Monday, February 21, 2011

Peafowl 101

Hi farm friends, hope you had a great weekend. Once again we were thrilled with the participation of Farm Friend Friday and the many great posts. I hope you were able to visit some of them, as well. I read each one and learned a lot, laughed a lot and cried a bit--all good for the soul, I think.


Today we want to share a little about our peafowl, Zephyr and Chloris. As it goes here at Verde Farm, I must say we knew very little about these interesting creatures before I set out to buy a pair. Yes, “I” set out to buy them. The farmer wasn’t sold on this endeavor, but I knew I could win him over in time. We are "learn as you go" kinda folks, and believe me, that is not always a good way to proceed, yet we used this method and jumped into the world of peafowl. We’ve learned a great deal. However, in the beginning we didn’t know a thing.

First of all, we thought all peafowl were called peacocks. Now, that was silly considering we have chickens and know a boy is a cock, and the girl is a hen. We never considered a girl “peacock” is a peahen. The first thing to know is boys and girls together are called peafowl. Boy peafowl are peacocks and girls are peahens.

As with most feathered creatures, the peacock is the one with all the gorgeous plumage. Wonder why God didn’t stick with that plan in the human species (sorry guys-just had to say that). The peacock also has a very long train. The girls are more diminutive and have shorter tail feathers. They lack the bright colors of their more well known male counterparts--think NBC. Most people are taken with the vibrant colors of the peacock but I think the peahen is absolutely beautiful too-- but less flashy.


Do you know the old saying “shake your tailfeathers” originated with our peafowl friends? Peacocks are known for spreading their beautiful tails--but we were unprepared for the accompanying intense shaking they generate. It’s as if our Zephyr’s shooting a death ray toward the chickens, ducks or even Shep. This glorious display is quite mesmerizing and could easily induce a trance. He puts on quite a show every evening about 5 p.m. and the heavy eyed chickens never miss a performance. It’s quite a show and I can see how the Vegas showgirls copied these great birds with their style and dance.


Peafowls roost. They prefer to be high off the ground so their tails drape and won’t crumple and break. Many, including ours, prefer to roost in trees. It is almost impossible to get them inside once they get on the roost. Ours have spent some incredibly cold nights outside this winter. I would not recommend this at all. They have, only once, gotten out of the tree and moved inside during the middle of the night.


Their wings need to be clipped to prevent them from flying. It’s like clipping a duck or chicken wing, only longer. You clip one side, and this causes them to be off balance when they attempt to fly. Our pair have been here almost a year. They wander around the yard and pasture areas, but they don’t go too far. It is important to contain them for a few weeks, or months, in the beginning so they know where their food is and thus where the home fires burn.


Ok, so that’s a little bit about these amazing birds. I can honestly say we enjoy watching them every day and they do not disappoint. Farmer, as predicted, did come around and loves Zephyr and Chloris--as I knew he would. If you are considering peafowl, read up on the internet, talk to others who have them and make sure you have the right facilities to accommodate them because of their large size and domineering personality. Feel free to ask us any questions about the wonderful peafowl that you would like to know and we will do our best to answer.

Today we are linking up with Angela at WV Treasures for Show and Tail. You will enjoy all the animal posts shared there each Tuesday.

Have a great week,

65 comments:

Blessings said...

Thank You for the very informative post...they are beautiful...
~~HUGS~~

Kelsie From Our Country Home said...

I am guessing since you did not know the boy girl name, you were not really prepared for the noise either...My Aunt used to have a bunch of them on her place and the cocks would get together and show pony and make so much noise you could not hear yourself think some days lol.

Your pair is so pretty...I have peafowl on my "maybe" list...like maybe when I am old and have lost my hearing hehe.

Thank you for sharing your gorgeous birds with us.

Blessings Kelsie

gowestferalwoman said...

"make sure you have the right facilities to accommodate them because of their large size and domineering personality"

I think my husband would have liked this warning before he got married to me...lol!!!

Your birds and pictures are gorgeous - I love them colors!!!!!

Verde Farm said...

Hi Kelsie, you know I started to put something in here about the noise factor. It’s funny, we only have the pair and the only time Zephyr makes a peep is when he can’t find Chloris. He will call out for her until he finds her but I can honestly say it’s very minimal. I believe if you have more than one boy you would get a lot of noise and competition. I was afraid they would be really loud and I’ve been pleasantly surprised that hasn’t been our experience overall :)

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I can't imagine being able to watch a show like that everyday. They truly are beautiful. I guess that is where the expression, pretty as a peacock comes from.

Velva said...

I will bring the cocktails, and glasses. We can enjoy happy hour at 5:00 p.m. and we can watch these beautiful birds spread their wings.

I learned about peafowls reading your blog today. Very cool.

Velva

P.S. Are you on facebook?

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

how beautiful they both are! maybe post a video next time of zephyr showing off and you clipping their wings...or do you? :)

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

Those are beautiful birds! I enjoyed reading this as I know next to nothing about Peafowl! Thanks.

matty said...

We got some lovely babies from a fella in Galax. He thought they were hens and cocks. Nopers. All hens. However, they still spread and shake, which I think is lovely! Where in the world did you find your peacock?? They are nearly impossible to find here!

texwisgirl said...

Oh I'm with Velva. Can I come over around 4:45 p.m. and sit out and watch the "aurora borealis" display?! :)

I'm so glad you don't have predators to attack them. Someone on another blog lost several to varmints of some sort because they were free range. They were forced to put them inside a big covered cage area to keep them safe/alive.

Pricilla said...

He is a beauty. Does the screeching not drive you mad? Oh, I see you answered that in the comments.

I have heard them screech and it's earsplitting!

Farm Girl said...

I love them and would love to have a pair, but my hubby is so against it. So I will just have to enjoy yours. My brother who owns the feed store has told me he would buy all I had but even that hasn't swayed my husband. Oh well someday. :)

Rebecca said...

I've always wanted peacocks-how beautiful they are!

Coon Hollow Farm said...

Is that green grass you have there? We have nothing but white snow everywhere! Sure am looking forward to seeing osme green grass! Dawn ;)

Farmchick said...

Since Velva is bringing the cocktails, I'll just pick up Texwisgirl on my way over.

Love the info about your peacocks. I have always wanted some on our farm.

Country Whispers said...

Very interesting!
Lots of info that I didn't know about them. They are both very pretty creatures and no doubt entertaining to watch.

Verde Farm said...

I am all for it ladies--get the road trip in gear and I will have Zephyr and Chloris perform well into the evening :)

Home In The Hollow said...

He is just so darn handsome isn't he? He seems to know it too. And, to tell you the truth, she must be a little hottie for him to "do his thing!"...:)JP

Marilyn said...

I love our peafowl which I wrongly always refer to as peacocks because I'm just lazy that way :)
Ours never make noise either unless they are calling for one another and then it just sounds like they're saying "heLLo"

Terry said...

They are just gorgeous!

flowerweaver said...

Just lovely! A friend has offered us an all-white peacock who just showed up one day and stayed at his house, but I'm afraid without a peahen he will make too much noise. It's loud enough with 15 roosters around here!

Teresa said...

They really are beautiful birds. I love the wide range of sounds they make besides their well-known scream.

Jennifer said...

I have always wanted peafowl! Yours are gorgeous! We don't have the rooms where we live...maybe someday!

Diane said...

They are beautiful!! We had a neighbor that had them once, and lost them and came looking for them here, we never did see them, but sure heard them every so often...I actually just learned about a peahen as I have a pattern to make a Peahen, a prim one, but it would be fun, thanks for the reminder...lol!!

Buttons said...

I think they are the most beautiful birds. Great post. B

Cheryl Ann said...

I grew up around peacocks. They wandered our neighborhood and were part of the Los Angeles county arboretum. Yes, they SCREAM! But, don't they make good watchdogs?

Country Gal said...

They are beautiful . We had some on our farm when I was a kid. We always made fun of them when they did their call cause it sounds like they are saying HELP,HELP HELP ! Try saying that when you hear them it will make you laugh ! Have a great day !

Patrice said...

They're so pretty. i have a friend who had some. I was surprised how noisy they are.

I had someone hire me to do some peacock artwork for their business once. It was kind of fun!

Lori Skoog said...

I learned something! Thank you so much for filling us in on these beautiful creatures.

Nancy@A Rural Journal said...

They are simply beautiful, Amy. Like something out of a fairy tale.

I don't believe we have a good area for them -- it gets too muddy here in the winter and spring. I'm not sure how our turkeys would like them. :)

Sharon said...

I think they are just gorgeous! My Great Aunt and Uncle raised them and it was a pretty noisy place, I do not remember what all they raised there, I just remember those beautiful tail feathers shaking!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I really enjoyed this post!! Thank you for what you've told us about them today. The adjoining farm has a pair that will sometimes wander into our yard, and I enjoy seeing and hearing them--they have become a part of our summer sounds!

Larkrise garden girl said...

The colors are so pretty on their tail. That was really interesting about the peafowl. I think their loud because a couple years ago there use to be someone near by where I lived that had one. It
was something to hear even from streets away.

Michaele said...

They make a wonderful addition to any farm. Thanks for the post. I will stop calling all peafowl, peacocks now.

~Tonia said...

Beautiful Peafowl!! We had a pair when we were kids..

Dreaming said...

I have only seen peafowl one other time. That was in the Bahamas. The peacocks were displaying and strutting around a small zoo. It was interesting to see the shake their feathers.
Thanks for the information.
How long do they live? Do they lay clutches of eggs...and if so, will you keep some peeps? (peafowl babies must be called something cute!)

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

I Did Not Know That! I do know this...they are really pretty. I love that iridescent blue and green.

Annesphamily said...

Awesome post! I learned a lot tonight! Thanks for sharing. Anne

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Hi Amy!
It's past my bedtime (just got my post done) but wanted to stop by and read your post and comment before hitting the hay. I've learned things about Peafowl that I never knew before by reading your post! Your Zephyr and Chloris are a beautiful pair. I will have to check out the other blog in the morning...I can hardly keep my eyes open! I hope your Tuesday is a beautiful one.
Maura :)

Pondside said...

I had a peacock for about 15 minutes. Can you imagine the to-do I'd have had with my neighbour if I'd kept him?!

Joe said...

I think you're right Amy. If your peacocks were brown they would look a lot like the turkeys I got on my camera last week.

Melodie said...

I have always wanted to get some peacocks! One day I will! We are learn as you go folks too! Most of the time it works out fine for us...sometimes we get in trouble though,lol!

Jennifer said...

So Pretty! Very informative post... I've thought about gettin peafowl, I would love to see a male strut-in his stuff around here, lol

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Beautiful animals, and the post was quite informative. I would love to have a pair. When I was a teen our neightbor had one who thought it belonged to us...lol..he would strut his stuff for our chickens everyday,
Molly

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I love your peafowl! You make me want to run out and get a pair. They're just gorgeous!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I love your peafowl! You make me want to run out and get a pair. They're just gorgeous!

Paula said...

Quite an impressive pair! I can't get over the colors- so gorgeous!

Toni aka irishlas said...

I absolutely love that last photo!

A place I worked at years ago used to have peafowl. The peacocks would see themselves in the bumpers of the cars and put on a show. Some of them thought it was another peacock and would peck the bumpers senseless! They were also very noisy, but, I enjoyed watching them fly down from the trees to greet us in the morning.

Your pair are adorable.

Jill said...

Your peafowl are absolutely beautiful! It is interesting to learn more about them. I have very limited experience with them, but always have been intrigued.

Angela said...

I LOVE Peafowl! Yours are just beautiful!

One day we had a male to show up at our house when I was a teen. He would gorgeous! I couldn't stand the noise he made though! lol Especially in the middle of the night. It sounded like someone was killing a woman.

There is a farm about 5 miles from my house that has a few of them. I love stalking them when I drive by! hehehe I've taken so many pictures of them. Some of the really good ones I got prints and stopped by their house to give them to the owners. They got a kick out of it! They said that theirs makes the noise when they are startled or scared too.

Tuesdays' Show & Tail!
Angela

Willard said...

They are beautiful and I enjoyed the post.

Thanks for stopping by the blog. Pennsylvania Elk are highly visible, especially during the rut from mid-September to early-October, but one has the best luck seeing them at dawn and as dusk falls.

katiegirl said...

I love looking at peafowl. I visited a farm this past spring that easily had 50 peafowl. They offered to give me a pair! I told them I needed to think about it...I know they're noisy. I have guineas now (only 3) and am thinking of rehoming them due to their obnoxious noise! :-)

Nanniepannie said...

I enjoyed taking a peek at your farm this evening. It looks like heaven,but bet it's lots of work. The animals are lovely and love your 4 Square Home.

Virginia Mallon-Ackermann said...

LOL did you ever see if they like chips? I know that the birds at the Lewis Oliver Farm love them. They are beautiful but a bit melodramatic and can make a racket if they are trying to get your attention. I will look for my peacock pics of the Northport peafowl to show you. The boy is very handsome but pushy.

Mary Ann said...

Amy, I was told last night you cannot keep peafowl with chickens... yet I have a friend who kept them in the same big place for years. Is this true? I had never heard this before. Yours are very beautiful.

Kathleen From Eggs In My Pocket said...

Just loved this post! I am still thinking about getting peacocks, and your post just makes me want them even more! blessings,Kathleen

Bee Lady said...

Now see there, I've learned something today! I've ALWAYS called them peacocks. And are you kidding me? If men had those tail feathers we wouldn't be able to live with them AT ALL...they'd be strutting their stuff more than they do now!

Do you clip all the wings on your birds? I'm such a weenie with stuff like that. I'm not sure I could do it. Is it a have to thing?

Cindy Bee

Phyllis said...

Hi Amy,

I've been wanting to get a pair of peafowl for quite some time. How are their temperments?

I gave my geese, Hansel and Gretel to an ex-neighbor last Saturday because they really started to get quite obnoxious with me.

Your birds are gorgeous :)

Nezzy said...

Oh you do have a beautiful jewel in that male! Quite the specimen he is!!!

Back in 1971 my friend and I visited a peacock farm and gathered feathers for very cool bouquets. Ya got to remember back in the day such things were considered quite stylish! Heeehehe!!!

God bless ya and have an amazin' day my friend!!!

Kimberly said...

We're putting together our first ever order for chickens and spent some time looking at options for turkeys and peafowl as well. We'll see...

Sarah said...

Very interesting. I had no idea about which ones were called what. We always just say the peacocks. I bet it is fun to have them on the farm.

kenleighacres.com said...

Too funny that the chickens enjoy the show! Thanks for sharing...they are beautiful!

Farmer's Wyfe said...

Ooo, I just read the info on your peafowl here, and I REALLY want some now! Do you have any problems with owls swooping down and eating anything. We have guineas, and just could not keep any of the lighter colored ones alive; we'd find them dead in the morning under the tree: headless. We learned owls do that, and, as we heard the owl hooting at night, figured he was the head thief. We haven't heard him this past year though, so kind of wonder if something happened to him. I'd hate to get peafowl only to have such a predicament as this happen to them. They are pretty pricey. Yours really are beautiful. I'd be so greedy of those tail feathers if I had one: do you collect them and put them in a vase or anything?

Janet, said...

Peacocks are something else. So pretty and regal looking.

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