Peacocks & Poultry In Motion with GOATS and RATS, Callahan Bird Farms, VIKINGPEACOCKS.com
"My whole life is for the birds!"
Carol is extremely sorry to report that I.E. Eldridge passed away on February 21, 2010, at the age of 83, following a sudden medical emergency. He was a wonderful friend and mentor to Carol, as well as the expert on raising peafowl, with his experience of 20-plus years.
With the help of another friend, Carol will try to get a copy of the obituary (from the Alamogordo daily newspaper) and a picture onto this website sometime soon.
I.E. has been and will continue to be very sadly missed here. He and Carol had gotten to be quite good friends, in daily and more frequent contact, with the mutual interest of the birds. I.E. also needed a little more help with some things, since his health started slipping away toward the end. After the extra time spent together visiting, it was quite a blow to lose I.E.
I.E. did leave all of his property to Carol in his will. And in accordance with his wishes, and also Carol's intentions, she will continue to raise the birds at both farms and carry on as best she can. Another very good friend (who had also helped I.E. and was highly regarded by I.E.), has moved in at I.E.'s and has been a tremendous help to Carol on both farms.
NEW!! Fertile Peahen EGGS will again be available for the 2010 hatch season, which usually starts about April.
We are pleased to announce that for anyone within driving distance (to come visit us, or for Carol to deliver or meet someone halfway), fertile peahen eggs will now be available to those wishing to attempt to incubate them.
Peahen eggs are rather difficult to hatch, and they would NOT likely survive shipment. But if they can be hand delivered or picked up, we will have many available this coming 2010 hatch season, probably starting next month, April 2010. We will also help the hatching process by passing on the knowledge we have from our experience in hatching peahen eggs.
In the past, we always used all of our eggs ourselves. These past couple years, however, with 60-plus peafowl on our premises, we have more than enough birds on hand and are limiting our personal hatching efforts to a relatively few special birds.
Availability of fertile eggs is subject to the length of the laying season, which is not very long. Also, we only keep peahen eggs for up to 7 days, in the refrigerator at 50 degrees in turners, as they are not likely to hatch when older. If anyone has any interest in PEAHEN EGGS for purposes other than incubating them to attempt to hatch peachicks, Carol can probably ship such eggs. They would make nice subjects for ARTWORK, and Carol may try to find some time to use some for that herself.
Hope winter is kind to you and your outdoor critters. "Come on, Spring!" is Carol's feeling. Hope you all have had a wonderful year with whatever birds and other non-human friends you may have residing with you.
Carol has found that it's still getting tougher and tougher to feed the flock. The company (home based assisted living) she's worked with for several years closed, and she transitioned to another company with the individual she has worked with for several years. It did result in a significant pay cut. Carol worked for the Census for some temporary extra income in 2009. But as of December, 2009, the supported living company has cut employees' hours (including Carol's), which has made it a scarey situation for the past couple months.
Carol now offers to consider creative TRADES for birds. That is, especially to trade birds for things that do not eat! "What have you?" She has more birds than ever right now, especially a lot of nice layers still available. If someone wants to trade something of value for birds, something that I might be able to use or sell to help feed the birds ... let's talk! The past several months have seen very few bird sales. The economy seems to have discouraged folks from feeding birds. In fact, people are letting go of all sorts of livestock all over. Some people still want laying hens. Carol would like to order chicks to raise for those who still seek birds. But the money situation is very difficult.
Carol's whole life and efforts are centered around the birds. Carol lives in a very small bread truck trailer, "camping out," as it is, on a permanent basis. Amazingly, the little trailer seems to do pretty well so far as staying warm in winter and cool in summer. An electric fan in summer and very small inexpensive ceramic heater in winter suffice. She only plugs in the electric water heater when she needs it for a shower. Being so conservative results in a small monthly electric bill. She spends most of her time outdoors; which, it turns out, is the best thing for her health: Plenty of Southwest sunshine, dry healthy air, and regular physical activity, caring for 100s and 100s of birds.
Carol doesn't drink, smoke, or have any other expensive habits, aside from rescuing birds and offering a unique experience to any bird lovers who are able to come and enjoy it. Aside from living on bread, cheese, nuts, breakfast bars, economy nutrition drinks (no refrigerator, but a couple of 2-gallon coolers with ice work fine), she picks up fast food more rarely now, and seldom gets to go out for a meal with a friend and coworker: They're both too broke these days!
The cost of gasoline and feed have risen dramatically, as most everyone knows. Carol uses a 1983 Dodge 4x4 "heavy half ton" pickup truck which rolled over the 100,000 mile mark on the odometer. (It's unknown HOW MANY times it has done so, however.) It's been a fine, strong workhorse, which will be worth overhauling when the time comes (except there's no savings to fall back on anymore). Carol got a heavy, strong pickup bed trailer, too, which has already hauled many many tons of feed from Dexter, NM.
If there are any kind hearted philanthropers out there who love birds and bird lovers, who could afford to help sustain this unique bird farm, it would be a Godsend. Grass clippings may be available soon, extremely helpful, since the desert landscape offers so little natural food for this flock.
When her husband of 13 years passed away, death benefit proceeds were used which helped build the bird farm, but resulted in a troublesome tax debt. There truly is no profit involved.
Birds can and will eat almost anything: Any visitors who can bring "throw away food" are asked to do so! Friends save such: When Carol comes home, chickens jump into the truck bed and help themselves into plastic bags containing various tidbits.
Mr. I.E. Eldridge and Mrs. Carol Callahan announced their new partnership in winter of 2006, a collaboration that arose as a result of their mutual love of birds and desire to provide for the continued long-term welfare of the Eldridge flock. Mr. Eldridge, a long-time resident of the Alamogordo, New Mexico area and very active octogenarian, has been breeding his peafowl for over twenty years. In order to continue his successful breeding program, he wanted some help with the marketing and maintenance for this sizeable flock. (There were roughly about 100 peafowl. I.E. also had perhaps 40 or so chickens, mostly Giant Cochins, which do much of the incubating of the peahen eggs.) He needed to place out some birds, to make more room for newly hatched chicks and young the coming spring; therefore, he particularly wanted someone to take over marketing and sales.
Along came Carol, living only one mile away on her own little ranchito, Callahan Critter Country with Poultry In Motion: Two acres with dogs, cats, snakes, rats, and more than 200 free-ranging chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and guineafowl. In just a few years of "chicken addiction," Mrs. Callahan has accumulated about 75 breeds and maybe 100+ varieties of poultry.
As of March, 2008, many folks have visited these two farms, from as far away as Las Cruces, El Paso, Roswell, Carlsbad, Albuquerque, Deming and beyond, just to see the sights and select some birds to buy and take home.
One visitor, who'd researched and decided to start raising Muscovy ducks, came to the Callahan place and called the premises "a candy store." Virtually everyone who's come has enjoyed the unique experience. Many return again and again and refer others.
Carol has NOT YET SHIPPED any birds, although she is still open to considering this SOMEDAY. Delivery to places within reasonable driving distance has occurred. She has a daughter living in Las Cruces, and has personally delivered birds and domestic fancy rats there. She's also delivered many EGGS to a Las Cruces co-operative store, Mountain View Market. Some birds have also been delivered to Dexter, south of Roswell, for pickup there: Carol drives there every few weeks or so for a truckload and trailer load of bulk feed from the dairy mill there. Visitors within driving distance are welcome to call and make an appointment to come see for themselves. She enjoys sharing with others her love of and knowledge of poultry.
Carol's home phone is 575-437-0545, with an answering machine when she's out.
Carol's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for visiting VIKINGPEACOCKS.COM ...! (Why the name VIKING? That's another story, possibly to be revealed later.)
(This entry updated April, 2010.)
17 GLENN AVENUE and 5 SOUTHWIND DRIVE
ALAMOGORDO, NEW MEXICO 88310