Peafowl. For many, the word conjures up images of majestic and exotic faraway places with beautiful birds strolling gracefully through a carefully manicured, formal garden. I was one of them. I had dreams of sitting on my front porch with a glass of liquid refreshment, watching my flock of magnificent peafowl strut across our front yard, accompanied by a soundtrack of 80’s punk. Yes, we march to a different beat at our slice of paradise. With visions like these dancing in our heads, a couple of years back we purchased a pair of peafowl and became peafarmers.
Before we got to know our birds real well, the hen took ill and died. We were never able to pin down the specific cause. Undeterred, we purchased five peachicks from a local breeder, and just like that, we were again peafarmers. Unfortunately, two of these five picked up some type of intestinal parasite and died. Our dream of being peafarmers was rapidly turning into some kind of macabre, Tim-Burton inspired nightmare. This was becoming an expensive endeavor, we were becoming discouraged, and something needed to be done quickly to rescue this dream.
I had previously done my research, or so I thought, but obviously I needed to do some more if I was going to be a successful peafarmer. So, like any rational individual, I turned to the internet for help. After “The 12 Most Disturbing Peafowl Pictures of All Time” and “7 Truly Shocking Encounters with Paranormal Peafowl,” I felt I was ready — ready to puke. I dug deeper and uncovered some “Amazing But True Peafarmer Stories” that revealed to me the true nature of the successful peafarmer. I learned a great deal about peafowl illnesses (dust-induced respiratory issues) and the needs of peachicks (keep off the ground for their first 6-8 weeks); I now felt ready to dream again.
In June, I was given the chance to put my newfound intelligence to the test. Our peahen had laid several eggs, and two hatched. Over the course of the summer, our hen laid several more eggs, and we were able to successfully hatch three more for a total of five peachicks. In the space of a couple of months, our peaflock had more than doubled — from four to nine! The Dream lived on, and so did our newest additions! All five are doing well and turning into beautiful birds. I learned a lot of lessons from this: Make sure you do more research than you think you need to do, persevere in the face of difficulty, and take time to enjoy the small blessings in life. And of course, take lots of pictures to show off your birds and to document your successes. Now if I could just figure out where these giraffes in the backyard came from I’d be doing great.
Read this editor’s letter about her new chickens and their lively personalities.
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