Pea fowl 

The first bird we intentionally introduced was a Peacock. Phil wasn't keen but John and I were so we went to a farm near Lintrathen and came home with Njoy. He was one of two peacocks who lived there but their owner said they didn't get on - fought with each other. He also gave us the makings of a compound to keep him enclosed until he settled with us in his new neighbourhood. Phil had to spend the last week of his holiday building a proper hut for him - it's still in use as our henhouse.

He got used to us and we became used to his strange noises - alarming at first! When he started to go further afield, keeping company with Pheasants and chatting up our hens I decided that he needed a female to keep him in order.

Although the hut had been built to precise specifications as a desirable Peacock residence, they had to be herded in each night. We got exhausted chasing them; they thought we were being bad to them so in the end we let them do their own thing - sleeping up the big sycamore tree by the house. They bred.

We now have over 30 Peacocks despite having given many away to people who could assure them a good home. I fear some have been caught up in "shoots". When the beaters come up with dogs and clacking sticks to frighten the pheasants our peacocks panic, fly away, and some don't come back.

However we still have a large flock, including some white and opal birds. They are gentle (with us), will eat from our hands and at least one will follow me around the garden - Stalker. They are not always kind to each other but manage to live together in reasonable harmony.

Click for a video of one pea chick's battle with a peanut!.