If you've ever been to the farm, you've seen the (really) free range critters here. The front yard is usually graced by a combination of chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, kitties and a pair of peafowl. We like letting them run loose, as long as they stay on the farm. The poultry do a great job of eliminating insects from the yard and garden if given a chance! We pen things up when they get too comfortable playing in the road, or when we have issues with predators.
Most of our peafowl are in a pen with a net roof, as they are good fliers. This shocked me at first, with those long tails, but it's true! However, when we hatch peachicks, we keep them with other baby poultry, like turkeys, because they are similar in size and eat the same things, and the less pens that need checked, fed, and cleaned, the lighter our workload will be. So, we have two males that have lived all their lives with our turkeys, and generally wander the farm and sleep high in the pine trees at night. But, they do have an adventurous side! The have been spotted all over our neighborhood, and although the neighbors seem to get a kick out of their antics, Dan and I have thought that we should pen them up for some time. This became more urgent this spring, when "the boys" took off and would be seen hanging out with wild turkeys, but somehow, we just never got around to it. Then, they stopped coming home. This worried us, because there are plenty of coyotes, dogs and cars around, not to mention the possibility that someone would shoot them just for sport.
We heard occasional reports of them being sighted on Muzette road, miles from the farm. Mostly, we always seemed to be away when the phone call would come, but last weekend I wasn't. So, after getting an approximate location (nothing says country living like directions "they're out by the new gas well on Muzette"...and knowing where that is!) I headed out, armed with my peacock hunting equipment. This consisted of a bucket of chicken food (aka bait), a fishing net on a long pole, and some feed sacks to transport them home in the car. I realized that, as I was driving slowly looking in the woods, if an officer was behind me I'd probably be taken in to the mental hospital when I replied that I wasn't looking at the road because I was peacock hunting! But the only critter I spotted was a porcupine, so I came home empty-handed. Amazingly enough, the very next night, as some friends were heading out to their car after a visit, they called up to the house that I had peacocks loose & walking down the road. Sure enough, the lost boys had returned! I imagine they took to the woods looking for ladies, and when they didn't find any of their own species, they came home. They stayed in the yard for the next few days, and then, at chore time, I saw they had entered the chicken coop. I excitedly shut the door the chickens use to access the run, and captured the wanderers.
While I love looking out my window and seeing a peacock, in all its brilliantly colored glory, strutting in the front yard or perching on the porch railing, I can't in good conscience set them back loose. I can't put them in the main pen. There are already 4 males, and I'm sure putting two more in without enlarging the enclosure would just lead to fights. Plus, we hatched these two here, so putting them back in to breed with the mothers isn't the greatest idea either. So reluctantly, we've decided to sell them. I can't imagine splitting them up, so I'm only offering them as a pair. They don't have the full, impressive tail yet, as peacocks take a full 3 years to mature, and the boys are only 2, but they are still beautiful. they would also need to go to a home with an enclosed pen, but they do play well with chickens and turkeys. We are asking $150 for both, and if you're interested, please leave a comment or send us an email!
The boys left for their new home today. As sad as I was to see them go, they are going to live with a lovely family, who up until this point, has 2 peahens (female peacocks) but no boys. It's wonderful the way things work out sometimes!!