Peacocks

Discussion in 'Homesteading' started by SpaceBus, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus Tracker

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    Some folks we know have six peacocks that are cooped up in a 20x15 shed with a 10x10 outdoor cage. This is wayyyyy too small for the peacocks and they have no business having them. They are willing to give me the birds since we have the space for them, but I don't know how well that would work. My idea is to free range them and eat their eggs since there are two females, plus we just love peacocks. My only concern is being able to get them to return to the coop at night. I've read about how to do this with guinea hens and chickens, but I don't know how well that would work for three year old adult peacocks used to living in a tiny shed. I desperately want to help these birds, but I would hate for them to never return to their coop and get hit by cars, eaten by predators, freeze to death, etc.

    Another concern I have is with cleanliness/dirtiness of the birds. I have a compromised immune system and peacocks can harbor dangerous antibiotic resistant bacteria. My thought is that by letting the birds free range I won't come into contact with their waste as often and the risk will be mitigated. I still have my Army pro mask, respirators, and medical type masks along with additional hazardous material type clothing.

    Thank you for any help you can offer!
     
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  2. KFF

    KFF Supporter Supporter

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    You can also have them tested for variety of stuff and treated for another load. To lessen your worries.
    If you have a good size shed where you are ok to keep them for a few weeks, feed them goodies in the evening and get them used to you and the new home. Then make sure that there are goodies on offer in the shed come nighttime.
     
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  3. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus Tracker

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    How does one get the birds tested? What's the safest way to transport them? The peafowl are under 10 miles away, I've just never transported any kind of bird.
     
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  4. KFF

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    Talk with local vet first, depending on what you want tested, stool, blood, skin /flock or /individual.
    How big are the tails? With normal birds the easiest transport is cardboard boxes with air holes poked with a knife.
    With peacock's I might think about large burlap sack with the tail on the outside.
    No hanging around, just straight from there to home.
    Pick them up at night, with a red light headlamp (they can't see it) and get least stressed by the catching up and transport.
     
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  5. SpaceBus

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    Thank you for the advice. We can only take two, so the plan is one male and one female. They are about three years old and all of the males have full tails now.
     
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  6. KFF

    KFF Supporter Supporter

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    Two will be sad, with most if not all flock animals 6 is a minimum flock. But even few chicken would help.
     
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  7. AdamD1776

    AdamD1776 Scout

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    I wonder if you could get a vet to make a house call? Maybe have one come and inspect all the animals before picking any? It will likely cost more, but could save you a lot of hassle
     
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  8. SpaceBus

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    Wow, thank you again. The current owners of the flock are willing to let all of them go, but my wife is concerned about my immune system. Unfortunately the folks that have the peafowl now just didn't realize what kind of commitment they were making and what the flock requires. I've been doing cursory research about peafowl and have been trying to determine the feasibility. Will allowing the birds to free range reduce their risk of catching diseases? I haven't found much information about what kind of risks I could see as a hobby owner. I also really like their eggs, definitely the best I've ever had and this is influencing my decision.
     
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  9. KFF

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    Cooped up in a small enclosure will kill them sooner.
    Free range means better diet, better muscle condition, sun, humidity, etc. resulting in better immune system.
    You may need to treat them against parasites, internal and external, but you should do that anyway when they move.

    Two will be just as much risk as six or a dozen. They are of the same flock, they all have what the other has.
     
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  10. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus Tracker

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    You are very knowledgeable on the topic, so thank you so much for answering my questions. My wife is still on the fence, but after reading what you have said here she seems to be changing her mind. I guess you keep peafowl yourself.
     
  11. KFF

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    Currently only inside birds, was raised by a birdfarmer mum, she raised and sold turkey chicks, had 3 x3000 egg machines, she had a ~hundred egg laying turkeys.
    As pets we had ~50 bankiva chicken, for meat some geese, some ducks, about 20 muscovadi ducks and few peacock's.

    This all in Finland, meaning long winters cooped up indoors and as soon as temperature hit above 0C doors and windows open to free range.
     
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  12. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Supporter

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    Peacock's have a large "range" when they get comfortable. It will take some time in the pen, regardless, to get them to know where "Home" is.
    You're still going to need a roost and a pen for at night or bad weather. Still going to have to be ready and willing to deal with predators at a moments notice if you free range. You're going to lose some.
    Just so you know I prefer to free range chickens and Guinea fowl but I was home a lot of the day everyday.

    Have you stuck around long enough to listen to them sound off? Do you sleep? Do you have neighbors? :) Mix of a woman and cat screaming through a megaphone comes to mind. We had someone a mile away that had some and I could hear it through the woods when I hunted, it was eerie.

    If you're going to take them what about only taking one or two?
     
  13. KFF

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    @Wasp one or two would be an idea if he had any other birds, but when not, it's only cruel.
     
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  14. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Supporter

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    They aren't chickens, you don't need a yard full. Peacock are much more a loaner breed, a Peacock and a few hens should be plenty. Two would probably be plenty. Although you are likely to lose one (some) freeranging, so get three?
    I just know big birds are a lot of work.
     
  15. KFF

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    No they are not chicken, but flock birds all the same. Flock animals even, same as sheep, cows, horses, goats.
    The streght is in the flock, one on the lookout, others resting, feeding etc in relaxed mode.
     
  16. SpaceBus

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    If we do move forward with adopting these birds I will build an elevated coop first. I do understand that freeranging the birds could/will end up with a few dying. Due to my health there is little chance I will be working full time, ever, and I'm usually home. Every morning we wake up to the sounds of fishing boats in the bay, so the peafowl won't bother us. My wife laughs every time she hears their sounds and works within earshot of the birds in question (small town).
     
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  17. TRYKER

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    do they taste like chickin ???
     
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  18. SpaceBus

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    They probably taste like turkey, but I've never eaten one.
     
  19. highlander

    highlander Veni Vidi comedit lardum Supporter

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    There is a rumor they taste more like pheasant. Which is kinda what they are. A big loud noisy pheasant.
    There is a place that sells them already processed, but it’s like $500 for a bird. Only the rich could afford to eat that.
     
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