What Do Peacocks Eat?

Peafowl (male) and peahens (female), more commonly known as peacocks, are the largest of the pheasant and turkey family of birds. The Indian Peafowl and the Green Peafowl are the two species found in the wild and have become favourites for exotic animal collectors.

Peacocks can be raised almost anywhere on the planet as long as they have proper shelter in extreme climates. The diets for peacocks have some wide ranging differences separating the wild from the tame.

Wild Peacocks

Wild peacocks are ground foragers. They thrive on a variety of insects and plants along with the occasional small creature. Surprisingly, peacocks have a taste for snakes, including poisonous ones, and have been known to follow their slithering prey for entertainment before eating them.

Wild peacocks that roam grounds bordering farms, ranches and preserves are often supplemented with game-bird feed and cracked corn. These grains can also be found at feed stores to feed domesticated peacocks. Keep in mind when allowing wild peacocks into open areas of personal property that they will eat anything with bright colours, especially white, regardless of whether it is edible or garbage.

Domesticated Peacocks

Domesticated peacocks are pampered in the fact that they do not have to work hard for their meals. The household peacock still eats insects and plants and enjoys additions of cat food, bread, cheese and cooked rice. Flower gardens are in constant danger around peacocks; not only do they eat the flowers searching for bugs, they eat them when they are bored. Peacocks also enjoy the grubs that are found in vegetable gardens, often grazing on the green lawns along the way.


Peacocks are known to eat strange things that are not good for their digestive systems but can remind a person of a goat. Items like styrofoam pellets and crumpled paper are tempting treats for these beautiful birds. Man-made non-edible products are not good for peacocks any more than they are for humans. A simple rule to remember when feeding peacocks is if it isn't something that humans or pets eat, it probably isn't a good idea for the peacock to eat.

Baby Peacocks

Baby peacocks are known as peachicks and are able to begin foraging at three days of age. Though they prefer to stay near the peahen for protection and sustenance, they are capable of feeding themselves should anything happen to the mother. The peachicks prefer insects and small animals at this point for the higher protein content. After a few weeks they start balancing their diets with plants and flowers.