WARNING: You can seriously injure your peafowl catching them. Be certain you know how to properly catch them before you catch them! If you are new to catching peafowl read on I will will explain how to catch peafowl without hurting them, and also without hurting yourself!
First, a brief story...
I remember going to by my pied peahen Damsel. We brought a fish landing net for the breeder to catch her with. It turns out it was easier for him to catch her with his hands then with the net. In fact, when the guy was using the net the peahen lost huge masses of feathers! Yet, when he caught her with his hands, it was faster and actually seemed to be less stressful. At the time, I didn't understand why you would rather grab them by hand but now that I have had a bit more experience with catching up peafowl, I actually prefer catching them by hand and hate using the net.
List of things for catching peafowl:
- Fish landing Net
- Long-sleeve shirt and jeans.
- Gloves (I don't use them, but it certainly couldn't hurt to wear some.)
- Designated catching area (This can be a corner, a garage, anywhere that you can easily trap and catch the bird.)
- Another Person (Depends on why you are catching them, but another person can be great for helping herd the bird or birds into the area you want them to be caught at.)
Part 1 - Using a Fish Landing Net
I don't like using a net to catch peafowl, but everyone is different so I will explain how to do so. Get a big net preferably with a good handle. When catching a peafowl, you must quickly cover them with the net, but also you must be careful that the metal rim of the net doesn't hit the bird on the head or somehow hurt them. The rim of the net hitting the bird always worried me and I was always nervous about catching the bird up in the net. Also, their feathers get all messy when they are caught with a net. It can also be hard catching a peacock with a full train using a net. Still, you can catch them with a net and some peafowl breeders choose to catch their birds using this method. Once the net is on the ground with the bird inside of it, hold the net down and grab the bird, making sure to put a hand on either side of their body holding the wings down tightly.
Part 2 - Using Your Bare (or gloved) Hands
All of my nerves go away when I am the one doing the catching, not the net. I have a small, narrow pen that I herd the desired bird into. I then shut the door and walk the bird to one of the sides of the pen that is around 3ft long. The bird will then pace from one corner to the other. Do not let it walk past you keep it cornered or in one area. Some birds are more wild than others. Do not be surprised to get wings flapping in your face or even a scratch from those claws. Getting a wing hit to the face can sometimes sting, but don't give up! Watch the bird carefully with both hands out ready to grab them. Once you are ready, quickly reach down and put both hands on either side of the bird and draw it up close to your body. Make sure you have your hands over the wings so that they can't start flapping. If they somehow get their wings free or start flapping, quickly put your hands over their wings but also be careful not to hurt the wings. Holding the bird close to your body helps keep it from struggling so much. Some birds will struggle more than others. When catching a peacock with a train, you can hold onto their train to help guide them where you want them or to help catch them. Just be careful not to pull on their train too much. You don't want to hurt them.
Part 3 - Catching Peafowl by their Legs
I do not use this method because to me, there is too much of a risk that the bird could break a leg. If you are experienced with catching birds by their legs, you might want to do that with your peafowl also. When using this method keep in mind that you must grab both legs at the same time! Also you must grab the leg above the knee joint. I read a story of a person who grabbed a peafowl and only got it by one leg, the bird twisted, broke its leg, and had to be put down. Peafowl can put up a big fight, so I could see how this would lead to one breaking a leg. Some people say that they will sneak up on a peacock when he is displaying and grab him by both legs to catch him. Hopefully that doesn't then scare the peacock so that he never displays in front of people!
So remember, catch quickly but carefully and if you are unsure about netting them, try catching them by hand. If you are unsure about catching them by hand, try netting them. Do what you feel most comfortable with as long as it is safe for you and the birds.