|D, J, & L Exotic Acres
|D, J, & L Exotic Acres|
|We feed our adult peafowl a commercial 20% pellet or crumble. We also give them greens, grass clippings, fruit, etc. much the same as you would a chicken. Whatever fresh stuff isn't eaten is removed from the pen at the end of the day for sanitary reasons. We leave the crumbles/pellets there, free choice at all times.
Our chicks are put on a 23% broiler crumble that has an anticoccidiostat in it. (Usually Amprolyn) We leave them on this for about 6 months.
During the winter months we also add cracked corn to the pellets or crumbles. Occasionally, we add mini chunk dog food or dry cat food also. This is for added protien and energy.
We always take some sort of treat (usually dry cat food or shelled corn) along with us if we go to the pens at any time other than feeding time. This gets the birds used to coming to the fence to see what you have for them. This will give the prospective buyer or your curious guests an opportunity to view your birds up close and they won't be as skittish this way. My free range India Blue loves dry cat food and has helped me sell a number of chicks as he is always following me around the yard looking for a hand-out!
|We have several pens around our place. We have utilized some of the designs and features of a number of other UPA members in building our pens. The original pen (above) is 12' wide 30' long and 14' tall. We have found that a smaller (10'X12'X7') pen works as well for our breeders. Each pen has a barn or enclosed 3 sided building to allow the birds shelter from the elements. One of these is a 6'X8'x8' shed. This has worked very well for the past 2 years even in the winter weather. The roosts in our pens are 2x4's laid flat so as to provide a wider perch. This causes the birds to cover their toes as they roost and helps prevent loss of their toes due to frostbite during the cold months.
We have 3 wire-floored brooder pens that are 14' long x 3' wide x 3' tall. We use Ondura sheets for the roof and enclose one end to provide cover from the wind and allow a heat lamp to be used in colder weather. We use 1/2" hardware cloth for the bottoms as anything smaller won't allow droppings to pass through as easily. These pens can be moved by two adults fairly easily.
|We use Wazine to worm our chicks under 6 months old. Mix 1 Tablespoon per gal of drinking water and leave in the pen for 1 day. Repeat this at 14 - 21 days. It is water soluble and very easy to use. However, it is only good for round worms.
Ivomec (1% cattle injectible) is also a good wormer, but it is NOT water soluble and won't work in an automatic water font. We dose each bird individually with an eye dropper. For adult birds we use 4 drops on the tongue. For chicks, over 6 months, we use 2 drops. This stays in their system for 30 days. Ivermectin is not effective against capillary worms. Both wormers are available at TSC. Ivermectin should not be used during the breeding as it kills the egg fertility for 2 - 3 weeks.
We also switch between Ivomec and fenbendazole wormer. The fenbendazole can be purchesed in the liquid form as goat wormer. It is water soluable. You must use it as a sole source of water for 3-5 days and then repeat in 10-14 days to kill anything that has hatched since the last worming.
We have found that 2 quart rubber bowls work very well for worming and will do double duty as winter waterers. They are flexible in the cold and will allow you to get the ice chunk out very easily. Also, since they are usually black, the sun will warm them enough during the day to help keep them open a little longer.
|FIRST AID & SUPPLIES|
|Some things to keep handy are:
1. Styptic powder or pencil for stopping bleeding from cuts and broken blood(or pin) feathers.
2. Blu-kote liquid. This helps prevent other birds from picking at a raw or bloody spot on a bird. It STAINS everything a purplish-blue... fingers, clothes, etc.
3. Tylan powder - used as an antibiotic
4. Aureomycin powder - also used as an antibiotic A friend told me that they used this as a blackhead preventive with their commercial turkey flock followed up with terramycin crumbles top dressed onto the feed.
5. Old towels. Can be used for immobilizing a bird or as a rag.
|We use a GQF 1500 incubator and a 1550 hatcher. This year ('09) we added a GQF 1536 horizontal rotation incubator and had some great results. The temperature is run at 99.5 degrees F. and humidity is about 55%. The eggs are rotated automatically and at day 25, we set them to the hatcher so that the chick can orient itself inside the egg. The hatcher humidity is kept about 75- 80 %. We have divided some of our hatch trays into compartments to keep the chicks from mixing together during the drying off period inside the hatcher. After approximately 24 hours(or when they are completely dry), we remove the chicks, wing band them, and place them in the brooder pen. Be careful not to leave them in the hatcher too long as this will dehydrate the chick and cause them to die. It is sometimes really difficult to watch the chick's struggle to get out of the egg. But ... LET MOTHER NATURE RUN HER COURSE!!! You will do more harm than good if you 'help' the chick out of the egg. The mothers don't help the chicks hatch, they leave them in the nest along with any late hatching eggs to ensure that the rest of the brood is safe from predators. The 'helped' chicks usually die within a few days, have deformed feet, etc.. Sounds pretty callous, however the chick requires the struggle from the egg to help develop it's muscles, straighten it's feet, etc.|