It’s a long weekend here, and that usually means we get bored…..and when we get bored we scour craigslist for new animals!
Today we started by searching for pheasant eggs. That search was not successful, but in our quest we found both guinea eggs and peacocks!
Side note: two of our guinea are not returning at night, they seem to have decided to nest and we can’t find their nest. It is likely we will lose them to predation, so finding replacements is necessary for tick and bug control! Besides, they are so fun to watch walk around.
First step: build a special peacock carrier. The tails of the male will break if they try to turn in most cages, so there is a special way to make one that allows for the tail. We did our best to estimate the correct dimensions. We also packed up the dog cage to bring the peahens home in.
First we drove 45 minutes to pick up guinea eggs. From there it was an hour drive to the peafowl. The seller first grabbed the peacock and he was feisty. Our diy cage was way too big and he was able to move around too much, so we jury rigged another idea and Ken pulled off his undershirt and we wrapped the peacock in it. The peahens were much easier to contain, less skittish and no tail worries.
We drove the 75 minutes home, and then had to finish setting up their new home. We had started this morning not sure where to keep the peafowl, then decided that an add on to the back of the barn was the perfect spot to keep them. It is fully enclosed and has high rafters for them to roost. The previous owner had used this for sawdust storage.
The peahens had laid a few eggs, and the seller let us have them. He said last year they sat on them and tried to hatch, but the male was young and the eggs weren’t fertile. But this year they might be, so we set the eggs up for the hens.
First we brought in the peacock, we were most concerned about his travel arrangements. Thankfully he was fine. He has a couple of broken tail feathers– a few happened before we got him and a few additional ones during the trip. But he will shed all his feathers in the fall and regrow new, so it isn’t a big worry.
The peahens were much easier to relocate into their new home.
Within minutes two of the peahens were in the rafters and not much after that all four of the birds were up high. We spent quite a bit of time building a lower perch for them and it seems like they don’t even care about it, they like the highest roost, of course!
After this, we set the guinea eggs in the incubator, they should hatch in about 28 days. This is a fun comparison between a peacock egg, chicken egg and guinea egg.
We will keep them in here for a couple of weeks, then start to let them free range. It’ll be fun to watch them walk around on our park! They are so beautiful.