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Motherhen



Joined: 24 Dec 2011
Posts: 46
Location: Ohio
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:14 pm Reply with quote

Having never had a broody peahen before, I need a few quick opinions about some things.

Princess has her nest on top of a shelf in our barn that is about 14 feet high and about 6 to eight feet long, and four to six feet wide.

Chicks are due Tuesday, or sometime around then.

We want to capture her and the chicks, and transport them to a pen. SO, looking for the best way to do this.

My thought was that maybe we should rent a scaffold ladder, so that we have something to stand on when we pick her up, that is more stable than a step ladder, as I assume she will struggle to some extent. Are peahens usually passive or aggressive when dealing with them and their young? Are the chicks weak like chickens are when hatched, or are they immediately ready to run as i've heard pheasants are? Should we try to pick her up before the eggs hatch, and just hope that she will go back to sitting on them once she is in a pen with the eggs? (this sometimes works with chickens, and sometimes not). Would it be a good idea to try to cover her head and eyes with a cloth or something first, so that she can't see? Sorry, hope these don't sound like dumb questions, and I know this is a weird situation, but just looking for the easiest way to handle it, so any suggestions are appreciated.

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Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 888
Location: Georgia, USA
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:28 am Reply with quote

hmmmm......all my peahen/peachick experience involves secure pens with peahen
under rain shelter or even in coop. But I have moved a couple of families.
I have to sprinkle "powder" around ground nesting birds to prevent fire ants from
murdering babies before they can even kick off the eggshell Shocked
A few years ago I collected five peachicks as soon as their fuzz was dry and put them
in a small Pet Taxi to carry them to a small coop along with their mother, Firstborn.
(Firstborn was NOT in the Taxi due to danger of trampling)
I did this after dark and there was NO problem but remember that Firstborn was a
hand raised pet that I helped out of the egg.
Last year I moved Malpo and her baby, Crescent as soon as his fuzz was dry.
There was a "nail biting" moment as she gave him a suspicious look ("Is that really
MY chick?") before bonding with him. Failed bonding causes either murder or
abandonment

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Motherhen



Joined: 24 Dec 2011
Posts: 46
Location: Ohio
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:04 am Reply with quote

OK. Just trying to figure out if peahens are like chicken hens. Will she sit with the hatching eggs, and hatched babies, until all are hatched, and then let them stay under her til they are dry? This is what a chicken would do. I have heard that peahens are lousy mothers and i am just trying to get some general guidelines..maybe there aren't any? How soon can the babies fly? How soon are they mobile afer hatching? (I mean really mobile, running around)
I have heard from many people that their peahens go hide somewhere to hatch their chicks. Hello, where are the people that have had this experience? Anyone???????
Princess has always been very gentle with me, but of course, she has never had chicks before. She will eat out of my hand but is otherwise not particularlly tame. So here are my remaining questions:

It has been very hot here while she was incubating. in chickens, this sometimes kills the embryo, or can slow the rate of development. Is this true with peafowl, or are higher temps ok, because they are native to areas where there is a hotter climate?

Will the chicks remain under their mother after they hatch?

How long do the chicks normally stay with their mother before she "weans" , or fledges them?

How old are they before you can see the bars on the backs (or not) on the India Blues?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:21 pm Reply with quote

:egg :wow Confused Peachicks are a day or so old when they come out and look up into
the eyes of whomever hatched them in order for "bonding" to happen. Remember:
failure at this point results in murder or abandonment. Shocked but my peahen
mothers have been able to do this except for one highly nervous green spalding.
Peachicks at age one week can get on perch with the peahen.
You need pen wire with wire close together so that peachicks can not slip through
into a world of danger where their mother can not follow Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation as I have
observed and had to perform hasty capture and pen fortification gaah
In warm climates India blue peachicks hatch in TWENTY SIX days. Last year in
chillly early season some green spalding eggs on bare earth under a bantam hen
took a record TWENTY NINE days and some ot those died after hatching.
Firstborn kept her first two daughters for ten months--sleeping with one under each
wing until hormones of new breeding season caused her to drive them away with some
hard pecks on the head. I had a black shoulder peahen that did not bother to drive her
yearling daughter away and got some grief from that when the uppity brat began
pecking her mother Shocked
This year I saw Crescent (almost a year old) showing his fan to his mother
which is disrespectful. She failed to notice but later I picked Malpo from the
perch and carried her to the pen out back where her mate had been exiled.
Male India blue peachicks have rust red primary flight feathers and barring
begins to show up on shoulders after they are a week old. Females have
chocolate brown primaries.

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Motherhen



Joined: 24 Dec 2011
Posts: 46
Location: Ohio
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:50 pm Reply with quote

Good, thank you. Sounds similar to chickens, then. We have one broody hen (chicken) who will keep her female offspring with her for as long as they will let her, though she drives the males off, at about six weeks. It's like she knows the females need more protection.

Anyway, we got the scaffold, and set it up. Princess looked surprised to see me when I climbed up there briefly...but she didn't freak and seemed to take it in stride for the most part. This way she will have time to get used to the scaffold.

Yes, she and her babies will be in a secure pen, as escape proof as we can make it. That's why we want to catch and secure her after the babies start hatching. We do the same for our chicken hens and their chicks, they don't go out until the chicks are four weeks old. We have two bigger pens we can use for the peafowl. And they will have a large tractor they can go outside in during the day, after the chicks have gotten acclimated.

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Motherhen



Joined: 24 Dec 2011
Posts: 46
Location: Ohio
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:46 pm Reply with quote

Well, it's been 28 days. :/ I don't think they're gonna hatch. Today she had them all lined up in front of her. It has been blazing hot, and especially in the barn, the past couple of days. I brought her an ice bottle and watermelon today, in addition to her fans, and she didn't object one bit. In fact, the eggs may not even be fertile..I have never seen either peacock mate with her, though idk if we would? Do they hide to mate, or are they like chickens? Confused

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:21 pm Reply with quote

You need to get a candler and learn to use it.
Even without one you can check past due eggs by breaking big end very carefully
to not harm a live chick that might be in there OR cause a rotten egg to EGGsplode.
-------
Sometimes I see them mate and sometimes I do not. I have collected infertile
eggs after seeing mating happen.
But then I have NEVER seen Flash mate with Malpo but Malpo's eggs usually hatch.
But she has not layed any this year after raising Crescent last year

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Peachick Grammie
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Joined: 13 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:51 pm Reply with quote

I don't know how I lucked out and got broody peahens but I am really impressed with my two girls this year. Sari hatched out 4 IB male peachicks after last year only hatching one. CottonBall hatched out 5 white chicks and is doing such a great job of raising these chicks and she is only 3. Last year she left the nest just a few days short of hatching and I wasn't prepared to snag the eggs and finish the incubation.

I discovered that the hen moves her legs farther and farther apart when up on the roost to accomodate all the chicks. One more chick and she would be doing the splits. Also seems like the prefered spot is sitting on top of the hen's feet!

My black shoulder pie hen was sitting well on 4 eggs but I candled them at 2.5 weeks and they were not fertile so I took them away. Maybe next year for her!

I do think that seeing another peahen sit and hatch chicks has an effect on the tendency to be broody. Maybe the other hens mimic what they see or something hormonal is triggered. Cotton ball was hand raised by me. Sari was hatched in an incubator at a peafowl farm. It was the old feral hen who first demonstrated proper egg sitting.

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Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 888
Location: Georgia, USA
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:07 pm Reply with quote

Firstborn was helped out eggshell and hand raised. She had a sister four days
younger as a companion. She NEVER saw any peahen mothers before become a
very good one herself. I have never observed motherhood being contagious
but that does not prove that it does not happen.
----------
I have a peahen named Malice that incubated several times while in the pen out
back but since moving where she is now for several years she has NOT tried it.
Perhaps her adult daughter, Lemon Face, who is boss keeps her from trying.
There are eggs under the perch going to waste. I have a setting chicken
shortage and am using one of my hens right now trying to make some new
chickens. Also am doing an EGGspiriment in my incubators Confused

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