My flock of peafowl is growing and thriving here at my Bedford, New York farm. I now have two adult peacocks, three adult peahens, and several peachicks.
Peafowl can add an exotic element to any farm, but caring for them is a huge responsibility. It is very important to me that all my animals get the best of care. And for the birds, this includes a safe place to roost - they like to be up high to see what is around them and to escape from predators if needed.
All my outdoor birds have access to natural perches made from old felled trees here at the farm. Recently, I had one moved and "planted" near the new peafowl coop. Here are some photos.
Earlier this summer, it was necessary to cut down a sycamore tree from its location in the southeast paddock. Fortunately, I was able to repurpose it and make a wonderful perch for my peafowl to use during the day.
Using a post hole digger, my outdoor grounds crew foreman, Chhiring Sherpa, digs a big hole for the tree next to the new peafowl coop.
He digs the hole about four to five feet deep, so it can safely secure the tall tree.
Using the post hole digger is not difficult, but it does take time, especially if there are a lot of rocks in the area. Chhiring raises the post-hole digger as high as possible, then drives the blades down into the soil, pulls outward on the handles to close the blades and lifts the excavated soil from the hole.
Using a tamping bar, Chhiring compacts the soil in the hole, so it is level.
The tree is already sitting nearby on the other side of the peafowl coop. Chhiring trims the bottom of the tree, so it sits level when placed into the hole.
The trusted Hi-Lo is brought in to lift the heavy tree. Chhiring secures a heavy duty strap to its trunk.
Driving the Hi-Lo, Pete slowly carries the tree across the field and to the new location.
The tree was maneuvered into position.
Pete carefully lifts the tree, and gently raises it over the newly dug hole.
The hole is pretty deep, but maybe it isn’t wide enough?
Not quite – the hole is a little too narrow and needs to be adjusted.
Using the post hole digger again, Chhiring digs the hole a little wider.
And then the tree is lowered into the hole. The most striking feature of the sycamore tree is the bark, which has a camouflage pattern of gray-brown. It peels off in patches to reveal the light gray or white wood beneath. Older trees often have solid, light gray trunks.
The Hi-Lo is also used to make the tree straight. A live sycamore tree can grow 75 to 100 feet tall, and even taller under ideal conditions. Our peafowl sycamore tree is about 30-feet tall.
Once it is level and straight, Pete and Chhiring backfill the hole with soil.
They walk on the soil to tamp it down.
Chhiring climbs half way up the tree to remove the strap and to make sure the tree is secure enough for the peafowl – it is important that the peafowl feel safe when roosting on its high branches.
Because the peahens have been raised here at the farm, they’re all accustomed to the various noises – they are very curious animals. It did not take long before they approached the area to see what was happening.
In the baby peafowl enclosure, they also ran to see what all the noise was.
This baby peacock even lifted its small covert tail feathers.
Pete cuts any branches that are too low, short or seemingly unsafe.
Peafowl are beautiful birds, but do not underestimate their power – they are extremely strong with very sharp spurs. They will perch on anything above ground to get a better view.
Full grown, peafowl can weigh up to 13-pounds, and peacocks with their majestic trains can reach body lengths of more than five feet. I’m so pleased my peafowl are healthy and happy at the farm.
Here is my three-year old Black Shoulder Pied peacock. He is the alpha male of our flock.
This is one of the two India Blue peahens. Both male and female peafowl have the fancy crest atop their heads called a corona.
The white four-year old Black Shoulder Silver Pied male also comes over to investigate.
Peafowl enjoy roosting at higher levels. In the wild, this keeps them safe from predators. My peafowl will love this tree.