Today I placed the first peafowl eggs into the incubator starting off the peafowl breeding season. Currently we have two varieties laying eggs. Black shouldered peafowl and White peafowl have both started laying early in the season.
When I went into the black shouldered Peafowl’s pen to check for any additional eggs to put into the incubator, I found two hens sitting on eggs. It is only just into April and already two Black Shouldered Peahens think they have finished laying eggs for the season! A decision had to made on what to do with these peahens. I am not sure when they started sitting on the eggs and as I have so many Black Shouldered Peahens I decided to leave them to sit on the eggs and hatch the naturally.
I found another couple of eggs and was ready to start the first incubation of the peafowl breeding season.
Preparation is the key to success
Preparation is the key to a successful hatch. First it all starts with correct nutrition for the peafowl. In March we moved all our laying peafowl onto Game Breeder with 24% protein. We want the peafowl to be in optimum health so that they peacocks are fertile and the peahens lay healthy eggs.
The next step is cleanliness of all equipment. Even though at the end of the previous year’s hatching season we clean and disinfect the incubators and other equipment. This week I cleaned everything again and disinfected the incubators and trays.
We clean all the eggs in luke warm water. Turn the peafowl eggs daily before they are placed into the incubator.
I mark each egg with the peafowl variety and the pen number and date of lay. Consequently when the eggs are moved into the hatcher, we can identify the parentage of the eggs and mark the peachicks accordingly. This prevents inbreeding and all the problems this would cause.
I always test the incubator for a day to two before placing the eggs into the incubator. I check that the incubator will hold the temperature and humidity and that the automatic turner is working.
Once I am happy with everything the eggs are placed into the incubator. The trays of peafowl eggs are marked with the date and time that they are placed into the incubator. The it is a waiting game!
The fertility can be low in first batch compared to later in the season. So I try not to get too excited until I have candled the eggs to check fertility.