1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

young peacock chasing peahen all over the pen?

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by MinxFox, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

    4,109
    283
    288
    Sep 16, 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    So when I went out to feed the peafowl after school, Ice, my dominant peahen, wouldn't come off the perch to eat. She didn't look sick or anything so I thought maybe she would come down later. Alto, my two year old peacock, flew up on the perch and lightly pecked at her. Ice stood up but wouldn't fly down. Later she flew down and Alto started chasing her all around the pen. It wasn't play he was really running and Ice didn't like it. She was really trying to get away from him and they would go around and around the bamboo and the tree in circles. Whenever Alto cornered Ice Alto would start kicking her. They were running so much that they started to pant even though today was cool with a light breeze and all shade. I got tired of all the chasing and tried to get in front of Alto but he was able to run by me after a minute of me swaying back and forth. Then I got out the hose and sprayed him. He kept running after Ice and didn't even flinch even though he got soaked.

    I can't believe that Dragon, my four year old male who is in the same pen, would let this happen to HIS girl. He was on the other side of the pen not even watching. Is this regular behavior? Is Alto just being rough? Do I have to worry about the possibility that Ice can't get food or water without being chased or will Alto stop? He wasn't after the two other peahens.
     
  2. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    4,273
    75
    271
    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Quote:Mating behavior - juvenile mating behavior. Since she's not interested in him and can't run away herself, she's staying on the perch. You might want to keep an eye on her. If she won't come down to eat her health will suffer. If he won't leave her alone, you might need to remove him from the pen.
     
  3. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

    4,109
    283
    288
    Sep 16, 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    I will keep an eye out for her. I can separate them if need be poor Alto I don't want to have to punish him but he really is messing with Ice.

    If it keeps up tomorrow I think I will put him in the other section of the pen that can be closed off. It is much smaller but will be fine for just him and he can talk to the peas through the fence.

    What about my mature peacock though, are there any chances of him showing Alto who is boss by jumping on him and showing him not to mess with his mate? Maybe not since my mature peacock is so nice and non-aggressive.
     
  4. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    6,511
    647
    361
    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Was Ice dominant over Alto previous to this? If she was, it's a simple case of Alto challenging her and winning and wants to show her who's the boss now.

    If she wasn't... I don't know. I have to disagree about it being a juvenile mating behavior thing though. Peacocks do not chase down peahens with mating in mind like chicken roosters do with hens. Juvenile peacocks court same as adults do except more 'immature'. The only time I ever saw juveniles chasing another bird hard was after a fight, either an establishing rank(pecking order) or after winning a fight with previously dominant bird. Same as adults...

    Also mature peacocks don't defend their mates.. just about the only thing they defend are their favorite display spot and their ranking(if they get in a fight, the winner chases the loser for a long time, just like Alto is doing to Ice, actually). the peahens are free to go or come as they please if free range. The only real "bonds" I see are mothers with their young and juveniles from the same clutch which lasts until the peahens start laying then they 'drift away'.. boys can stay together until fully mature.
     
  5. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

    4,109
    283
    288
    Sep 16, 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    Thanks Kev, that is what my parents were thinking...I wasn't so sure Alto was still mad at Ice though for being in charge...

    When I first got Alto there was no doubt Ice was the boss. Then around this time last year she got sick (we gave her medicine) and Alto took this opportunity to put Ice in her place. After that Ice was a bit afraid of Alto and would submit to him like if she was eating some food and he walked up she would leave and let him eat there. Ice still is the boss over the peahens, and sometimes Alto seems to protest to that, especially when Ice bosses around Pip. Ice tends to get more bossy around this time, so I guess Alto will NOT put up with that and is trying to remind her he is still higher ranking than her. Hmm interesting thanks!
     
  6. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    6,511
    647
    361
    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    That's possible- it started with Ice telling Pip off and Alto stepped in and went overboard.

    Sometimes a simple misunderstanding turns into a big event, like if a subdominant bird is cornered by accident and it has to rush by and accidentally bumping or fly over the dominant one, the dominant takes that as an challenge or "insult" and then goes around beating/chasing that bird around. They can't understand it was an accident/non intentional...

    Like if I was trying to catch a chicken which are sub dominant to peafowl, and the chicken either runs right through/under them sometimes one or several of the peafowl will be "offended" and start chasing the chicken to teach it who's the boss. All ages peafowl do this, from juveniles to adults.
     
  7. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

    4,109
    283
    288
    Sep 16, 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    Evidently this chasing was going on some yesterday. My dad was out there working near the barn and said he saw them running around a lot. I guess they will eventually settle their argument.[​IMG] I know Ice is going to be even more afraid of Alto now. She had a look of terror when he followed her up to the perch to stare at her and try and peck at her.
     
  8. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

    4,109
    283
    288
    Sep 16, 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    Alto is still chasing Ice. [​IMG] At first he was just slowly following her and I thought that was okay but then they started running. He didn't kick her today but she looks scruffy and when she was on the perch he would get right next to her and try to lean over and peck her neck. He kept trying to do that and she was going up and down from the high perch to the lower one with him following. I was able to block Alto for a short time so Ice could get one sip of water, but not much. I am going to see what happens tomorrow and if he is still harassing her tomorrow then I will try and put him in the small pen for a while. Maybe we will pen him in the small pen for a few hours just so Ice can eat then let him back in. I think the best thing would be to just let them resolve this. Evidently Alto thinks Ice still needs to be taken care of. I think after all this is over Ice is REALLY going to respect him. I know that what he has dreamed of ever since he was younger and she would make him stop displaying by chasing him or pecking him.
     
  9. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    4,273
    75
    271
    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    It does sound like he's being way too aggressive.

    I could have sworn I read somewhere that they chase each other when "courting" - I know mine chase each other all over the place. Sometimes it's one male chasing another male but I've also seen males chasing females and vice versa. Maybe mine are just "playing" because I've never seen them be aggressive to one another. They just seem to "play" all the time during mating season - more so last year since they were still only 2 years old but were mating.

    But it sounds like something totally different going on in your case. Of course, in my case the birds aren't penned and they have the entire farm to roam so I think I see different behavior than others who keep their birds penned might see. Mine mostly hang out in my backyard, with some chickens, and my two Great Pyrenees and eat all of their food while they sit back and wait. And they roost in the highest trees - which produces an awesome image when they come swooping down cawing all the way. They sound like a plane coming in for a landing and you'd better not be in their way.

    I personally would move the male if he's being that aggressive because if he wants to, he can seriously hurt or kill her or she will become so weak from trying to stay away from him. Stress is not good for them.
     
  10. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

    4,109
    283
    288
    Sep 16, 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    Peacocks will chase a peahen when they are displaying for them. They rush at the peahen making a specific call and then the peahen will run from him and will either get out of the way or let him breed her. I saw this happen last year with Ice and Dragon. Also when I free-ranged Ice and a different peacock (he ran away) if they got separated they would run back to each other once they saw one another.

    Tomorrow will help me decide what to do. Ice is a mean peahen so Alto probably is getting back at her for being so bossy. If it hasn't slacked up tomorrow I will put him in the small pen for a while. I was glad to see he didn't kick at her today, only peck and follow her, so at least it hasn't gotten worse.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by