was right there but had i been gone they would have made it accross..

When i turned my first young peas loose at 4 months it took months for them to leave the barn area,

All in all i have been lucky, they have gotten off my place once and it was on a 100 acrea hay field, i caught and had them headed back home before they got 20 feet in that field, they never been that far before but i get a feeling they are up to something and go check , sure enough they are up to know good
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I waiting many years to get peas, i knew i would need to be here to watch out for them daily to keep them safe.

But seeing this makes it all worth while, i love retirement






 

pascopol

Songster
11 Years
Jan 6, 2009
1,472
29
204
Tampa Bay
Peas need lots of acreage to run, they are curious, easily bored and love to wonder around. I lost a trio once, one peahen was hand raised and very tame, they just walked away one day and never returned. Now I have a peahen, also very tame, she often wanders away and comes back hungry but intact after day or two. I do not want to clip her, cause peas even when clipped can jump a fence, but can not fly up on a tree, so she would be easy prey.

It is just nature of peacocks. They do better on large acreage like 5 or more acres.

I do not believe in any "training" of peas. They are stubborn birds and independent like cats, they like to do their own things at the whim.
Mine peahen will peck me gently some times, or suddenly spur my leg from behind. Then she runs away knowing I am going to try to kick her butt. But she is very tame and looking for attention all the time.
She'll go to rust with chickens one day, other day I have to carry her to the coop, another they she is gone.

So much for any "training". LOL
 

Kali-Peep

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
35
1
31
Northern Michigan
Thanks for so much advice everyone! We live on six acres and are surrounded by former hay fields, so they do have plenty of space. Yesterday evening I left their coop door open for two hours and they never came out, so maybe they were still tired after thier excursion. This morning they were rip-roaring to come outside, so I let them roam for about an hour before I left for work. I will see if they want to come out tonight when I get home from work. It has been such a long winter here in northern Michigan I hate to keep them cooped up because they can finally enjoy some sunshine and grass. But I will probably keep a pretty tight rein on them for the next month as jak2002003 suggested.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of Janni and Miranda. I think they wanted a cup of hot chocolate. My other little hen is my avatar.


Thank you!
 

Kali-Peep

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
35
1
31
Northern Michigan
And the other good thing: everyone in a two-mile radius now knows that I have peafowl, so if they ever wander off again, the neighbors will know who to call!
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