Four semi-wild peacocks have been spending time on our little farm lately. Peacocks aren’t indigenous here, but they have lived in the area for decades. They probably started as somebody’s released pets, but they have thrived here. They aren’t owned by anyone, but are used to people. We live in a funny country/city area with old farms still tucked among the cityscape. Chickens and peacocks roam the neighborhood. It’s an area people come to, to turn loose animals they can’t keep. Obviously that’s not responsible animal keeping, I’m not endorsing that! So far we’ve adopted bunnies, kittens, and our Silkie rooster, all found here. Sometimes I wish someone would release their nice Lippizan horse, or good tractor, in our area. I would totally adopt those!
The males tried very hard to impress our chickens, but the girls weren’t quite sure what to make of their handsome visitors. I think our poor Silkie rooster, who enjoys being the center of attention, felt a bit upstaged!
I’m tempted to put out some feed to try to encourage them to stick around. I don’t want to leave feed out – I fight rodents tooth and nail already! And I do worry about bio-security. We have to be so careful about spreading infections between flocks, it stands to reason that these wild birds could be carriers of harmful diseases to the chickens. So, of course, there is reason to be careful.
This one is a young male. His tail feathers are just growing in, but his coloring is all male.
Some people object to peacock screams. I’ve even heard them likened to the scream of a woman being murdered! But somehow, I don’t mind it that much. When I was in college, I lived in the Berkeley hills near a research colony of African hyenas. The hyenas calls were so human – blood curdling, haunting, and terrifying. Maybe that’s why the peacocks don’t sound so bad to me. I actually kind of like the sound. The kids say it sounds like the peacocks are practicing karate.
A few years ago, one peahen spent about a year with us. She would come into our garage when it was cold. She liked to perch in a tree and watch us through the kitchen window. She even tried to jump in the minivan when the hatch was open. We named her Petunia.
The peacocks are so majestic, and I love having them here. I hope they’ll stick around!