We've apparently been adopted...now what?!?

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by Pico de Gallo, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. Pico de Gallo

    Pico de Gallo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2012
    ABQ, NM
    Last weekend, our family earned the distinction of being chosen by a beautiful young male peacock. He spent about 3 hours pacing along the fenceline before hopping atop the adjacent goat barn, and to my knowledge he's not left the yard since. Despite nighttime temps in the 20s F, his favorite roost is ~20ft up in an exposed elm tree. He's happily munching our chickenfeed (mostly stray stuff next to our run), table scraps and catfood.

    Our area's semi-rural and everyone's got fowl of some sort: I imagine this guy was ejected by a more dominant male, hit the road and somehow ended up here. My neighbors actually enjoy hearing rooster crows, but I have yet to announce the peacock...figured he'd do that on his own...

    We've already got about 20 hens, a pair of goats, a barn cat and a big rhodesian ridgeback (friendly to chickens and goats, even helps me herd!), but not a whole lot of room to spare. EVERYTHING I've built to date has been carefully planned in anticipation of the next phase...which NEVER included peafowl, freerange or otherwise!

    I do have an unoccupied 12' x 50' run, but I'd intended to seed it for the chickens before Spring. Additionally, it's got several fruit trees which might impede a cock from displaying his full regalia. I have enough spare fencing to increase the fence height, but the volume is far too expansive to cover the fruit trees with netting.

    What exactly are we getting ourselves into?

    1. Will freerange peafowl destroy my veggie garden?
    2. Our next 'big' step was to be guinea fowl. Potential conflicts?
    3. In your experience with errant peafowl, how likely is he to leave on his own accord? He's got food, water, and relative safety, but not many roosting options until I construct something...
    4. When he leaps atop the barn, he occasionally alights on my small solar panel array (powers the timer-light in my chicken coop). Should I be concerned about damage, and perhaps rig an anti-pigeon sort of impediment? Any suggestions for cheap/fast solutions?
    5. The easiest way to 'cage' him would be to float some netting over my smaller run (~15x20') and enclose him with my chickens. Dumb notion, or practical?
    6. Might I clip a few wingfeathers to keep him closer to the ground?
    7. I might build him a roost somewhere, but how do I get him to notice/use it, as he's apparently fine weathering the nights in treetops?
    8. At what point should I be shopping around for a peahen or two?
    9. I live in central NM: high summer Ts, low nightly Ts, little precip, lots of wind. I might build a basic, covered, open-side windblocked roost...can I get away with this? Maybe cover the opening with a blanket during cold snaps, or supplement with a heatlamp?

    My current 'plan' is to continue providing feed/water and monitor the yard for disturbance, while going about my original plans. I might mount some pigeon spikestrips (?) on the solar panels anyway (I don't really need pigeon crapping on the hardware). If he's still hanging out by March and no red flags, I'll need to decide about building a dedicated aviary/shelter. I'd LOVE to get away with freerange, so PLEASE give me reasons to change my mind, before planting my garden. At this point, the garden is my biggest concern...
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    I can't answer most of your questions but did have to comment because we had the same thing happen to us. "Percy" or "Percival the Peacock" adopted us almost a year ago now. We have never claimed him or tried to contain him or keep him from leaving, but since he arrived, he has never left as far as we know. He hangs out on the property, sleeps in a tree, poops in the barn aisle, and eats lots of bugs. Our soft-hearted barn manager bought a bag of gamebird feed and keeps some feed in it, to supplement his diet over the winter. Other than that, we leave him to his own devices and he seems perfectly happy here.
     
  3. Pico de Gallo

    Pico de Gallo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2012
    ABQ, NM
    Glad to hear it's working out for you!
    Whether we'll be so lucky, tough to say...besides the lack of sheltered roosting provisions, our yard is pretty ideal and I'd say he chose wisely. My biggest concern is the ransacking of my vegetable garden. Second to that, but more immediate, is his proclivity to sit atop my solar panels...but I'll prolly just rig something spiky up there as a deterrent.
    Here's a random thought: how well might peafowl cohabitate with goats? Spatially it makes a lot of sense as their pen is ~15x30', in about the most sheltered corner of the lot, and rigging a net would be pretty simple. I assume there'd be less conflict w goats than there'd be w chickens, as they're not competing for the same resources (other than space, but then, where there's wings there's 3D solutions!).
     
  4. 6littlechickies

    6littlechickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2009
    Burton, OH
     
  5. Pico de Gallo

    Pico de Gallo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2012
    ABQ, NM
    Thanks for the response! This should be my 1st and last thread where I'll ask 1,000,001 questions, I'm getting a much better handle on our new pal.

    I've got a few friends who work at the zoo (where there's freeranging peafowl abound), and they echo your observation that well-fed birds don't typically mess w vegetation.

    He's pretty content roosting 20' up in an elm, I might concentrate on my other projects and beyond shopping for his future honey(s?), just play things by ear.
     
  6. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Congratulations on your new flock member

    I have a single hot wire around my garden and none of my birds go into my garden even if i forget to plug it in sometimes, i have more trouble with wild birds in my garden, they like to eat the tomatoes when they are ripe but i always have a surplus of vegetables and fruit so no worries.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    [​IMG]
     
  8. peachick

    peachick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2007
    Maryland 21787
    Congratulations on your new buddy. It is cool when they show up and decide to stay. I also have goats, and the peacocks and goats do fine together. The peacocks always show up at feeding time and try to steal a meal. I have never seen them not get along. I have some free range chicks too and there is one black mutt rooster that likes to stand on goat backs... the goats dint seem to even notice it LOL

    Come share your animals at BackyardHeards Forum :)

    As for the vegetable garden... the peacocks destroyed our tomatoes. We did fence it off, but the peacocks just jumped over it
     
  9. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sunny side up :)
    How lucky you are. How come none ever want to adopt me? LOL I always hear about wild peacocks in S. FL but haven't seen any here in the NE part of FL running around, except at the zoo.
     
  10. Glenmar

    Glenmar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    MIne did not bother my garden.
    Good luck.
     

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