Decadence. Indolence. Luxury. That’s what our peacocks, trailing long multi-coloured tails, tinged with gold, exude. If you’ve ever wanted to impress your friends, now’s your chance to own a flock of your own. Come, take ours. For free!
Five tame male peacocks of varying sizes and ages, all with magnificent plumage, roam and roost on our modest one-acre Gabriola Island property. They aren’t officially ours, of course. Based on local lore, we gather that they escaped from a nearby hobby farm.
Apparently, a city couple turned hobby farmers imagined raising exotic birds as a way to finance their retirement to our rustic, rural BC island. Story has it that the couple penned in the peacocks with 12–foot fencing: three feet buried to keep out predators, and nine feet aboveground to keep out deer. Apart from raccoons, Gabriola has no predators. Seems no one considered that peacocks can fly! So, off they flew, along with the couple’s retirement dream.
A while later, they sold the would-be bird farm and fled back to the city, where eggs come in cartons and fowl comes shrink wrapped.
Six months ago, shortly after our arrival on Gabriola from the Eastern Townships of Quebec, those now naturalized peacocks discovered our bird feeders and our twice daily spread of cob and sunflower seeds for a small herd of mule deer. Cob is a mixture of flattened corn, barley, rolled oats and molasses. The deer, and now the peacocks, provide endless entertainment for our three cats and occasional guests.
These exotic birds are devoted to each other. When one of their (then six-member) flock was run over a few months ago, they huddled around the carcass for many days, clearly distraught.
Like the deer and our two latest cats, the peacocks have adopted us, and expect us to take proper care of them. To any domesticated fowl or beast, “care” is spelled “f-o-o-d”. Whenever we are slow off the mark, the peacocks peck at our office windows, mine on the top floor or my husband’s at ground level. They roost on our banisters, roofs and fences, stroll our deck, peek in windows and skylights, sleep in our front yard … and poop wherever and whenever they please.
The deer keep their distance from these gorgeous creatures who fan their long tails and thrum their short rump feathers to warn the ruminants away.
During winter storms, the birds look bedraggled and out of place as they shake snow off their feathered crowns and wings. They huddle beneath our deck or in our open wood shed. But they emerge unscathed, obviously acclimatized to winter weather.
We imagine they would be succulent to eat, but my husband refuses to wring their pretty necks. I have no such compunctions but it’s a battle I can’t win, so turkey will continue to grace our holiday tables.
We might not be eating peacock, but what do they eat? I’ve noticed that they are quite omnivorous. They devour insects, seeds, cob, leaves, cat food and kibble with equal gusto. They particularly like young green shoots, so a vegetable garden, unless netted or screened from their predations, is not an option. Their only contribution to my gardening efforts is that they peck at slugs, killing them without devouring the slimy creatures.
Other than their trademark screeching and honking, their endless pooping and destructive garden manners, they are enchanting, amusing “pets”a visual treat of shimmering lapis lazuli, copper and emerald. When they moult early in the summer, they leave us a cornucopia of gorgeous feathers, including their much-prized tail feathers adorned with an iridescent blue “eye.”
We’ve had the pleasure of their company since last spring. We’ve laughed at their hungry honking at 6 a.m. We’ve never tired of shovelling their kilos of poop off our deck. We’ve delighted in watching them bully the deer and thrum at our felines.
Now, it’s your turn!
We would be thrilled, delighted, overjoyed (dare we say, ecstatic) to give someone like you the oft-coveted opportunity of enjoying your own pet peacock flock.
If you live anywhere but Gabriola Island, they can be yours. Bring several large cages, head for the ferry and truck on over! When you arrive at our place, HONK loudly, so the peacocks will think you are one of them … and bond instantly with your truck.
Hurry! This offer expires when they do.
E-mail email@example.com to make arrangements.
THE TOP 10 REASONS TO OWN PEACOCKS
10.They have beautiful feathers.
9. You can wear them on your head like a feathered hat.
8. They honk like a big Mack Truck at 6 in the morning, so you don’t need an alarm clock.
7. They chase other creatures away, so you don’t need guard geese.
6. They poop on everything, so you don’t need to spend money on composted sheep manure for your garden.
5. They will eat everything in your garden, so you can give up gardening and spend more of your leisure hours cleaning up poop.
4. Your houseguests will feel like they are on an exotic Safari.
3. You can shoot them and eat them … and pay a huge fine or go directly to jail.
2. Their name.
1. They are much less trouble than werewolves.