Many people have heard of our zorse and zonkey, Zoe and Cletus, as being prime illustrations of variety within a created kind. But did you know that three of the bird types in our zoo all belong to a common kind? Members of this group, the Galliformes, include partridges, ptarmigans, pheasants, turkeys, and quail, just to name a few. The three varieties of this kind found in our zoo are guinea fowl, peafowl, and jungle fowl (chickens).
Our Helmeted Guinea fowl are probably the least recognized birds in the zoo, often mistaken for turkeys or quail. Although they have been domesticated for centuries in Europe, and subsequently throughout the world, they are originally from the Guinea coast of western Africa. Due to their alarmist tendencies and shrill warning calls, farmers often keep them as watchdogs. (Woof?) Sexual dimorphism is extremely reduced in guinea fowl, making it difficult to distinguish between males and females. When you visit us, look for the males’ slightly larger crests and wattles, and listen for the females’ two-syllable, squeaky-hinge sounds.
Indian Blue Peafowl are perhaps the most ostentatious variety of Galliformes. The male, or peacock, with his magnificent train, is the more celebrated form. The female, or peahen, while much more subdued in appearance, has a beautiful crest and lovely iridescent green feathers on her neck. Our two peacocks are just reaching maturity, and their trains are still developing. Of the Galliformes currently in our zoo, peafowl are the only representatives specifically mentioned in the Bible (1 Kings 10:22, 2 Chron. 9:21, and Job 39:13).
Our Malaysian Seramas are a breed of miniature chickens. Currently considered the world’s smallest jungle fowl, mature individuals weigh about 1 lb (454 g). Their eggs are quite small; it takes 3-5 Serama eggs to equal the volume of one Grade ‘A’ large egg. This breed is well-known for being extremely friendly, and they are actually the most popular house-pet in Malaysia. This makes them great for our petting zoo! Our cock, Steve, has a much more pronounced comb and tail feathers than our hens, Cookie, Moe, and (yes, this is her name) Not-Moe.
God’s care for His creation is evident through the adaptability inherent within each kind. We hope to share more with you when you visit us at the Petting Zoo.
Petting Zoo Keepers