A couple of days ago we moved Luna and her 4 (used to be 5 😦 ) peachicks out of the big pen. We had put them in there straight after they hatched 3.5 weeks ago to protect them from crows.
Since the pen had been empty for a while (only bunny and Guinea pigs in there) we figured they’d be lots of bugs for them to catch. Plus we are giving them mealworms.
However they are now bigger and we worried they needed a more varied diet, so out they went and we are locking them up at night.
The chooks and ducks go moved back in the big pen and the spare roosters can now have access to the edge pen.
Later that day the goats decided to also move themselves. We were keen to move them anyway but hadn’t yet. They just jumped the fence and took themselves for a field trip. They are now in their top paddock but only in the small area around their shed. We’ll open up the paddock soon.
Today I also swapped the llamas. The girls went to the street paddock with the view of giving them the hill paddock soon, and the boys went to the chook paddock.
I should mention that the boys are only Enrique and Orlando as Valentibe was always so stressed we decided to sell him. We found him a lovely per home nearby where he is on his own. He went on trial but seems very happy there.
Our peahen Luna nested in the glasshouse this year so we were able to protect her from predator and leave her to incubate her eggs. She sat on 6 eggs. On 1 December, One didn’t hatch (but was fertile), one died on hatching and 4 hatched. One chick sadly died 24 hours later but the other 3 seem to be doing well.
Let just leave the good for last so we finish on an up or we’ll just go looking for a bridge to jump off!
Milton has lost some weight today. He seems OK though he is never bouncy and happy like the other 2 babies. His tail is up, which we’ve decided it means his tummy is not sore, and with a lot of encouragement he nearly finished his bottle.
He is drinking from mum and having a great go at the hay. I am going to assume that my digital bathroom scale used in the paddock is a less-than-accurate method of gauging his growth, but it had so far served me well so I am a little concerned and annoyed at this loss. We’ll make sure we offer him milk several times a day still and hope we reverse the trend soon.
As a side note I also want to note that my favourite chook Amy has been slowing down over the last couple of week and I think she’s on her way out. Very sad!
The last of our peachicks (baby peacocks) died. In a very fun podcast I have been following, the guy has a Hard Lessons Learnt segment in each episode. Well this last death certainly is a hard lesson learnt for me.
When our peahen Luna nested in January, we tried everything to protect her from fox attack. Peahens nest on the ground and become easy pray to foxes. I was acting upon another hard lesson we learned a couple of years ago when our beloved first peahen Aurelia (our Jamie peacock’s soulmate) got taken by a fox while sitting on a clutch. But neither enclosing the nest, nor moving Luna and her eggs to a safer location helped and she ended up leaving her eggs. In two occasions, we put the eggs under 2 broody chicken hens we had at the time. MISTAKE! I had vowed to never create these mix matched families as I thought they’d just be trouble down the track. Of course I was right but the lure of saving some half incubated eggs and of having cure little peachicks got the best of me. I now feel beyond guilty as my vanity and stupidity caused the death of 5 gorgeous little ones! One died about 24 hours after hatching and the other just all died quickly at around the age of 3 months. We have no idea why. They were all good weights and well feathered plus still had mum to go under for warmth. After the first couple we thought they perhaps weren’t getting enough protein so we started feeding the rest up with mealworms a few times a day. Still they died. All I can think of is that there’s some disease in the pen that they are very susceptible to, whereas everyone else is resistant. Or just that not having their proper mum means they are not looked after the way they should be. Either way, I think next year we’ll make a big frittata out of the peacock eggs!
And the lesson? Follow your gut feeling and not your vanity and DO NOT make un-natural families.
About time hey? The new baby llama (name still under discussion) is doing great. He seems to have slight weakness in his rear right leg but he is jumping around and running like crazy so I think he is fine.