Most people are familiar with the term peacock, but actually, this is the male species in the peafowl family. The female is referred to as the peahen and the babies are peachicks. These exotic birds range in size from 2.72 to 5.9kg. The males have trains of approximately 150 feathers that are glorious to see when opened. They have a beautiful "eye" design on each feather. Owning peacocks as pets is an enjoyable and rewarding hobby.
Decide on what type of peafowl you would like as a pet. The India Blue is the most common and what most people see when they visit a zoo. Another common peafowl is the Java Green, but there are many varieties of less-ornamental ones such as Silver Pied, Blackshoulder, White Eyed and Burmese Green.
Visit an exotic bird's hatchery to choose your peacock. They will be able to instruct you in the care and feeding. Raising a peachick requires more dedication and special warming units to raise them to an adult.
Decide whether you want to keep your peafowl in a pen or allow it to have free range of your yard area. It is best to raise them from peachicks to make them want to stay in your area. Mature birds need to be penned for about a month to acclimate them to the area. If you choose to let them roam, there is danger from them wandering off or being attacked by other animals.
Measure the space you have for a peafowl. Mature birds can be up to 6 feet in length, so if you have a couple of peacocks, you will need approximately 200 square feet, according to the article "Things to Consider Before Purchasing Your First Peafowl."
Build a pen with plenty of room and at least one roost. Peafowl will need shelter from harsh winters, sun and rain, and even if you eventually let them roam on their own, they need a sturdy shelter until they are used to their new home.
Consider the weather in your area. Peafowl are hardy creatures but will need insulated pens if the weather dips below zero in your climate. They will need shelter and plenty of shade if the temperatures soar over 100, and a sprinkler system will help keep them comfortable.
Feed your peacock a diet of crumble feed or game bird pellets. These are available at livestock feed stores. If you are allowing your birds to roam freely, they will supplement their diet with grass, plants, bugs and even snakes, but still need the purchased feed for proper nutrients. If you have harsh winter weather, supplement their diets in the winter with cracked corn; this will add body fat for warmth.
Ask your neighbours how they will feel with noisy peacocks in the area. During breeding season, their calls are likened to that of a screaming woman or a cat in heat. This noise continues during the spring and summer months and occurs most often at night, so be considerate and think of your neighbours if you don't live in the country.
Think of predators in your area before committing to peafowl as a pet. Peafowl are very strong flyers and roost in tall trees at night, but if they are penned, make sure no predators can get in the pen. Insert wire fencing at least a foot into the ground and have small enough holes in the fence to prevent dogs, foxes, hawks, weasels and owls from getting into the pen. Don't expect your peacock to be friends with any dogs or cats in the area, so if you have outdoor pets, the peacocks should be penned.
Things you need
- Pen with ample space
- Game bird pellets or crumble feed