HOW DO I RAISE BABY PEAFOWL?
Baby peafowl are called 'peachicks'. Not to be confused with 'chickpeas'. And, yes, that
was supposed to be funny.
Whether the eggs are under a broody peahen, a bantam chicken or in an incubator, the
eggs will hatch in about 28 days. 27 days if it's a little hot, or 29 days if it's a little cool. But, if
you end up with chicks then you obviously did something right.
After the little guys hatch, leave them where they are until they are dry and fluffy. This
usually take around 12 hours. They will be just fine for 24 hours, so don't get in a panic if you
can't be there for hour number 12.
Now you have several options. If you used a hen to set your eggs, you can leave them
there and the hen will probably be a good mother. But, keep in mind, you will probably lose a
Lots of things can happen. They can get out, they could eat something 'bad', they can drown in
their waterers, if they go missing you won't know it, and ditto for if they die. Obviously, I prefer
to snatch them up and place them in a brooder.
A brooder can be anything from an old cardboard box to a stainless steel contraption
you bought on E-bay. If it's secure and provides food, water and heat, then it's a brooder.
If you used an incubator then you are going to use a brooder. Before you place your
little ones in the brooding area, pick up each chick and make sure he/she gets at least two
good drinks of water. Just dip its little beak right in there. If he doesn't get the idea, do it again.
It won't take long. I like to use a vitamin/electrolyte solution with about 2 tablespoons of sugar
per quart. They love it, so they drink.
THE PEACHICKS' FIRST FOOD
Peachicks are really stupid. They don't know how to eat. That sound incredible to us
gluttonous humans, but it's true.
There are several simple solutions. The easiest one is to put a chicken chick in the
brooder with the peachicks. The chicken chick will be the teacher. The other solution is just as
easy. Peachicks just love hard-boiled egg yolks. Boil up an egg, smash up the yolk adding a bit of
water if you like, and give it to them. They should go crazy for it, but, just in case YOUR peachicks
are extra stupid, add 1 drop of red food coloring, or ketchup (catsup), or red kool-aid to the yolk.
You should have instant success. They will eat very little at first. This will only last a day or two.
Once you get them to eating you will find they also like cottage cheese.
THE PEACHICKS' SECOND FOOD
Once you get your peachicks to eating egg yolk and drinking water on their own you can
introduce 'real' food. You have quite a few options here. Use what ever is available to you in your
Gamebird starter, turkey starter, or chick starter will all work just fine. Everyone has their
favorite, and the jury's still out, on which one is the best. The starter will come in the form of
crumbles. Just sprinkle a little on the egg yolk or cottage cheese and the chicks will quickly learn
that this is good food too. Then you can just feed the crumbles.
At this point, keep giving them the vitamin+electrolyte+water solution. Plus add terramycin
or aureomycin to their water. Peachicks are quite prone to coccidiosis, more commonly known as
'poopy butt', and the antibiotic will help in this regard. You'll need to check the label of your brand
to get the correct dosage. Some brands base the rate in terms of 100 gallons. Who needs THAT?
Just divide the number by 100 and you can mix up one gallon.
During the first week of their life, keep the brooder temperature between 99 and 101
degrees. Peachicks like it really warm. Then reduce the brooder heat by 2 degrees per week. By 8
weeks they should be on their own. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that peachicks hatch
quite late in the season. It is much warmer outside, than say they were chickens hatching in
January. Especially if you live in a southern state. Depending on where you live, you may be able
to cut the heat during the day and provide heat only at night. On the other hand, if you live in a
northern state, you may have to provide heat for longer than 8 weeks.
You decide. If the chicks are squacking, that means they need something. It's usually food, water
or heat.Check the situation and adjust accordingly.
If you have any other questions feel free to e-mail me at any time.