Tips for a Healthy Peacock Winter
I don't know about you, but
we had a short extremely arctic blast of winter that came out
of Alaska, a dropped our temperatures to about zero from 50o so
in a matter of hours. Households in our community had pipes freeze,
then burst a few days later when it all calmed down. Fortunately
we have enough leaky faucets that they kept running, but it was
We worry about our birds- peacocks
and chickens, who must live in these unusually frigid conditions
(last year it wasn't colder than 20o) and try to keep them comfortable,
and alive. As I was outside in the cold, caring for them, I thought
I should write a few of the tips that seemed to work for us and
We have peacocks in cages and
uncaged. The free roamers seem to handle the cold just fine, even
roosting high in the icy trees at night, flying down later in
the morning than usual, trying not to land on snowy patches. I
watch for them and bring out food. So, here are some ideas:
the food indoors and serve it the
next day at house room temperature. If is 60 degrees or warmer
inside, the food will seem practically hot to those outside, and
it will take less time to digest and burn up. I keep the bag of
cat food inside, and bring cracked corn and game and chicken crumbles
and wild bird food inside in coffee cans or buckets.
warm foods. I heated up some rice
and cooked cereal for the birds and it seemed to be very much
enjoyed by all. Then, of course, egg supply permitting, I cooked
up my famous "Peachick Deelight"- which brought them
a'runnin,' and Super Deelight, recipe soon to be posted. I also
had sprouts at room temperature for greens which they liked.
sure water has Vitamins and Electrolytes,
which helps the birds stand the temperature extremes. And, we
bring the water containers in at night and fill them and take
them out in the morning, warming them up with warm water poured
on the containers during the day. They must have water, even more
than food. You get the powder at the feed store and mix like lemonade
in the water; it really helps, at all times in the year.
the ground with straw or sawdust,
or if you can think of anything better, use it to keep their poor
feet from having to walk on the ice. This is especially true of
'em up! Some heat lamps, of the red
variety, with clamps, put far enough away not to burn them, makes
a world of difference. Or hang a light with a reflector. Our caged
birds were just basking in the warmth, and seemed ever so much
happier. I put them on a timer and left the lights on until 11
pm or so- worked well for us.
We were lucky that the power
stayed on the whole time. I would have had to do much more work
and maybe lost some then.
I guess, if I had a barn or
suitable enclosure, and if the freeze lasted longer than it did,
I would bring them indoors, where there is more warmth in numbers.
As always, helpful hints from
members are appreciated.
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