Caring for you new birds involves proper nutrition, good practice in parasite and disease prevention, and good housing for your investment. This will help insure you can enjoy your birds for many years to come.
This article is the opinion of owner of Bow's Peafowl Farm, and should only be used as a reference to help people care for their birds. Know that what works best at our farm may not be the best advise for your farm.
Peachick's should be kept in a warm stable environment for 4 to 6 weeks and gradually exposed to cooler weather until they are old enough to maintain their body temperature without help from outside sources. We start our chicks out at 95f. and decrease the temperature by about 5 degrees per week until they are feathered and can maintain their body temperature on their own.
NOTE- This could take longer in northern states or where cooler temperatures exist.
If chicks are cold they will huddle together around the source of warmth. If they are too hot they will get as far away as they can from the heat. Ideally they should be in a comfort zone that lets them move freely about without thought to being either too hot or cold.
Feed- Chicks and young birds should be fed a high protein crumble until they are around 3 months old. A 25 to 30% protein Game Bird feed is available at most feed stores.
After 3 months of age they can start being weaned from the crumble. Either to an Adult Game bird feed or to a Game bird pellet type feed.
Note-- If your birds are up on a wire caged floor they would need to be on a pellet type feed, not a whole grain feed.
Note-- Peafowl need Grit to aid in the digestion of grain type feeds. Grit is rock that a bird will ingest into their crawl to help grind up grains for easier digestion.
This is a list of the crumble to adult feed ratio we use to make the transition from crumble feeds to adult feeds.
3 parts crumble to 1 part adult for 7days
2 ½ parts crumble to 1 part adult for 7 days
2 parts crumble to 1 part adult feed for 7 days
1 ½ parts crumble to 1 part adult feed for 7 days
1 part crumble to 1 part adult feed for 7 days
½ part crumble to 1 part feed for 7 days
After 6 weeks they should have made the transition to the Adult feed.
Note-- This should be adjusted according to if they are eating the Adult feed.
Peafowl need a balanced diet so do not over feed your birds with the list of treats shown below.
Treats- Peafowl like- Bread, some cereals unsweetened, almost all berry type fruits, Grapes, Banana, Orange, dog food, cat food, I am sure there are others to go with this list. Remember not to over feed your animals treats. We use them just to keep loose birds from wandering.
Worming- Caged birds on the ground should be wormed regularly every other month or sooner if needed.
Free ranging birds should be wormed at least 4 times a year.
There are a number of wormers on the market. You will find that the majority of them are aimed at worming chicken, turkey, cattle, swine. dogs and cats.
Piperizine is a general wormer it comes in a liquid or in pill. Liquid is easy to put in the drinking water and works very well if you are worming a lot of young birds often.
The piperizine pill is put down the throat of the bird which requires catching the birds and force feeding the pill to them.
Ivermectin Cattle wormer- We use this to worm our breeding stock. We either put the wormer on a small piece of bread and let them eat it, or catch the bird and put it in their mouth.
Panacure ( fenbendazole )- We keep this around if we are having an excessive amount of rains it helps control the capillary worms.
There are other wormers available for use. The ones listed above are our current choices.
Water- Keep a fresh an clean supply of drinking water around for your birds. 3 or 4 gallon size buckets work very well for them. Automatic waterers are a big chore saver. Remember that free range birds need a source of drinking water too.
Housing should be constructed large enough to accommodate the largest amount of birds you are keeping. We use 80 square ft. of floor space per bird or more if possible, and a roof about 7 ft. high. We cover half of the roof with tin. We also cover the north and west sides of our pens for protection from the cold and rain. Living in Texas we don't worry to much about the colder weather. If you live up north a completely closed shelter on the north end of your pens. so they can get out of the cold would be a nice addition.
A perch for the birds to roost on can be constructed from a 2x4 piece of wood turned so that the 4 inch side is flat, or a piece of timber about 4 inches in diameter extended across the width of the pen about 3 1/2 to 4 feet off the ground.