To cage or free range

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by jjpeacock, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. jjpeacock

    jjpeacock Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2014
    I'm new to the whole peacock world. I have an opportunity to adopt a male & female, brother & sister. Would like to let them free roam. We have 10 acres with 2 of it fenced with 7.5ft deer fence. Have neighbors on all sides that have horses, dogs etc. Have seen an occasional coyote, bobcat in the area. The fenced area is landscaped with flowers etc, 2 water falls, no lawn. We have giant pines & oaks. What would I need to do so the Peacocks would stay and call the 2 acres home?
     
  2. KsKingBee

    KsKingBee Overrun With Chickens

    You would need to pen them in at least a 200 sf area for the winter, a larger pen would be nice. Then next spring you could let them out during the day but keep feeding them in the pen every evening to bring them back to roost for the night. Your fence will not make them stay, they can hop right over it if they want but a constant supply of food will keep them around after they start calling your home their home.
     
  3. KsKingBee

    KsKingBee Overrun With Chickens

    I would also look to trade one of your birds for an unrelated mate for the other one.
     
  4. jjpeacock

    jjpeacock Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2014
    Thank you for your advice. These birds are 5 mo old. I understand the male isn't capable of fertilizing the eggs until 4 yrs old? Should I trade sooner than later so they don't bond too much? Or is that an issue with them.
     
  5. KsKingBee

    KsKingBee Overrun With Chickens

    A hen is capable of laying a few eggs at one year, usually unfertile or too late in the year for a fertile male to be available. Cocks I am unsure if they are capable the first year but I understand that they are able to mate at two years and certainly by three. The younger males are normally kept from breeding by the older cocks in the flock.

    What type/color of peas are you getting?
     
  6. jjpeacock

    jjpeacock Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2014
    We looked at them the other day. Owner said female was the white one. More of a grey - white mix. The male had more green tones rather than normal blue. I have so much to learn & figure out.
     
  7. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Female sounds like a black shoulder. Does the male have any yellow or blue on his head close to his eyes? Congratulations, hope it works out for you. Worm them very soon unless you are sure they've been wormed.
     
  8. jjpeacock

    jjpeacock Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2014
    I'll have to get back on that. We don't have them yet as we need to build them an aviary.
     
  9. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

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    Pensacola, FL
    [​IMG]
    Could you please post photos of your yard? I love doing a little gardening and I love waterfalls (but don't have a waterfall) I would love to see photos! [​IMG]

    The peacock sounds like he might be either a green peacock or a spalding. He is probably a Spalding peacock. Spaldings are a hybrid (a fertile one). They are created by breeding the green peafowl with the blue peafowl. Here are two photos of a spalding (not my birds):
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This is a photo (not my bird) of a green peacock for comparison. Generally people say not to free-range green peafowl because they are more close to being wild than India Blues. They are also endangered and more valuable so yet another reason why people generally do not free-range them. Still, I hear of people who have free-ranged them with some luck. They do wander further if you were to free-range one. Green peacocks will have green necks with scaled neck feathers. A spalding's scale neck feathers will be less pronounced. Green peafowl don't really shine blue on their necks at all. A spalding is almost always a blue-green color, but there are high % spaldings that look almost just like a green peacock.
    [​IMG]

    Does the peahen look like this? If so, she is a black shoulder. This is a photo of my first peahen. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Free-ranging is wonderful. It is fun watching the peafowl fly up into a big tree for the night and fly down at around 5 in the morning. The best part is watching them fly down. I never got to free-range for long because my peafowl ran off. I would definitely keep them in as long as KsKingBee said. I kept my first pair in for a month and that certainly must have not been long enough or they got too curious and crossed the road and kept going! I got the peahen pictured above back, but the peacock was long gone. Something to think about is the breeding season. It is pretty to see the peacock displaying out in your yard, but once it is time for the peahen to lay eggs, she might wander off to go make a hidden nest somewhere. During this time she can be very vulnerable to predators because once she lays all of her eggs in a nest she will begin sitting on them 24-7. She will get up quickly to drink and eat, but she will quickly return. She will be on the nest for 25-30 days (usually just 25-26) then the eggs will hatch. Many people lose their free-ranging peahens because they get killed on the nest. Not everyone has this problem though...Some people find the nest and make a temporary small pen around the nest and provide the peahen with food and water inside so that she is safe and well cared for while she nests. Hopefully she would find a safe spot. I read an old story once of a lady who has a beautiful garden and got peafowl as a Birthday present. She talked about them picking pretty places to nest such as under a rose bush in bloom, etc. She was lucky that they picked spots in her garden. It seems like peahens like to wander off into the woods sometimes to make their nest. I never got to that point in free-ranging though. I got my peafowl after breeding season and around Christmas they decided to run away. It would be nice to free-range some, but I would just worry about them too much. They are great at hiding.

    Oh just thought about this...If they are 5 months old the peacock would look a little green in the neck. Young peacocks don't have their adult colors yet, so they do tend to look a little greener in the neck until they get older and get that solid blue color you are used to seeing.
    Photo of a younger India Blue peacock:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  10. jjpeacock

    jjpeacock Out Of The Brooder

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    Here's some of the yard. Waterfall not turned on, but is on both sides of the hill. I'll post pics of the birds when I have them so you all can positively identify them. LOL[​IMG][/IMG][/IMG] This for all the advice. Am leaning towards an aviary. Don't want to loose them.
     

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