User avatar
TheWaterbug
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

More peafowl carnage :(

Who knew peafowl like arugula? I had these under row covers for a few weeks, but then I thought they were big enough to survive in the open. I need to think again:

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/RuinsOfArugula_web.jpg[/img]

I'm going to put the row cover back on and hope they're still alive underneath.

At least I don't have to [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=222417]worry about damping off[/url] on my cole crops any more. They're just completely gone:

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/RuinsOfCole_web.jpg[/img]

Is there anything these plucking pheasants won't eat?
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

:shock: They must be related to ducks. I've seen that carnage before. :wink:

I would cut the arugula back clean and see what happens.


Eric

User avatar
TheWaterbug
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

DoubleDogFarm wrote::shock: They must be related to ducks. I've seen that carnage before. :wink:
At least you can eat your offenders.

I've heard that peafowl taste terrible. They also kinda sorta have pseudo-protected status where I live. There's no law or anything, but if anyone heard that someone had actually eaten one, that person would get a lot of hate.
I would cut the arugula back clean and see what happens.
I put the row cover back on and watered them heavily yesterday. We'll see if they put out some new leaves.

My wife is terribly disappointed.

There was a mother and her three chicks crossing the road in front of me today. She stopped right in front of my car to make sure her chicks got across. I was very conflicted.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

User avatar
soil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1855
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:40 am
Location: N. California

we have peacocks too that get away from our neighbors. they don't do as much damage as you have because of our polyculture system but we use them as a resource, usually when they come over they drop those long beautiful feathers. well we collect them up and sell them locally.

never considered eating one.

do you have a dog?
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

User avatar
TheWaterbug
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

soil wrote:we have peacocks too that get away from our neighbors. they don't do as much damage as you have because of our polyculture system but we use them as a resource, usually when they come over they drop those long beautiful feathers. well we collect them up and sell them locally.

never considered eating one.

do you have a dog?
I've got a set of about 40 nice feathers right now. Someone in the household wants (someday) to make a Hallowe'en costume out of them, but that's a _lot_ of work.

Nope, no dog :(

I'd love to have one, but it's not in the cards for this lifetime.

I won't ever have a goat, either, but I wondering if it would be possible to train a goat to eat weeds but not vegetables.

Train one with bitter compounds on the veggies when they're young? Would that be clever or would it be animal cruelty?
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

User avatar
soil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1855
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:40 am
Location: N. California

I'd love to have one, but it's not in the cards for this lifetime.

I won't ever have a goat, either, but I wondering if it would be possible to train a goat to eat weeds but not vegetables.
no sorry you cant train a goat to only eat weeds.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Peafowl is quite edible, but unless the bird is confined and fed grain, it will have a "gamy" taste, like a wild bird. If you like wild duck, you would probably like peafowl.

The meat, like pheasant, is lean, so to prevent dryness, fat must be added during the cooking process. You can find recipes online. I've never eaten peafowl, but I wouldn't object to it. I've eaten a lot of game birds, including pheasant. I used to serve pheasant instead of turkey at Thanksgiving now and then. All I have to say is "yum!" :)

And yeah, peafowl will wreak havoc on a garden every chance they get. :roll:
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

User avatar
soil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1855
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:40 am
Location: N. California

If you like wild duck, you would probably like peafowl.
that's what i figured, most people don't like the taste of wild game. mostly because the meat at the store is so bland.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Peafowl is quite edible,
You might amend that to read: Young Peafowl is quite edible. :lol:

I have found one good use for the males: Pluck the tail feathers for making fishing flies. You can even sell these feathers.

Truth be known, any peafowl that is running unrestrained is a complete pest. I would have a word with the owner, and next time they came around, they would mysteriously disappear.

I am sorry, I didn't get if these were your birds or the neighbors?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Arugula - Peafowl soup sounds yummy!

Eric
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

jal_ut wrote:
I am sorry, I didn't get if these were your birds or the neighbors?
Exactly my question: whose birds are these, and why are they loose?

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

User avatar
TheWaterbug
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Heh.

Short answer: they're feral.

Long answer: [url=https://articles.latimes.com/2009/jul/06/local/me-peacocks6]it's a long answer[/url] :D

6-8 roost in my pine tree, and there's probably 2-3 dozen in my immediate vicinity (the article linked above cites very outdated population figures).

I'm complaining about them partly just to complain. Net-net, I actually like having them in the neighborhood; I just need to find a way to keep them from eating my plants.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Based on the linked article, it sounds like you could take "stern," non-toxic measures to protect your garden and remain within the law: the peafowl have been declared an official "pest bird."

Cynthia

User avatar
TheWaterbug
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

cynthia_h wrote:Based on the linked article, it sounds like you could take "stern," non-toxic measures to protect your garden and remain within the law: the peafowl have been declared an official "pest bird."
I'm stern every time I yell at them!
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

I had in mind getting in touch with the trapper the city plans to hire and asking him/her for a recommended approach to reduce the number of birds. Will the trapper be using traps and taking the birds to a sanctuary? Will s/he trap and euthanize? etc.

Cynthia

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

All I can say is.....you have wild peacocks in your yard :shock: !!!


Those have always been something I only associated with the zoo :lol:. If you don't want them, send them my way!
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

User avatar
TheWaterbug
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

cynthia_h wrote:I had in mind getting in touch with the trapper the city plans to hire and asking him/her for a recommended approach to reduce the number of birds. Will the trapper be using traps and taking the birds to a sanctuary? Will s/he trap and euthanize? etc.
If I'm reading the reports correctly, the trapper was taking them to a peafowl farm in the LA area, where the farmer bred and sold them, presumably to other, likewise-insane :D peafowl collectors.

I'm guessing trapping and removing them in any meaningful way would be very expensive. There are probably several hundred within a 1/4 mile of here, so any peafowl vacuum would likely be filled right back in. Nature abhors, &c.

I've had pretty good success keeping them away from my tomatoes with some simple bird netting. The peafowl are _terrible_, terrible fliers, and anything they can't walk to, they avoid. They won't fly into a small, fenced-in area because they don't feel confident about getting airborne and out in a small space.

I've got the row covers on right now, and I might consider a bird netting barrier after stuff gets tall enough.

garden5, believe it or not, [url=https://www.peafowl.com/videoblog_files/7fcb5c7984e9dd4d7057fa75f7700bbe-48.html]you can actually ship peafowl by USPS[/url], even if they have full tails/trains.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28032
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Wow, it sounds like you need to protect your garden like you would with any pest animal/bird -- with fences, cages, and netting. Some people get groundHOGs, raccoons, and deer mangling their gardens, you have.... Peafowl! :shock: But you are making plans for that, so that's good.

Do they provide any beneficial service (even though they are not native birds?). For example, people with large/rural/farm property around here often keep Guinea hens for tick control. ...and their main disadvantages are said to be their tendency to be loud/noisy and to dig a lot. Advantages are said to be their reliable alarm calls as guard animals.

You said they roost up in your trees? So collecting eggs is out of the question? (...are you allowed to do that?)

I would be upset but conflicted too.....

User avatar
TheWaterbug
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

applestar wrote:Do they provide any beneficial service (even though they are not native birds?). For example, people with large/rural/farm property around here often keep Guinea hens for tick control. ...and their main disadvantages are said to be their tendency to be loud/noisy and to dig a lot. Advantages are said to be their reliable alarm calls as guard animals
Perhaps novelty value?

They're kinda neat, when they're not actively destroying things :roll:, because they're big and beautiful. And it's cute to watch the Moms and their chicks walking around in the summer time.

I do have a small collection of tail feathers. Someday I'll do something with them, but I haven't yet. Some people sell them, but around here everyone already has a few :).

The noise bothers some people tremendously, but everyone in my household has pretty much learned to ignore them.

The biggest downside outside of the garden is their poop. They make big piles!
You said they roost up in your trees? So collecting eggs is out of the question? (...are you allowed to do that?)

I would be upset but conflicted too.....

They roost in trees when they're not nesting. When they lay eggs they lay them in a depression on the ground (the "pea" in peafowl is for "pea-brained"). One of my neighbors had a peahen lay an egg right on her patio :roll:

The absolute lack of natural predators has probably bred additional stupidity into this population. Large dogs will chase them, but cats and medium/small dogs just back away.

They're not even afraid of cars.

I suppose I could probably find eggs in the springtime if I took the trouble to look. I may think about that next spring. Eat them? Addle them? Sell them?
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Eat 'em and compost the shells. :)

The poop would be an excellent addition to your compost pile, too. Maybe spread grass clippings under their roosts, so you can just rake it all up once a week and toss it on the compost pile?

Peafowl eat a lot of insects, so are helpful in that respect. But they do love leafy greens, and I have a suspicion they wouldn't turn away from a nice ripe tomato, pepper, or berries, either. ;)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

User avatar
TheWaterbug
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Kisal wrote:Peafowl eat a lot of insects, so are helpful in that respect. But they do love leafy greens, and I have a suspicion they wouldn't turn away from a nice ripe tomato, pepper, or berries, either. ;)
Actually yes, they do eat a lot of bugs, and that has caused problems, too.

My squashes and melons seem to accumulate a lot of bugs right at the base of the vines, and the peafowls' endless pecking and digging actually damages the plants. They're not trying to eat the vines, but they destroyed a few anyway. I lost two watermelon vines and a cantaloupe vine that way. Next year I'll have to leave the base of the plant covered with something.

They savaged my tomatoes until I got the netting up.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

User avatar
TheWaterbug
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: More peafowl carnage :(

TheWaterbug wrote:[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/RuinsOfArugula_web.jpg[/img]

I'm going to put the row cover back on and hope they're still alive underneath.
Clearly, peafowl can't read or don't take the time to. [url=https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBoQtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DKOGMEDaeiA0&ei=Kfh8TsL8G4-htwejzdxs&usg=AFQjCNF_9QqNeHdQtVXM-G39sq4wRYWoTA]It says right here[/url], in big bold letters, "Please make sure, every time, to harvest NO MORE THAN 1/4 of the plant at a time!"

The good news is that some new leaves are coming up. My wife may get her arugula salad yet!
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

User avatar
PunkRotten
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:48 am
Location: Monterey, CA.

I seen one of these birds living in a lot/field over my back wall. I was not sure if it was feral or it belonged to someone. I used to hear it making noise all the time even at night. It had this funny call it would make, but I didn't care got kind of used to it. But now I don't hear or see it anymore.


Since I am in LA county too I wonder if it is one of those Feral birds.

User avatar
soil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1855
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:40 am
Location: N. California

arugula is strong stuff, i bet it comes back with the fury. i cut mine back completely a few times a season and it doesn't even phase it.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

User avatar
TheWaterbug
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

soil wrote:arugula is strong stuff, i bet it comes back with the fury.
It's baaaaacck!!

I don't know if it's furious, but it's growing again. I'll try to post pictures of it tomorrow.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

DeborahL
Green Thumb
Posts: 543
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:40 am
Location: Coastal Southern California

Great article-I was wondering why peacocks too.
By the way, is that you in the profile picture?
God must think highly of animals - He created them before creating us !

ccar2000
Cool Member
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:53 am
Location: Littlerock, CA USDA 9a 3,ooo ft Elevation

Hey Waterbug, How about a solar power fence or electric wires placed above your garden beds. With a switch at the entrance? Depending on your garden size it may not be too big of an expense. Folks use them for bears in their apiaries, right? I do not know if Peafowl legs and feet are conductive or not?
“Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”. Sonny: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

User avatar
TheWaterbug
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

TheWaterbug wrote:They roost in trees when they're not nesting. When they lay eggs they lay them in a depression on the ground (the "pea" in peafowl is for "pea-brained"). One of my neighbors had a peahen lay an egg right on her patio :roll: . . . . I suppose I could probably find eggs in the springtime if I took the trouble to look. I may think about that next spring. Eat them? Addle them? Sell them?
So I was out in the garden the other day, and I saw this:

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/HatchedOrEaten.jpg[/img]

Does this look like it hatched? Or does it look like a predator ate it? :twisted:

I'm conflicted!
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

The predators I'm most familiar with ... raccoons, foxes, opossums, cats and dogs ... tend to eat the entire egg, shell and all. I don't know about skunks and such, or snakes and lizards. I thought snakes swallowed the egg whole, including the shell, though. Maybe smaller ones don't?
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

sciencegal
Senior Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:17 pm

Ravens eat eggs and leave the shells. My chickens are free range so I have a great deal of trouble with ravens going right in the chicken coop and eating all the eggs. I read somewhere that if you put old golf balls in the nest the ravens will stop stealing the eggs after they try to open a golf ball or two. So, I tried that one year. I was given about a dozen golf balls which I put in the nests over the course of a week or so. They all disappeared, but the egg eating continued. A year or so later a man who lives about 5 miles away (as the crow flies) told me that he could not figure out why he had all of these golf balls laying around under a tree. :roll:

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

I do have a small collection of tail feathers.
At one point I thought you said they roosted in your trees?

If that is the case, go out at night and grab one by the tail feathers and hold on tight. You will end up with the whole tail in your hands. Those feathers pull our easily.

If you want to catch the bird, you have to grab it by the legs.

Those things are real pests. You should grumble to your city admin. until they do something about them. At least declare them a pest and open for assault. People should not have to put up with the carnage. IMO

Peacocks belong in zoos. Behind a tight fence.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”