Yesterday I noticed that Mr Flowers had a band of nylon string wrapped around one of his feet.
And he only has one good foot.
If left in place the nasty nylon string would continue to tighten and eventually cut off the toe (in this case). By then the animal would be in big trouble.
There are very strict rules about the nylon used to sew feed bags up (even the bags of spilt grain we get from the mill are sewn up). Once it is ripped off the bag, the string must go into the pocket of the person opening the bag and be brought up to the bin.
But there you are. All the plans of mice and men.
We got Mr Flowers into the garage with grain. And closed all the doors. Then I proceeded to herd him to a spot where I could catch him. This has to be done very carefully and very quietly so as not to spook the bird. Creeping low with the smallest of steps, my arms out wide, I crooned and talked the whole time so he knew it was me. And slowly, slowly herded him into a corner that had an over hang of junk.
He kept looking up and around looking for a way to fly up over me. But the unbalanced, badly stacked, disorganised shed stuff made it difficult for him.
(One of the few times that Johns junk is useful).
From observation I knew that when a peacock has his tail up high and is schmoozing his mate he is able to move individual feathers on each side of his tail, turning and waving and rattling just a couple of feathers to herd his mate into a space. So a peacock will naturally respond to these tiny movements.
When I have to calm and herd a peacock you should do this with my fingers. I keep arms were up and high and quite still and direct the bird by wiggling the fingers of one hand or the other. Just that tiny movement will move them. Like directing a horse. Just use tiny ticks on the reins.
While he watches my fingers I am able to shuffle forward. But oh so slowly. Peacocks do this too when they are calming a peahen.
But most of the work is standing stock still and waiting, with your body turned in a certain direction. So still your muscles might begin to shake.
Remember, you have all day. If you hurry you will lose the bird. If he flies up into the rafters you will not catch him again.
By grabbing him you will break the trust you have built, so you only get one chance to be this close.
I crooned and sang the whole time.
My whole body was taut and ready to pounce. Every footfall was deathly quiet yet totally firm and light, ready to spring.
Once I was above Mr Flowers I pounced, laid my hand hard on his back, then swooped my other hand under him to grab his feet. Every movement has to be supremely confident. And flash fast.
In this case he who hesitates is lost.
(It goes without saying that I always wear safety glasses and gloves when I have to catch a big semi wild bird).
Mr Flowers was furious and fought hard. Peacocks are huge and strong. Holding onto his legs takes a strong grip. His wings were smashing against my face. I got a firmer grip.
I quickly adjusted him under my arm like a naughty toddler, tucking his wings in. I swung him around so I did not trip on his tail and carried him to the light.
John was able to quickly cut the offending string off with pointy nail scissors. The whole time John was extricating the string Mr Flowers held quite still and glared at me – his beak an inch from my face with a fierce gaze. His wings were pinned so he was trying to do some kind of peacock mind trick. I kept my face averted and watched him back, out of the corner of my eye.
Eye contact did not seem like a good idea at this point.
Once we were finished John opened up the doors.
I walked to the doors and released him. Pushing off me (with just a little more force that I thought was strictly necessary) Mr Flowers flew out of my arms, shrieking out his danger call.
And that was that.
Now Mr Flowers is not talking to me. I have shown myself to be a predator. Sad.
And in other Farmy News:
Nelson has moved into her new home.
She has her familiar carry cot with her so if we encounter cold nights I can bring her in and out.
I think it will work very well but Boo is very concerned about having ‘his’ rabbit outside again.
Free Bee and Jude’s run is so muddy now. It can stop raining anytime. Luckily they have their lovely trailer that is off the ground and dry – to sleep in. I throw at least two bales of straw into the run every day and by the end of the day it has been sunken into the mud by their piggy stilettos.
(It will be great for growing my pumpkins!)
Hogs live mud but not TOO MUCH mud. Every animal needs to be able to dry their feet when they wants to.
The storm yesterday afternoon passed us by though which, frankly, was a blessing.
Below is last nights sunset out to the West. Red sky at night and I am delighted with todays clear skies.
It is the first day of the rest of my life and today feels like it!
I did not get any gardening done yesterday!
Bravo for catching the peacock and removing the cord. We had a peacock visit us from the abandoned lemon grove across from us. He had a good look around our patio and then left without a how-do-ya-do.
How cool was that? They are like visiting angels. So beautiful .
Exactly. We felt blessed.
Oh how lovely Darlene. They are so big and beautiful and appear to be gentle birds, but as Celi says, they are strong and can be quite ferocious.
The care of the creatures requires a lot of strength, patience, skill, empathy & love. Fortunately you have a great deal of all of those. And Your John is your wonderful right hand man.
This is one thing I cannot do alone. He was told to stand quite still in a specific corner until I had the bird in my control. Luckily it all worked out.
Your liege man of life & limb….
Must remember to beware of peacock mind tricks. Seriously, Cece, you are amazing. I don’t think I have the patience to pounce on a peacock. (That sounds like the start of a children’s poem.) And–happy first day of the rest of your life! I’ll join you in that sentiment.
Yes! It is great to sit at my desk to do my own work. There is a bit of planning and scheduling to be finished. I do not want to waste any of this precious time!
I am going to be very tough on myself!
You are such an inspiration Charlotte!
And you inspire me right back!
What a story! Will Mr. Flowers hold this against you forever? Is there not some lovely treat that will allow him to think of you without rancor and distrust? Think of how much easier it would be if we had the ability to speak the language of our animals… Boo can clearly speak rabbit in some way- telepathically perhaps- assuring Nelson that she will love her new home and he is on guard and watchful.
It took him years to get close to me so after I pounced on him I am fairly sure it will take a long while before he comes close again. Fair enough.
wow, operation mr. flowers went well, you are a wizard with animals
He is still not talking to me!!
it’s okay, you know you were only helping him. he’ll be indignant for a while
Amazing. Poor old Mr Flowers has been through so much in his life. I reckon he will forgive you pretty soon🤞🤞.
Nelson will enjoy his Summer home and Boo will soon get over the move l’m sure.Gorgeous sky photographs and beautiful new chapter of life for you.
We have ice and snow here. This is so terrible. A very bad start to the farming year. COME ON WARMER WEATHER~!
I’ve heard of horse whisperers and dog whisperers. This is a first knowing a peacock whisperer. 🙂
As someone said above, this is a poem. Honestly, Cecilia, you need to be published. Period.
As someone said above, this is a poem, Cecilia. You need to be published. Period.
You are so kind!! I am thinking of writing more!
That sounds like an ordeal. I’m sure it’s quite possible that the nylon string blew onto the farmy from the road or another farm nearby, like some detritus from the Wizard of Oz!
Awww you and John are such kind and caring people- thanks for helping Mr Flowers!
That was a gripping story. I’m glad you were able to get the deed done. Will he ever forgive you? I hope so. It’s such a pleasure to visit the Farmy. I always feel I’m tromping around with you. I hope warm sun and gentle winds dry things up to a more tolerable level soon. Happy Spring!
I only tried to catch a peacock once, but failed!
You are a star! And Mr Flowers is really very grateful even if he doesn’t show it!
He certainly does not show it. He is still giving me the side eye.😂💦
You do realize you likely are in the one percent of the population (or likely less than that) who could tell a first hand story like that of capturing a peacock? Bravo!
And you are in the one percent who was here to read it! We both win!!
Peacock wrangling trumps gardening. Hope your first day went well ♡
Yes – I did LOOK at the garden today!! Laugh!!
I’m thrilled it worked because there were no second chances. Mr Flowers will come around. I love the peacock whisperer ! I was hanging on every word until the end. Such a great storyteller…..thank you for taking us along ☮️💜
You are always always welcome!
Yay for Mr. Flowers, you, and John! And Nelson sounds well set up, too, for the moment.
Mr. Flowers will forgive you. My rooster Speckles has survived a lot worse, but now he is a real cuddler.
It appears you had a very busy day. Glad the storms seem to be passing and clear skies lie ahead.
I have never had a cuddly chicken or rooster for that matter! You must be a rooster whisperer!
OMW – while I was reading this I was thinking “Peacock Jedi” and how do you wrangle such a big bird – Great Job! Rain is good but not too much rain, especially in pens for the animals – already dealt with one foot issue and do not need anymore of that. Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂
Absolutely/ it is all about keeping their feet dry. The big hogs are my only problem but they can get up out of the mud anytime which is good. But really – this is just getting silly. No rain in the forecast for a few days though!
Good afternoon, c. That looks like quite a noisy storm that passed you by. Hopefully Mr Flowers doesn’t feel too emasculated, and his tail feathers fall out.
That was a real worry actually. Birds will drop their feather when grabbed. I have lost big birds to eagles before and all that is left of the cattle is a huge pile of tail feathers. Horrible
Yes, I know. Birds will do that. Do keep us updated on how he is.
I am particularly enjoying the description of you creeping lightly but firmly closer, singing and waggling your fingers. In fact, I’m pretty sure you could have sold tickets to that particular operation… I’m glad Mr Flowers is OK after that dreadful indignity, and the fact that he’s glaring at you is an excellent sign that he’s fully recovered.
Mr Flowers has quite the indignant look when he wants to pull it out!!