Sunday, 28 December 2014

Peacock project 2014

Peachicks at about ten days old: the one on the left was assumed to be female, and the other two males (brothers) almost from hatching
I have always had 'a bit of a thing' about peacocks, as may have been apparent from previous entries, but I've never previously had a chance to do anything but admire from afar. This summer, though, having hatched a couple of clutches of Lady Amherst's Pheasant eggs and feeling confident in the incubator, I decided to have a go at raising some. In season there is an extensive trade in poultry eggs on Ebay, so I bid for and won two clutches of three eggs each, both for just over £10.00. The eggs were set in the incubator on 18 June - images tell the rest of the story.


Incubation time for pea-eggs is 27-28 days: the eggs started pipping on 15 July.

By next morning three chicks were out. The others did not hatch, but the chicks were fully formed. I have no idea why they didn't emerge.

After a day or so in the incubator the chicks were transferred to a cardboard box with a brooder to act as surrogate mother. They were tame and confident from the start, quite unlike the pheasants.

Growing poults perched on the by-then redundant brooder, after about 6 weeks.

The young peafowl were transferred to a spacious shed at the arboretum at the end of August, where they lived with an earlier brood of pheasant poults. Growth was very rapid, and the first coloured feathers appeared on their necks in September.

In October arboretum staff and volunteers created a large pen for the peafowl, pheasants and a flock of 10 guineafowl I acquired at the Malton poultry auction... The peafowl and guineafowl will be allowed to roam free in the grounds once spring comes. All being well the males should moult into full colours next summer, but it takes three years for the full train to develop. They love ripping into a cabbage. Picture taken 24 December, showing the two males to the left and the back of the peahen.

4 comments:

  1. Be wary of peacocks John. They love flowerbuds. No visible damage in the garden until you realize no flowers are appearing. Our neighbours had them. One got stuck in my conservatory and bashed the plants to death trying to get out. Derry

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  2. Wow , very nice , I like your post

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