Happy Valentine’s Day!
These two sweethearts are first in line for “Couple of the Year” at Wing and a Prayer Farm. Seldom seen separately, they are partners in crime as well as most-photographed. In the summer, their favorite date is to sit on the porch rail and peer into the house from either the front, side or back yards. It is though they are at the picture shows and we, inside our home, are the main attraction.
Fig(short for ‘Figaro’) and Jewel are 3 and 4 years old now. Jewel’s first Fig died a terrible death at the hand of Russia, the next door neighbor‘s Siberian Husky. Russia was a frequent visitor to our flocks before her owners decided she’d better stay on a leash or in their house. We were glad they made that call as we’d tired of the daily loss of ducks and especially Figaro-the-First.
When Fig courts Jewel, his long train will “snap” into a fanned, upright position. Also, if he were to display and shake his feathers, it would be to warn predators to stay away. He can make quite an impressive sound when he rattles his feathers and it does indeed intimidate the rest of the flock.
Last year they had a lovely courtship which resulted in approximately a dozen eggs which we’d attempted to incubate. Peafowl eggs take about 28 days to hatch and we did everything that we should have to keep the incubator at the right temperature(99-100 degrees) and appropriate humidity level(60%) as well as keep the eggs turning twice a day. Sadly, they did not hatch out after the 28th day and around Day 34 or so, the inspection revealed that yes, there was very good development and for some reason they just didn’t hatch out. There are lists a yard-long in books and on the internet if you are ever interested in learning the many reasons why eggs might not hatch out.
Hopefully we will have another chance this year to hatch out their eggs. Pairs of Peafowl do not have fertile eggs until they are 2 years old or older. In our fourth year of owning this delightful couple, we are really looking forward to successfully raising their family. Dear Fig has been displaying for a few weeks, a good sign, and as soon as we start noticing Jewel laying, we will set the eggs aside until a good clutch has been gathered. We’ll possibly go the route of a couple of broody hens this year, or a broody hen for some and some in the incubator. We did not notice that Jewel was interested in doing the job of “setting” last year though we will give her a chance if she chooses to in 2012.
Join us in wishing this couple another year of “wedded” bliss, and hopefully some little ones to raise up so that we can host a whole flock of white weather vanes in the future!
- Don’t count your chicks (jtwhite5.wordpress.com)
- The Mystery of the Disappearing Eggs (hortophile.wordpress.com)
- The Mystery of the Macaroni Penguin and the Bag Egg | Discoblog (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- Chicken Run (ewermter.wordpress.com)