The mating season begins with the monsoon (heavy rains), so its chicks benefit from the abundance of food resulting from the rains. Breeding starts in January in Sri Lanka, but in northern areas doesn’t begin until the summer monsoon in June. The male displays to, and mates with, the three to five peahens in his harem. After mating, the female incubates the eggs and tends her chicks, her dull plumage concealing her from predators.
Newly hatched downy chicks instinctively peck at their mother’s bill, from which she offers them tiny bits of food until they feed themselves. At two weeks, the chicks can flutter and jump to accompany their mother on a roosting perch. Young don’t join the main adult roosts until they’re two months old.
Peafowl ( Peacock ) :
ORDER : Galliformes
FAMILY : Phasianidae
GENUS & SPECIES :Pavo cristatus
key features :
• One of the most spectacular birds, its long, colorful feathers are used purely for display
• The peacock (male) rules a harem of peahens (females), dazzling them with his shimmering fan
• Considered sacred in some cultures and kept as an ornamental bird around the world
WHERE IN THE WORLD :
On the Indian subcontinent: Sri Lanka north to Kashmir and east through Nepal and Bangladesh; extends west into Pakistan to the Indus River; introduced to many other parts of the world
As he flaunts his incredible finery to woo a mate, the male peafowl is the ultimate animal show-off. It is easy to see why “proud as a peacock” so aptly describes human vanity.
In its wild state, the peafowl lives in hillside jungle and is rarely found far from streams bordered by dense, bushy vegetation. It is usually a bird of low to medium altitude, found up to about 1,980′, although it has been recorded living at 5,940′ in the Himalayas.
In areas where it’s protected, the common peafowl is found around villages. The peafowl can adapt readily to life in small,
DRINKS ALL AROUND :
Peafowl and sambar deer isolated patches of woodland share a refreshing drink. or fields of sugarcane.
The common peafowl enjoys protection as the national bird of India and is sacred in the Hindu religion.The bird is destined to remain a common species in much of its native range. It’s extremely common elsewhere in the world, where it has been introduced mainly for its ornamental value.
1 Love song…
The peacock is a noisy bird, especially in the mating season. His repeated call asserts his dominance over his harem.
2 First approach…
The male singles out a particular female and begins to spread his magnificent train, cocking his tail to help support his long plumes.
The peafowl is a creature of habit. It stays in the same area year ’round and has a sedate daily routine, disrupted only when forced to flee a predator (a tiger or Indian mongoose).The peafowl has regular sites for feeding, roosting, loafing and courting. It spends the middle of the day in the shade, where it rests and preens. Like other pheasants, the peafowl doesn’t bathe in water, but cleans itself by vigorously rubbing its plumage in dry soil and dust.
Tall trees, with open views of the surrounding countryside, are used for roosting.As many as 100 birds may gather at favored sites. They fly almost vertically into the treetops, their raucous cries carrying far into the forest. In the morning, amid another chorus of loud wailing, they split into small groups. Grazing animals often stampede at the sound of the peafowl’s alarm call, which they recognize as a signal that a big cat may be on the prowl.
Look out! The peacock calls to warn of a predator nearby.
With his train fully erected, the peacock struts with his back to the female, fluttering his drooped wings. She appears unimpressed.
4 Full frontal
Suddenly the peacock spins to show his full, shimmering train. This finally catches her attention and they then mate.
A Ruling the roost The peafowl roosts in trees with open views.
# Peahens and even chicks sometimes spread their short tail coverts to imitate the male’s display.
# At one time, roast peafowl was a fashionable dish at European banquets.
It’s been suggested that the peacock struts around during his display to keep his balance as the wind catches his fanned train.
FOOD & FEEDING
The peafowl will eat virtually any plant or animal matter Wild figs, berries and nuts are favorite foods in season, but seeds, grain and leaves are staple items all year Peafowl can be a pest on farmland, where crops are eaten and also flattened by the males’trains.This aggressive bird will stalk and catch small snakes, mice, other small mammals and insects such as grasshoppers, termites and ants. Groups forage for food as soon as they leave their roosts at
daybreak. They’ll drink from a stream during their midday rest and feed again in late afternoon. They drink again at sunset, just before going to roost.
Anything goes The peafowl will eat almost anything, from seeds to snakes.
The male’s brilliant plumage is designed to attract his mates, but it also provides surprisingly good camouflage in the dappled light of the forest.
The female is different with brownish upperparts. The flight feathers and rectrices are darker brown. The neck is glossy green whereas the breast is dark brown with green gloss. Underparts, lower breast and belly, are whitish.
On the head, she has glossy green forehead and crown, with the same form of crest but greenish at tip. The bare skin of the face is white, and joins the white chin, throat, cheeks and lower ear-coverts.
Although none of its relatives outshines the common peafowl, all male birds of the pheasant family are gaudily clad in vivid plumage.The train of the great argus pheasant is formed by much enlarged wing and tail feathers, which are raised above its head in its dramatic display. This bird lives in Malaysia and
Indonesia.The gray peacock pheasant of Southeast Asia spreads its wings and tail
to show off the glossy eyespots that adorn its subtly colored plumage.
Great argus pheasant
Common peafowl Gray peacock pheasant
There are 49 species of pheasant, including the common peafowl. The rare green peafowl (below) is the other member of the genus Pavo.
Indian Peafowl :
courtesy to : www.oiseaux-birds.com/card-indian-peafowl.html
Galliforme Order – Phasianidae Family
Length: 180-230 cm (tail: 40-45 cm – train: 140-160 cm)
Wingspan: 130-160 cm
Weight: 4000-6000 g
Length: 90-100 cm (tail: 32-37cm)
Wingspan: 80-130 cm
Weight: 2750-4000 g
The Indian Peafowl is the National Bird of India where this superb bird is sacred and very prominent in mythology and folklore of Indian people. Several legends tell numerous wonderful stories about this beautiful bird. Thanks to its beauty and popularity, the species has been protected both in its native and introduced ranges.
Very common in India, the Indian Peafowl is found in almost all villages and protected under Indian Wildlife Protection act, 1972.
Male is named peacock, female is peahen and chick is peachick.
Adult male has glossy cobalt-blue head, neck, upper mantle and breast. On the back, the centre is glossy green with scaled effect. The upperwing shows chestnut primary flight feathers and black secondaries. Wing coverts are black finely vermiculated white.
The long uppertail coverts form the train during the spring and all the breeding season. These feathers show ornamental eye-spot and disintegrated barbs at tip. These barbs give a fluffy appearance when the male fans its tail. On the contrary, the rectrices are duller and shorter.
The juvenile resembles female but duller and paler, and it lacks the glossy green feathers.
The young male has chestnut-coloured wings.
They are sexually mature at three years old.
We can find several other colours from colour mutations through selective breeding. The white race is the most common.
The Indian Peafowl is noisy during the breeding season, giving loud, high-pitched calls. Alarm calls are produced by both sexes.
This species may call at night if threatened, and sometimes, several other peafowls respond.
The Indian Peafowl favours open forest with riparian undergrowth, and wooded areas along streams. But this species is also found in orchards and cultivated areas near human habitations. It usually prefers moist and dry deciduous woodlands near water.
The Indian Peafowl can be seen up to 2000 metres of elevation.
The Indian Peafowl is found in Pakistan, throughout India to Sri Lanka, and maybe still in Bangladesh.
This beautiful bird has been introduced in numerous countries.
The Indian Peafowl is omnivorous, feeding on grain, insects, small reptiles and mammals. It also takes berries, wild figs and green crops.
It forages in early morning and late afternoon in cultivated areas and fallow land. It can be seen in small groups. Outside the breeding season, there are only males, whereas during the nuptial period, it forages with females and young.
The Indian Peafowl is polygamous. During the breeding season, a small territory is established by each male, used for the courtship displays. Several “dancing-grounds” are close to each other, forming a lek that involves frequent territorial disputes. The owner strongly defends its area with threat displays, and then, by fighting if necessary.
The females visit the males at lek, wandering through several territories, singly or in groups. The males are displaying, raising and fanning the superb train close to one female or in front of her. Regularly, the fanned feathers vibrate, producing some buzzy noise. The females look at them and finally return to the preferred male, usually the one with more eye-spots on the train (from an observation made in England).
Copulation occurs and then, the female remains alone until the end of the nesting season.
The adult males maintain their territory until the end of the breeding season when the train feathers is moulting.
During the day, the Indian Peafowl rests in trees to avoid the terrestrial predators. At night, it also roosts high in dead trees, often on the top branches.
This species is probably sedentary in the same area all year round.
The Indian Peafowl can fly, in spite of the long train. But as most of Phasianids, it prefers to walk, climb or even run to escape a danger.
The breeding season varies according to the range, but usually occurs in wet season.
The nest of the Indian Peafowl is placed on the ground, hidden in scrub vegetation (Lantana, Zizyphus), but it can be slightly elevated in flood-prone areas.
The female lays 3-6 pale brown eggs and incubates alone during about 28-30 days. The chicks are precocial and follow their mother very soon after hatching. She leads them at good food sources and the chicks learn how to feed themselves, imitating their mother.
The Indian Peafowl is omnivorous, feeding on plant matter, insects, small snakes and mammals, berries, some fruits and green crops.
It forages in small groups in cultivated areas.
The Indian Peafowl takes advantage of its association with humans. It is protected of course in India as national Bird, but also in many areas because this bird is sacred and has religious importance. This species often lives in villages where the bird is protected.
For this time, the beauty of a species saved it! The Indian Peafowl has been brought from its native country to other parts of the world, and this fact has probably saved the species from extinction. The close association with humans has given peafowls a great way to survive.
HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD Vol 2 by Josep del Hoyo-Andrew Elliot-Jordi Sargatal - Lynx Edicions - ISBN: 8487334156
Citation: Hennache, A. & Ottaviani, M. (2005). Monographie des faisans, volume 1. Edition W.P.A. France, Clères, France. ISBN: 2-9512467-1-4
Citation: Hennache, A. & Ottaviani, M. (2006). Monographie des faisans, volume 2. Edition W.P.A. France, Clères, France.ISBN: 2-9512467-2-2
"Les auteurs renoncent à leurs droits d'auteurs pour que la vente de cet ouvrage, publié par la World Pheasant Association, soit destinée à soutenir des projets de conservation."
Keeping Peafowl | Farm Raised With P. Allen Smith
- Do not let your peacocks roam free. Although peacocks raised from chicks will rarely stray far from where hatched, they do have a tendency to turn semi-wild if left to their own devices. Be sure to keep them in an enclosed area if you have strict property lines or are afraid of losing your peafowl.
Peafowl Chicks | Farm Raised With P. Allen Smith
Beauty White Peacocks - Peacocks vs Peacocks,who win?
- Keep chicks warm. Keep chicks in a heated area for the first 4 to 6 weeks of their lives. It's generally a good idea to start out with a temperature of about 95˚F and decrease the temperature by about 5˚/week. However, this can vary greatly depending on the time of year and your geographic location.
Keep an eye on your chick's body language to recognize the best temperature. When chicks are cold, they will huddle together. When they're hot, they'll try to get as far away from the heat source as possible. The best temperature will be when the chicks can move freely without exhibiting either of these behaviors.
How to Care for Peacocks
Peacocks are spectacular and delightful pets, most suitable for farms and rural surroundings. They are always a sight to behold when the males begin to strut around with their tail feathers extended! Males are commonly referred to as 'peacocks,' while females are commonly referred to as 'peahens.' Many people simple call both genders 'peacocks' or 'peafowl.'
1- Housing :
- Build a large pen. This is necessary if you want to keep your peacock from flying away. It should be at least 8 feet (2.4 m) tall, or taller, to ensure that your peacocks are able to fly and/or fan their tails freely. Chicken wire is fine for both the walls and the roof. The roof should also arch or come to a point in places where it will be higher than the rest.
Make sure that, if you are getting a male, the pen is wide and long enough for him to display his feathers fully when he struts. Not doing so will result in broken feathers or other injuries.
- Provide a wooden shelter similar to a small shed or barn. Make it inside or connected to the main coup for your birds to roost and/or nest in. You may want to put a warming light in this area and bed it with straw. Provide lofts for the peacocks to stand on and regular perches. Be sure to check the entire pen for places where raccoons, foxes, or other small pests can get in.
If you have a pest problem, consider placing a radio near the peacock's pen. Keep it on at all times. Predators and pests are less likely to make themselves known if they hear human voices.
- Never overcrowd your peacocks. Not only does this lead to an uncomfortable and unhappy life for your peafowl, but it can cause severe disease outbreaks, making it a poor economic decision for you. You should have about 80 square feet of space per bird.
- Provide food and water dishes. Using hanging food dishes (hanging from the ceiling by chains) tends to keep mice from getting into the food. Keep the water elevated or protected in some way as well so that you do not get droppings in it. Alternatively, use a 3 or 4 gallon (11.4 or 15.1 L) bucket for water.
- Feed the chicks. Peacock chicks should get a high protein diet for their first 3 months of life. Look for a Game Bird feed crumble of about 25 to 30% protein. As they get older, begin to wean them off the crumble; too much protein in a grown peacock can cause serious leg deformities.
- Begin to wean your chicks from the crumble. After three months, the chicks should be weaned to either Game bird feed or Game bird pellets (Note that pellets are best for birds in cages with wire bottoms). This can generally be done using a 6 week transition schedule, but you should pay close attention to the response of your chicks. If they stop eating the feed, continue feeding them what they will eat and try again another day. The six week program is as follows:
Week 1: 3 parts crumble to 1 part adult food.
Week 2: 2.5 parts crumble to 1 part adult food
Week 3: 2 parts crumble to 1 part adult food
Week 4:1.5 parts crumble to 1 part adult food
Week 5:1 part crumble to 1 part adult food
Week 6: .5 part crumble to 1 part adult food
Week 7: All adult food.
- Give your peacocks occasional treats. While too many treats can cause health problems, giving your peacocks a little something special now and then can be helpful in keeping them from straying or to help them swallow medicine. To treat your peacock, consider giving him fruits, vegetables, bread, unsweetened cereals, dog food, or cat food. Do not give them small bones, as they may choke.
- Keep the peacocks healthy. Health checks are very good (with testing as appropriate), when you acquire your new peacock, and each year thereafter, to check for and prevent common illnesses.
- De-worm your peacocks. Caged peacocks should be wormed at least every other month (more often if needed). Free range peacocks should be wormed at least once every three months. There are a variety of products that can be used for worming. However, most of them are intended for dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys, or cows. Here are some that you can also use for your peacocks:
Piperazine. This is a general wormer that comes in liquid or pill. The liquid can be put in the water and used to de-worm a bunch of younger birds at once. The pill must be force fed to the peacock.
IVOMEC. IVOMEC is another very effective, general use wormer. However, it is not effective against capillaria worms. If you choose to use IVOMEC, it is recommended that you alternate between IVOMEC and Panacur (Panacur is especially effective against capillaria worms). Note that these two should never be given at the same time. Alternate which one you use each time you de-worm.
Ivermectin Cattle wormer. This is commonly used to worm breeding stock. It can be hidden in a treat and given to the peacock or force fed.
- Keep an eye out for external parasites. In addition to worms and internal parasites, external parasites such as lice can cause problems with your flock.
Lice. These insects live their entire lives on the host, feeding on skin, scales, and feather debris. If lice are found on your birds, all birds in your flock should be treated with a safe pesticide.
Mites. These bugs are more resistant to pesticides than lice. If you find mites, you must treat your birds every 10 days for 4 to 5 weeks. Then, it is recommended to treat your flock monthly until you are sure the mites have disappeared.
Chiggers. Chiggers feed on thighs, breasts, wings, and the vent, resulting in red scabby patches on your birds. To treat, you must treat the entire pen/area inhabited by the bird.
- Watch for protozoan diseases. Protozoa are single-celled organisms that can cause infection and other illness in a variety of animals. Some important ones to watch out for with your peacocks are:
Coccidiosis. This is generally just found in birds 3 to 12 weeks old. It is not contagious. The most prominent symptom is black, watery stool.  To mitigate, treat with a coccidiostat or a sulfa drug added to the feed. It is a good idea to add preventative medication to your peafowls' food while they are of a susceptible age.
Histomoniasis. Chicks between 5 and 14 weeks old are most likely be affected by this. Symptoms include watery yellowish stools, drowsiness, and weakness. It is contagious. To treat, use Metronidazole or copper sulfate to treat.
Leucocytozoonosis. This protozoan attacks the white blood cells of the bird. Symptoms include severe anemia, fever, weakness, loss of appetite, and difficulty walking. It is generally transmitted by black flies and biting midges, which both breed in fast-flowing streams. It is recommended to keep your birds indoors during the active season of these insects. If you do have a problem, treatment will call for a sulfa drug or clopidol.
Pigeon Malaria. Here, it is the red blood cells of the bird that are attacked. Symptoms include weakness, loss of appetite, and eventually death. Like Leucocytozoonosis, Pigeon Malaria is transmitted by biting midges. To prevent this disease, be sure to keep insect levels under control and give your birds a low level of antimalarial medication of Clopidol if you are worried about them getting affected.
- Tips :
Do not startle your peacocks. They are very jumpy birds, and may injure themselves by flying into the walls of ceilings of their enclosures repeatedly.
Make your own food. If you cannot find bird game food or prefer not to use it, you make your own food for your peacock. To do this, feed your peacocks a mixture of chicken pellets and mixed grains (barley, wheat, rice). Corn feed is also acceptable. You might want to add some dog food (for larger dogs) into the mix.
Be sure the cage is large enough for a male to strut (display his tail feathers) and fly around. Provide high perches in each part of the coop.
Watch for predators such as foxes and raccoons. These can possibly kill your peacocks and eat their eggs.
If you have a nesting female, provide a large, clean tire with the middle filled with straw. This should be placed within the wooden shelter. She will lay her eggs there. If you don't provide this, she will just lay them on the floor where they can be stepped on or eaten by wandering predators.
Please note that peacocks may mate with as many as 6 peahens in a mating season.
When entering the coop, watch and be sure your peacocks do not get out. Carry a broomstick if you must. Get a lock that unlocks without using a key, and locks behind you as you close the door. If your peacocks get lose, they will likely fly into a tree or away completely. They may also begin running with flocks of wild turkeys, as they are close cousins of the peacock.
Peacocks strut if it's raining so make rainwater available by using roofs like Sieves.
Avoid feeding chocolate, coffee or alcohol to your peacocks as these can be toxic.
Do not keep two male peacocks in the same coop. They can and will fight with one another, and death is the common outcome of these fights.
Avoid access to metallic objects such as coins, toys, nails, solder or loose wire.
Since they rarely have their wings clipped, you may want to keep your peacock in a large coop.
Although peacocks can be kept with common chickens, blackhead, caused by a germ that is transmitted with roundworms, is common in peacocks kept with them. It is preferable to house the two species separately.
Peacocks' loud calls are a problem if kept in urban areas.
Peahens are prone to fox attacks, especially if looking after chicks. The males are better able to defend themselves and will readily fly into trees, hence there is often an excess of male peacocks compared with peahens.
Recommended websites :
Further Reading :
By : Heidi L Bahr
by Elliott Lang
by David Moyle