Roast Peacock Anyone?
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
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
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
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
Hurry! This offer expires when
firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.