Scientific name: Pavo cristatus
Other common names: Common Peafowl; Peacock (male); Peahen (female)
The male Indian Peafowl – known to one and all as the Peacock – is considered to be one of the most beautiful birds in the world. The national bird of India, this marvelous creature has collected endless legends around itself, including the story that Alexander the Great himself brought the Peacock to Europe. In ancient and medieval times, the bird starred in myths alongside the gods and goddesses of many cultures, while on earth the royal and the wealthy enjoyed them free-ranging on their estates – or, sometimes, roasted on their golden plates. Today, the Indian Peafowl is widely distributed in captivity, and the birds themselves are relatively inexpensive for the beauty they offer, although they will still require a good-sized property.
The Indian Peafowl is the classic bird that comes to mind when we hear the word “Peacock.” The male has a blue head, neck, and upper chest, distinguishing him at a glance from the Green Peacock. The magnificent train of green feathers, heavily spotted with the showy eyes, is the mark of the adult male, and he certainly knows it, since he will hop up and display by lifting and rattling those amazing feathers to catch the female's eye. She is really just a plain, well-camouflaged brownish bird with a white face. As with any bird with a long history of domestication, there is a large number of color mutations, including the truly magnificent white Indian Peafowl.
4.5 - 6 kilograms (10 - 13 lbs.)
15 - 20 years
As with any bird that spends a lot of time on the ground, Indian Peafowl may be susceptible to worms. Get a referral to a good veterinarian who can advise you on the proper de-worming schedule to keep your birds healthy.
Behavior / temperament:
The Indian Peafowl is beautiful, tough, and relatively inexpensive to care for in comparison to the impact made by its appearance on an estate or in your collection. The mature Peacocks are bold, fanning the wonderful tail and shaking it to make it rattle, in case the females have not taken proper notice of his elegance. Peahens can be good mothers, brooding and raising their own young without the assistance of Bantam silkies or artificial incubators that may be required by many other ornamental birds. They can certainly be a little aggressive, and males in particular may be somewhat aggressive toward a keeper and they may even charge at a small child, but it isn't anything that a little common sense can't take care of.
Why, then, don't we all have Indian Peafowl? Quite simply, it's the voice. They are loud, and the cry is not pleasant. If you are sensitive to noise or don't have a large enough property to keep your neighbors from hearing the noise up close and personal, you are not going to enjoy your Indian Peafowl. Make sure you are living in an area where the noise will not be a problem, before you acquire your birds.
On a very large property, it is sometimes possible to allow the Indian Peafowl to free-range. Talk to your supplier about what you should do to properly train your birds to return to their shelter each night. Although there aren't many predators that are enthusiastic about facing down a mature adult Peafowl, the youngsters are both tasty and somewhat vulnerable, and some people advise keeping the Peahen and her young family penned during the nesting season. You will also need to set up pairs or trios in pens if you are interested in breeding for color mutations, so that you can control who mates with who. These pens must be extremely generous, to allow the Peacock plenty of room to display his tail during the courtship dance and also to prevent nervous picking or aggression. It would be a foolish economy to skimp on the size of the pen and thereby risk destroying the beauty of the tail, the entire purpose of keeping the species.
The Indian Peafowl is an omnivorous bird that isn't particularly difficult to feed. The United Peafowl Association notes that a balanced diet will continue a wide variety of items, including “shelled corn, cracked corn, oats, rabbit pellets, dog food, trout chow, sunflower seed, grass, dandelions, insects, and many other foods.” A good game bird pellet or crumble should be provided, and make sure the hens have access to a laying mix during the breeding season. Clean water should always be available.
Written by Elaine Radford
majestic, great personalities, beautiful display, regal elegance, brilliant plumage
predators foxes, intensive management, LOUD Peacocks, eye problems, vocal, hauntingly irritating noise
GREEN Varieties, free range, estate birds, breeding season, big birds, possible peafowl varieties
Very interesting Bird
I've met a few of these in person and cared for them, but I have never owned one myself. From my experience, they are mostly standoffish and prefer to keep to themselves without contact. They aren't afraid to get in your face though, if they have to, and will run you down if you pose a threat to their family. These birds can fly a short distance very well, but typically stay on your property with no interest of leaving. Very much like a larger, more beautiful chicken. These birds are super eye-catching, even as females, and will make you the talk of the town. I've even witnessed people slow down to check them out as they were driving by. These are not birds you can cuddle with and should be treated more like livestock than pets as their personalities typically keep them at a distance despite their upbrining and are happiest when free-roaming the property. They are super easy to feed, much like a chicken, and you only have to spread their feed over the ground for them to forage on. They are, however, not afraid to get into things and love to try and steal your horse's or goat's food when they can. The peafowl I have met have been typically very healthy and not required much, if any at all, vet visits for sicknesses. These birds, however, should not be kept by first-time bird owners and anyone looking to get some should do some extensive research before taking them on. They are a joy to be around and watch though, but their calls can be super loud, sometimes much louder than a rooster. They are typically very good with most other animals including friendly dogs. I would recommend these to anyone experienced in caring for birds and suggest getting them as chicks so they can properly realize where their home is and where their food comes from..
From Eqwuus Jan 13 2019 3:29PM
Beautiful and Loud
Peacocks are beautiful additions to any garden.
They are free-range, self-sufficient birds, but if you want them to return to a certain place, you can occasionally put out feed for them. They can survive on foraging alone.
They do well in open spaces but would prefer an area with enough shade during the hot summer months. Trees would provide sufficient shelter and double as a roosting place. They sleep up in the trees.
They are very vocal animals and have a distinctive, high-pitched cry that can cause some neighbors to complain, so you should make sure that they have enough space to roam without bothering your neighbors. Also, something that people tend to forget, is that only the male peacocks have the beautiful tail feathers. They are quite a sight when they parade and especially when they fly.
Overall, Peacocks are easy to maintain and can add a bit of beauty to your garden. They are like a sports car. Beautiful and loud..
From SJdeBeer Nov 27 2015 12:22PM
I had a bad experience with my Paw Paw's peacocks
My grandfather, Paw Paw Reese, had a small farm in rural Alabama. Like my dad, who looked just like Paw Paw, he had multitudes of animals. Folks were always giving him stray animals, or he was always buying some animal from somebody. What can I say? The Reese men like animals.
So anyway, I guess I was anywhere from 7 to 10 years old, and I'd stay at my grandparents' house in the summer. They had a wonderful place with lots of room to run and skip and swim. They had a garden and all sorts of animals.
Well, for a couple of years, they had Peafowl. I hate to say this, but those were the meanest critters ever. I can close my eyes and still see that "gang" of Pea(brain)fowl rearing up and fanning that (admittedly beautiful) tail and charging. Yes, they charged.
It was probably a good mile from the farm to the main road, and I remember one time they chased me all the way to the main road. I was screaming and crying the whole time.
I would never have those things on my place. Well, at least not if I had small children or pets. They're beautiful, but scary.
Also, they make this horrible sound all the time that sounds like a baby screaming.
No, I vote no on this one..
From MelissaR Mar 7 2015 2:06PM