The most beautiful creatures here on our homestead have to be the peafowl. Their exotic coloring and fancy feather patterns will take your breath away, especially when one of the males decides to strut his stuff. Peafowl have a tendency to be more aloof than the other farm animals, but that's just fine with me. I got them because I wanted to add another element of beauty to our homestead, and they certainly do that as they roam elegantly throughout the gardens. Right now though, they are in their pen. Peter, our oldest and first peacock, got lonely all by himself during mating season and decided to wander into town. I kept telling him there were no pretty peahens to be found in our tiny town of 200 people, but since our farm sits just at the edge of town, he couldn't resist cruising on in to see for himself. After someone dropped him off for the fifth time, he went on lock-down. Then we found him a girlfriend, Mary, and let them get to know each other for a while. Finally came the day when I accidentally bought another peacock, Paul, at an auction. He went into the pen, too, and they've all adjusted just fine (see my blog post 11/14/13 for more on them). This spring I plan to turn them all out, and let's hope they are content enough here on our twelve acres that they won't have to go to town. I don't think the townspeople care much for those squawking 5AM mating calls...
I love farm animals. There are plenty of good reasons for this: they provide food, income, fertilizer, pest and weed control...they can even till my garden for me! But what I really love is having odd farm animals just wandering around. I like to just sit and watch them happily scratch, root, or strut about--doing whatever comes natural to them. Sometimes it gets a little crazy, but they're such a big part of the homestead equation, I can't imagine not having them.