Raising peafowl is not new or difficult to do. They are raised for their beauty and stunning feathers. Most people raise peafowl as a hobby and for entertaining purpose. Peafowl are also a poultry bird, just like ducks, chickens, pigeons, turkeys etc.
The Indian and Burmese peacocks are considered as the most beautiful birds. Peacocks are very beautiful and their feathers attract almost all types of people. Peacock feathers are in huge demand for decorating. Peacock feathers have a great popularity internationally. Many luxurious shops sell peacock feathers, due to it’s high demand and popularity. Peacock farming, as a business, is not as popular as raising other poultry.
These birds are found in many colors including blue, green, white and pied. The blue has iridescent blue-green or green colored plumage. Head, neck, van and throat protector is little blue colored. Both peacock and peahens have crest atop the head. Their legs are reddish. Peacocks have very attractive tail and they use their beautiful tail for attracting the peahens. You can see ‘eyes’ on their tail, when they fan their tail. Male birds also known as peacocks, dance raising their tail plumage to attract peahens, which is very impressive and beautiful. They usually will stay in a group with one peacock with five to six peahens. In the wild they move over the ground for a short period, most of the time they stay a top in the large trees. Grains, insects, snakes, small fish, frogs, etc are their favorite food. Peahens lay about three to five whitish eggs by making a small hole in the ground. The eggs are incubated for 27 to 30 days. Average life expectancy of peafowl is around 35 years and they reach sexual maturity around three to four years of age.
In order to raise peafowl properly,they need to be fed a nutritious feed with a suitable environment for them. Peafowls are omnivorous, their diet includes wheat, rice, vegetables, seeds, insects, snails etc. Papaya, melon and other fruits are also can be fed to the birds. They must have a sufficient amount of fresh and clean water daily.
There are several breeds of peafowl available. The most common peafowl breeds are Blue Indian, Black Shoulder, Bufford Bronze, Charcoal, Cameo, Green Peafowl (Java Green), Opal, Oaten, Spalding, Purple, White, Pied etc. Among these breeds, Blue Indian are the most common breed raises because they have a mild and timid nature.
They clean themselves by vigorously rubbing their plumage in dust and dry soil similar to chickens. They love to have dust baths. Indian blues are the most widely raised domestic species because of their mild and timid nature. Green peafowls are more aggressive and they are less common as domestic bird.
Peafowl need adequate housing and healthy environment. Usually 100 square feet space required for each bird. Adjust the housing space according to the length of peacock’s trains (Tail Feathers). Generally peacock trains can be over Five feet long. The coop must be at least eight feet tall. You can use chicken wire for the walls and roof. Provide a larger shed or barn if you have nesting peahens. Use hanging dishes inside the coop keeps the water elevated so that you do not get droppings in it. You will need to cover their pen, because peafowls are great flyers. They like to roost at night and need to have a suitable roosting place inside the house. Ensure a well ventilation coop. Make the house suitable enough for preventing all types of predators, such as raccoon wild dogs or foxes.
Peafowl can be free ranged but with some warnings. They will travel so if you live in an area with many houses, this will not be an option. You also open your stock up to predators and you may lose some. It may also be difficult to catch them once they are let out to roam freely. Do you live on a busy road. Peafowl seem to like hanging out on roads. Here are some tips to safely free range peafowl.
The age of the peafowl is the most important factor in training them to stay on your property. Always start with young peafowl as older birds are more difficult to train. Yearling peafowl are almost full grown and they can tolerate almost any kind of weather. Their size allows them to be safe around small dogs, cats, and other small predators. If you want to train older peafowl, try to purchase birds that were raised in covered flight pens and make sure they are calm birds. These birds are accustomed to being outside without being able to fly off. Peafowl that have been running loose for years around someone else’s property are hard to keep around a new home because they are accustomed to roaming wherever they want and may leave your property.
Prior to purchasing peafowl of any age, a small building such as a chicken house or utility shed should be made ready to house the peafowl. A box stall in a barn will also work. An outside flight pen attached to the housing area is good to have also, but not necessary. The flight pen allows the peafowl to be outside and to get accustomed to their surroundings without being able to fly off or roost in the trees. The peafowl should be kept in these quarters for at least a month while they get settled in to their new home.
The most important training step that I have found is to wing clip the peafowl prior to releasing them into the housing area. The peafowl learn very quickly that they can’t fly up to the top of the building or across the flight pen area. This inability to fly seems to calm the peafowl down a lot and makes it much easier to tame them down. Roosting areas for them will need to be only 3’ or 4’ off of the ground so that they can jump up on them and so that they won’t injure themselves when they jump down to the floor.
Feed and water the peafowl daily while they are in confinement so that they get accustomed to their owner. Give the birds treats such as lettuce trimmings, raisins, grapes, tomatoes, white bread, etc. to make them tamer. After a month has passed, pick a day when the weather is good and allow the peafowl to come out of their enclosure on their own. Do not force them out of the enclosure. Observe their behavior and allow them to investigate their surroundings.
Do not allow dogs to chase them during this time. Peafowl and dogs can coexist but don’t let the dogs get in the habit of chasing the birds. Allow the birds to free range for a half a day and then herd them back into their enclosure. Repeat this process for several days, allowing the birds to free range for longer periods of time each day. I would suggest that the peafowl be put in their enclosure every night for several months. It will take several months for the clipped wing to grow back which makes them vulnerable to predators. I continue to put my free ranging peafowl in an enclosure at night so that I don’t have to worry about predators and it makes it much easier to collect eggs. Do not allow peafowl to free range during the winter months.
Peafowls are omnivorous. They eat almost everything whether any plant or animal matter. Berries and nuts are favorite foods in season, but seeds, grain and leaves are staple items all year. They also will catch and eat mice, frogs, small snakes, various types of small mammals, various types of insects such as ants, grasshoppers, termites etc. Peafowl do not drink water as frequently as other domestic poultry birds. Usually they drink water during their midday rest and while eating in late afternoon. They drink again just before going to roost. You can also feed your birds a wide range of crops, fruits, and vegetable scraps from the garden. Peachicks can be feed game bird starter feed.
Peafowl breeding season starts in late spring. Peachicks benefit from the abundance of food available at this time. Peacocks show their trains and dance for attracting the peahens. Each peacock can mate with five to six peahens. After successful mating, peahens lay eggs and incubate them for twenty seven to thirty days.
Peafowl are raised for both their beauty and for the purpose of producing their colorful feathers. Peacock feathers are in huge demand. The price of a single feather ranges between two and ten dollars. The price depend on the size, color and quality of the feather. Peacocks loose their plumage once a year and you can get about 150 to 200 feathers from and adult bird every year. Peafowl chicks and eggs as well as juvenile birds can be sold.