QuickHotTips on Peachick Care

Many people write me, saying they have some peafowl/peacock chicks and what to do? So here's some quick tips, basics that have worked for me over the years:

Where are you keeping the newborns? They need 101 degrees temp 1st week, then 5 degrees less each week. They must be handled with kid gloves until they have feathers, not just fuzzy down. I have found cold temperatures and the stress that follows to be the biggest killers of baby peachicks. ·Books on chicks and turkey babies are very helpful.
·Box with clamp-on
reflector light- like chicken chicks.
Peachicks don't need to eat for a day because of the nutrients in the yolk that was in the egg they hatched from, but peachicks need to be
warm! Some have used lights as high as100W, at least 12" away from peachicks. Watch to see they aren't burnt or frozen! Spend a few minutes observing them- of course you are doing that anyway, since they are the CUtest babies ever hatched!
·
Towel partly over top of box. If they huddle to the light, they are cold; if they shrink to the walls, they are too hot. A thermometer in the box is good too, if possible, just watch to make sure it doesn't fall down.
·
Water should be in a jar lid at first- they can drown in a bowl.
·
Vitamins and electrolytes in the water, like lemonade.
·Rubbermaid
mat/shelf liner* for box bottom. Keep clean - you can wash the rubber liners. I usually keep several on hand for 'changes,' and two boxes, so chicks can be airlifted to the other clean box, rather than have to undergo the stress of a total house cleaning. They could eat droppings and get sick. If you don't have the shelf lining- webby rubber/plastic stuff, then straw is a second okay solution. Newspaper under all this is ok, but newspaper itself causes them to slip and not develop the right leg muscles, sort of like a dog trying to sit on a linoleum floor, slipping and sliding...
·Keep food lid away from water lid. Change water if there is food in it and it smells bad (you wouldn't want to drink that, so wouldn't they). This may be several times a day.
·Crumbled hardboiled
eggs are good for the first few days.
·At the feed store they have
chick starter-that's what they
really need= feed + medicine to prevent coccodosis and other birdbaby diseases.
To teach pea chicks to eat:
·drop ground up chick starter in front of them while talking making 'whee whee 'and 'bup bup' noises. You are mom.
·Point to the food and scratch with finger.
·Once some learn, they will show others.
·Dip nose beaks in water gently to teach them to drink;
point out water area, putting a drop on beak.
·You will need bigger and taller boxes as babies grow-like
washing machine or TV or computer boxes (no you better
save those, in case the computer needs to be sent out to be fixed!), cut to 18"or so, with little vents at 12", but
NO major drafts or crosswinds.

 

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These are a few tips that have worked for me. Asking someone who has raised chicks, turkeys or peacocks could help too.

*thanks to Mike Johns of RocknCedar for this tip!

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