I was given my first two peacocks, two males who had lived
in a cage together and were good friends. I put them in with the
chickens* in a fenced area, about 30' x 10', with an enlarged
area at one end where the perch was. Under the perch, which was
about 3.5' off theground, I hung a cut-out gallon milk jug, with
cracked corn in it,as the previous peacock owners had done.
I came out one morning to find one of the peacocks hanging
upside down with his foot tangled in the orange twine which held
up the corn feeder. He was patiently waiting for me to untangle
him, which I did.
He seemed okay for a few weeks, then died, sadly, I think
from the stress.
So, don't do that. I have made some mistakes with my peacocks,
only from ignorance, so I thought I might help any other peacock
lovers to avoid these pitfalls.
*I've heard it is not good to have peacocks with chickens,
because of possible disease transmission, like blackhead, which
comes from chicken-contaminated soil.
THE TWINE THAT BINDS:
A peahen had both of her feet bound by the string that is
sown on animal feed bags, so that she could barely walk: I mean,
really bound tightly, wound around and around her poor toes. I
caught her and cut the string off carefully, but she ended up
losing toenails one each foot. I used to call her Footsie, and
she raised several babies after, but has since gone to the Happy
Peacock World in the sky.
Nylon fishing line can also be a problem tangling around
Peacocks love white foods, even if they aren't edible! We
have seen peacocks happily munchingon those white packing pellets
"peanuts," which can't be good for them.
Pink fiberglass insulation is another favorite, as
well as the aluminum foil covered foam insulation, used
to wrap pipes. They also like the flat foil covered insulation,
which was on the inside of the shop door; they had eaten a
bit of that before we even saw it.
Then there's my flowers.....
METAL ROOFING EDGES have cut the legs of a peacock we had,
so those edges should be covered, or the area made unattractive
to them to visit. Bruce was jumping up on top of our little pump
house with metal roofing and hanging out there. I saw cuts on
his legs and blooddrops in various places. I just made that roof
off limits to him by putting stuff up there- sprinklers, a short
hose, garden supplies.
UPDATE 8/'99: Peacock feathers are wonderfully fun toys for
cats, but be aware that cats can eat the herls, the fringy parts
of the feather, which can act just like fur balls in cats, no
fun! Regular shorter feathers may be ok, but not the fringy parts
of eye feathers.
A little look-around to check out for
these hazards might be a really good idea for your peacocks. You
might save a bird's life!
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