Why did I ever get peafowl?

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by dheltzel, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    I'm pretty discouraged about our first peafowl. We bought 7 very young ones last summer and I built them a beautiful cage on a grassy spot (24 ft square). We put our lonely turkey hen in there and later bought 3 more turkeys to add. All seemed well until the weather turned bad. We lost one that had a splayed leg, that I could live with. I built an enclosed shelter for them, added a light, heated water dish, always available dry food. Seemed like they could sort that out, but they insist on sleeping outside even if it's snowing or freezing rain. Now the run has turned into a mud pit, or an ice rink and they still stay out in the cold. Today we lost another one. I wonder if any will make it through the winter. Maybe it's just not meant to be, but the girls have become so fond of them (and the turkeys even more so). I feel responsible but don't know how to fix things. If anyone had told be all this would happen I would have left the peafowl with someone else. Maybe they are just too dumb and sensitive to survive where I put them. I thought turkeys were reputed to be stupid, but our peafowl make them look like geniuses.

    Are all peafowl this stupid, or are these an anomaly? If I remove all to roosts except the ones in the shelter will that help? I suspect they will just sit in the mud puddles all night rather than go into the cozy shed I spent so much time and money building for them.

    Can you tell I'm frustrated with them?
  2. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    It had been a long time but I remember a family member had a shelter
    up in the trees for them and yes they do not normally sleep in side unless
    trained to do so when young .....So if you want to keep them till adulthood
    then you might want to cage them up for several months .......

    gander007 [​IMG]
  3. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 16, 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    Haha they are not stupid, it is just their nature. They love to sleep outside and here in Florida it isn't an issue, but it sounds like you are somewhere cold. I recently asked a large peafowl breeder why my peafowl sleep outside when they have a nice covered roost and the covered roosts are taller than the outside ones. He told me that they go to the light. They roost where they see the most light. Maybe it is to be safer, and I can see why since I have had problems with raccoons killing a few of my peas at night. Anyways he told me if you install a dim light inside the shelter and turn it on around roosting time, the peafowl will roost under the shelter.

    In my case though, I don't have electricity hooked up to the pen. If that is your case too, you might want to take down all of the outside roosts. That is what this breeder said was an alternative.

    Watch out for keeping peafowl with turkeys. I read that someone once kept peafowl in with their turkeys and once the male turkeys matured, they killed the peacocks. I am sure that can't be said for every situation, but just keep an eye on the birds.

    It sounds like you are having some bad luck...I know how you feel...My first peafowl ran away but I got the peahen back and I still have her. I have lost some peas and gained some, but I will not give up keeping them. They are wonderful! They are the only kind of bird I keep.
  4. 3BirdGirlz

    3BirdGirlz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2013
    I'd try removing the outside roosts and see what happens. I think it's just instinct for them to be outside, and they're not originally from cold icy climates. I live up in the cold...mine do great, but they stay in the shed at night. I do only have indoor heated roost. I'm in the process of finishing my larger pen which I plan on putting roosts outside, so I don't know how that'll work out. On the really cold nights I close up the opening into the run to keep the wind and snow out. Can you close the peas into your protected area? I left my peas in the shed for a couple months when I first got them before letting them go outside, as I heard this helps them learn where to roost. Don't give up!
  5. frenchblackcopper

    frenchblackcopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2009
    East central Illinois
    Peas aren't for everyone that's for sure. Wind chill was 13 below here this morning and all my coming 2 year old birds refuse to go inside a raised coop so after seeing the forecast last nite I once again went out and hand caught each one and put inside the coop and closed the door to keep the wind out. I too have issues with mud in the pens when we get heavy rains in the spring mainly because no grass has a chance to grow to amount to anything. This can be a real problem early in the spring when the males has trains 5-6' long and the end gets covered in mudd. I buy straw bales and cover the ground inside the pen so the males trains don't get in the mud.
  6. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    I did put a light inside a few weeks ago. I will take down their outside roosts next and make some more inside. If they insist on sleeping out in the mud puddles, I guess that's their choice then. It's tough to lock them inside, they don't herd well and chasing them just gets them worked up and they really won't want to be inside.

    Our turkeys are all hens, and I plan to get a tom, but separate them all from the peacocks.

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