|Peacocks of Pleasance|
|The Peacocks of Pleasance||
I will try to keep new stories listed here so check this page often.
This site was last updated 08/29/11
Peacocks with Human Parents
Lynne and her children are the only humans that I know of that successfully raised a single chick to adulthood. Not an easy task. Peafowl need peafowl company. They named him Peanut for the shape of his head ( look at a peachick sometime). He is possibly the most people friendly of the older birds and may be fed by hand. Lynne's son grew to over six feet and his voice changed but Peanut still can pick him out of the crowd. Peanut stared at my grandson until he squatted down to pet him. He ran his hand around Peanuts head and down his neck, then back up under his beak. If you are familiar with peacocks you know how amazing that is.
I rescued a hen and her chicks a couple of years ago with my grandson's help. That hen has been a close companion when I am out in the gardens. They look at you as equals which is not only entrancing but also can be dangerous.
Peanut and I argued about garden territory during mating season when he was a young adult. I won with a bucket of water but still have a scar on my arm from his claws. Peanut is the only peafowl that has seriously challenged me and that may be because he was hand raised by humans. I show the scar to children to emphasize the potential for them to be hurt if they chase the peafowl.
The only peachick I ever tried to raise did not survive. He needed constant company which is difficult for humans to provide in our overly busy world. In his few short weeks of life he gave me some wonderful moments of joy. While working in the garden I had him in my pocket. He slept a lot but was very busy when awake. He hopped out of my pocket on to my knee and then, to my surprise, flew into the oregano. It was his first flight and he was very proud. I had to teach him to preen so he was a little late getting his flight feathers ready. The peahens were my source for how and what to teach him. They would bring their chicks and hang around me and mine. They constantly communicate with their constantly peeping babies. Peafowl talk a lot and for the most part in very low soft tones. I had a couple of amazing weeks with this little guy before he died. He just kept getting weaker. Every time I was separated from him for several hours he would be worse. They need that constant contact to survive.
Ellen and Other Entertainment
Okay, this is one you may not believe. I get my favorite TV station on my car radio. One day when I went to feed the animals and birds, I left the radio on so I could hear the Ellen show. I was spreading feed and realize the peacocks were not eating. Seven grown peacocks were standing around my open car door listing to Ellen do her monologue.
The peacocks do occasionally come to the renaissance festival. They like some of the music but also know there may be food. Last year one of the young males decided that the arena where we joust was his territory. He had to be chased out of the horses way for his own safety. He took over again when the festival was over.
Peahens never come around when the crowds are there. They have nesting and raising babies to worry about that time of year.
We do a haunted village during the Halloween Season. This is an after dark event so most of the activities are after dark when the peafowl are roosting high in the pine trees. But one year during our dress rehearsal one of our participants (Mo) was going to be a werewolf. She put her mask and hands on and started over to where we were meeting to give us a visual. The peafowl started flying from everywhere making loud warning calls as they took to the trees. Some of the group had never thought those big birds could fly let alone so far and so high. It was quite a sight.
Peanut likes to be sung to, again because he was sung to at night by my grandchildren.
The young peafowl are good at entertaining themselves. They play tag and run through sprinklers. As they get older they start the flirting rituals although the young peacock often forgets it is the peahen he is trying to impress. They stand around with their puny tails up looking at each other. Of course there is always the races for grasshoppers that peahens seem to win.
New in the winter of 2009-10 a young peacock appeared and may have been dropped off where someone knew there were peafowl. He was kind of funny looking with more black on his feathers. People are breeding peafowl for mutations now and I believe he is a mutant, probably from inbreeding. The peahens took him in as they would a spare chick and he fed with them until they started sitting on their nests. The adult peacocks keep him moving but aren't really mean to him. I called him my teenage mutant ninja peacock and Ninja has stuck as his name. He is getting big now and even blacker. I have some interesting feathers with his darker versions.
I don't usually name the peafowl. The peahens are all Lady or Momma and the peacocks are all Pretty Boy. When I look for him I can find Peanut. Ninja stands out in the crowd. Then there is Toes who had been injured and spent some time in a cage being nursed. One of his toes curls where it was broken. Interestingly, Toes' mother waited near his cage during the day and when I released him she took him right back. She even taught him to roost again with his bad toe.
When Peahens Cry
The one thing the birds do that disturbs me is cry for their lost babies and sometimes brothers and sisters. They make a mournful honking sound. They sometimes do it off and on for days. The problem with free range is the loss of birds due to predators. Now that civilization is moving ever closer dogs, cats, cars and neighbors with guns are taking their toll also. Nothing is sadder than watching a peahen look up into a tree and cry for a lost baby that was the victim of an owl the night before. We lost 13 out of 13 babies this year (2010). Very sad.
Last year we had 13 out of 15 babies survive and we have 7 new from this spring's hatch still alive and hungry, always hungry.