They're loud, proud and flourishing on a central Newfoundland farm

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They're loud, proud and flourishing on a central Newfoundland farm

They're loud, proud and flourishing on a central Newfoundland farm

Sure, they have the type of birds you'd expect to find on a farm in Newfoundland, like chickens, turkeys, and ducks, but Campbellton Berry Farm has also been home to a much more exotic animal for the past 25 years — a party of peacocks.

Eleven of the colourful birds strut their stuff for visitors to the petting farm and berry U-pick operation in the small community in Notre Dame Bay.

But the four males — the peacocks — and seven females, known as peahens, do more than put on a show.

Every year the peacocks shed their long, brilliant, "eyed" tail feathers, which are collected and sold, and, according to farm co-owner Victoria Thornley, the peahen eggs make a great loaf of bread.

"We collect their feathers and we also collect their eggs. You can use them for baking — they're really good for making bread, for making cakes," she told CBC Radio's Central Morning Show. 

"And they're just beautiful birds, we just love to have them around."

The farm has been selling peahen eggs for the past couple of years. Thornley describes them as bigger and richer than a chicken egg, with a larger yolk and more robust taste.

"I personally wouldn't eat them as a cooked egg for breakfast or something, but there are people who do … it's really good for cooking."

Rescued just in time

Of all the peafowl on the farm, only one has been given a name.

Izzy actually spent the first couple of months of her life living with the family in their home after she hatched during flooding from tropical storm Isaac in 2006.

"My husband seen the eggs starting to hatch in the water so he went in, picked them up and put them in his coat to try to keep them warm."

One of the chicks didn't survive, but the family taught Izzy how to feed, and kept her in their home for a couple of months.

"We ended up bringing her into the house … and she used to eat breakfast every morning with my father-in-law, and she really thinks that she's not a bird, she thinks she's a human."

While peacocks are native to much warmer climates than Newfoundland — it's the national bird of India — Thornley said the fowl on her farm seem quite content.

"They've been here for so long, this is what they're used to. They love it, they're not stressed, they're very comfortable."