The Bamboo PeacockWarning: I tend to talk way too much when I comment, so don't think I am trying to be a know it all, because chances are you know more than I do...I just love talking about peafowl, sorry about that some times I think I should just say nothing cause I must get anyoning at times.
Hi, my name is Alea and I am 17! After visiting the BYC's peafowl section countless numbers of times looking at all the amzing topics, I said what the heck and joined this website, now I am soo glad I did!
Don't forget to check out the other page, Peafowl Fact Sheets, for more peafowl info!
Q: Are you selling anything?
A: I am NOT selling anything for now, BUT maybe if I get way too many chicks this year I might sell some, of course chances of that happening are slim because I think I want to keep all my first peachicks!
Q: Are peafowl right for me?
A: Don't go just on my opinon, but if you are really interested in getting some then they might be right for you. If you sort of want them then take more time to decide if you like them or not. I have had peafowl for about two years now, so I am not an expert just yet, nor have I raised my own from peachicks or hatched any but so far I really enjoy them. Some things to think about is if you have enough space for them. You need a pen with a top to contain them even if you are planning on free-ranging them because they need to be penned for a few months to get used to your property. Males do call durring the summer (mating season). The more males you have, the louder it may be. Make sure you are not extremely anoyed by their noise. Look up peacocks calling on youtube to get an idea of the noise they make. I personally love their noise, while some don't. Also if you have any neighboors ask them if they are fine with you having peafowl. If they free-range notify them they might sometimes visit their yard. Have a lot of facts to tell them about peafowl so they are more accepting. Also do some reaserch about peafowl before getting some so you are sure you want them and can take care of them. The United Peafowl Association can be great for helping you find breeders in your area, and learn general facts about them:http://www.peafowl.org/
Q: So there are several kinds of peafowl!?
A: Yes it gets quite amazing once you do some reserch and find out there are over 100 varieties of peafowl! And to think I only have 3 varieties! The kinds everyone is fimilar with is generally the India Blue peafowl (the wild type from India) and the white peafowl(a varient it is NOT albino). The other wild type of peafowl is very unknown to most, and that is the green peafowl, consisting of three subspecies the Javanese, the Imperator, and the Burmese. Then there has been a cross between the two wild species, the blue and green, to get a hybrid called a Spalding. Unlike most hybrids, these are fertile. Due to some great peafowl breeders, there are tons of different colors and paterns to choose from and there are probably still more colors to be discovered. A good website that shows pictures and descriptions of several kinds is here:http://database.amyspeacockparadise.com/
Q: What variety should I get?
A: It is very hard to decide! Generally you should start with a cheeper variety so you get the feel for them and if one happens to run away or die, ect than it won't be a huge loss (that seems to happen a lot with people's first peafowl). A good one to start off with is the India Blue since it cost the least, but if you really have your heart set on some white peafowl, start off with those! Green Peafowl are usually something only an experianced peafowl keeper should get since they can be way different from blues since they can be flighty and more spooky but they are still great birds. Also you might be limited in what you can get if local breeders only have India blues and blackshoulders or something.
Q: Can I keep Peafowl with my chickens?
A: It is best to keep them seperate. If the peafowl grew up in a pen with chickens then they should be fine, but if not than I wouldn't. I don't have chickens but a lot of people say it is best to keep them seperate due to things chickens can give peafowl, not saying chickens are horrible though.
Q: What is it like hatching your first peachick?
A: I hatched my first peachick this year, and it is really exciting! My peachick's parents are Dragon and Damsel and the peachick's name for now is Peep. We are not sure if Peep is a male or a female but when Peep gets a little older the feathers will let us know for sure. Peep is a dark pied meaning he/she is split to pied. Dragon and Damsel are pieds, so why is Peep not a pied? Well Pied peafowl do NOT breed true, instead from pieds you can get whites, pieds, and dark pieds like Peep. Because Peep is my only peachick he/she is very noisy wanting my attention. Hatching your own peachick means it is imprinted to you which means it will follow you around, let you pet it, and yes cry for you when you are not nearby. The crying is what I don't like, and well the poop. Other than that hatching my first peachick has been great. This is my first time witnessing a peafowl grow up all the way. I can't wait for Peep to get colorful and to eventually free-range with Alto and Pip next year. Hatching your first peachick is not that hard, you do have to feed them a special 20% protein medicated starter but there isn't too much stuff to research. It is pretty easy taking care of one.
Q: There are some feral peafowl in my neighborhood, should I catch them and keep them as pets?
A: There are a few people on here that can tell you from first hand experiance that they caught feral peafowl and it didn't work out. Even though you don't have to pay for feral peafowl you just have to catch them, people say it is well worth paying for a domestic peafowl that is more acustomed to people. Peafowl in general can be a little skittish even ones that have been in a pen all their lives. Think about it...Feral peafowl have it good. They can go wherever whenever and some of them were probably born feral or wild. If you catch them and pen them, they are not going to be so used to it and might pace a lot and fly all around trying to escape. If you do try having feral peafowl, you need to make sure the pen is very secure and they can't escape. Letting them free-range is a no no probably except for maybe any chicks you get from them. When you open the door to the pen they might try and escape. You will have to spend time and have patience for them to get used to you and see that you will not hurt them and also that being penned is not all that bad because they get treats! You can do it!
Q: Why do I see some peacocks with tails (trains) missing lots of feathers or with no trains at all?
A: After breeding season which is Spring-Summer, the beautiful peacock becomes a little less beautiful. Right now as I am writting this it is July, and my adult peacock Dragon is starting to lose his train. Every day when I go to the pen I find at least one train feather on the ground. Some peacocks lose their train faster than others, some lose it slower. Dragon loses on average 1-5 train feathers a day, sometimes more. Peacock trains are made up of 200 or more feathers like the well known eye feather, the sword feather, and the butterfly or fishtail feather. Dragon seems to lose some of his longest feathers first. Anyways as the peacock starts losing more and more feathers his train looks incompleate and the difference is really obvious when he displays. Eventually he will lose all of the train feathers leaving his real tail, made up of long black feathers, that is used to hold up the train (display feathers) that are comonly mistaken for the tail. Also his fluffy downy feathers will be exposed too but soon after a few days poking through the downy will be the beginings of new train feathers growing. Durring the fall the peacock's train will be short, not even half way grown then durring the winter his train will grow until twords the end of winter it will be fully grown or just about fully grown and ready for the new breeding season.
Q: What are all the terms for the parts of a peafowl (like the display feathers, neck, ect)?
A: Most of the terms you won't see people talking about much like the name for the neck but things like the word train and crest are things that you will need to know to understand some peafowl talk. Here is a good illustration labeling everything.www.peafowl.org/peaphotos/anomencla.htm
Q: So if owning peafowl is as easy as everyone says it is, can I just go out and buy some cause I have other kinds of birds, what could be the difference?
A: Well, with all things you consider getting, especially living things, there should be some reaserch done before you get it. For example, when getting a dog you don't just go out and get the first one you see. You look at different breeds and find the one that is best for you. With peafowl you have to research their requirements (food, pen size, ect), how to keep them healthy (like worming), what kind of variety you might want because you don't want to get say pieds and then find out a week later that there is a variety called silver pied that you really love and would have gotten if you had known it existed. Also even researching prices can be great especially if you care about how much money you spend (maybe you should try and get cheeper peafowl so you can spend more money on the pen). The cheepest variety would be India blue, then others can get a bit more expensive. Younger peafowl are cheeper too.
Q: I need to make a pen for peafowl, but I have no ideas of how it will look or what would be nice for them?!
A: There are some great peafowl pens out there! Some are simple, yet well constructed. Some are huge and amazing! Some are so obviously expensive like this huge brass aviary someone had for peacocks I saw on a website. You can go with horse fencing or chicken wire with T-poles or wooden poles and perches can be in all different forms from a cross shaped perch to an actual chopped off tree in the pen (yes someone has done that) remember roosts should be at least 6ft tall and so the pen should be a bit higher than 6ft. Check out these webpages that have ideas from peafowl breeders, they have some great pens and building instructions.
Q: Can I put plants in with peafowl?
A: YES! Please do! There is nothing better to go with beautiful birds than a beautiful pen. You could even look at photos of India and try and re-create that habitat in the pen, that is something I might try for a future pen. Some people give up trying to find plants for the peafowl pen, well to see some nice pen planting look at the 1 & 2 links in the previous question. Those pens look pretty nice, AND they have plants! Peafowl don't destroy all plants, but you will find that some plants they do eat. Evergreens are popular in peafowl pens, but I personally don't like evergreens with peafowl because when I think of peafowl I think of something more tropical, so I try and go for a more tropical feel.
Of course not everyone lives in a warm climate were they can have tropical plants, but you can find tropical looking plants...For example bamboo! Bamboo might seem like a horrid spreading plant, but clumping bamboo stays more contained in a clump instead of spreadding so much. I use two different types of clumping bamboo in my peafowl pen. Bamboo is easy to grow because when it needs water the leaves curl so it is easy to know when to water it. Also year-round I like to put some of the peafowl poo and a bunch of leaves around the bamboo. This helps it grow new shoots. It doesn't take long for the bamboo to start making some good shade for your peafowl. I see my peafowl lying under the bamboo a lot as it is much cooler under it and I put their water in the shade of the bamboo also. Plus they never eat bamboo!
Another plant that have three of in the pen is a fatsia. For our zone 8b climate, these plants stay green all year round. They have really cool shaped leaves and the leaves are tough. The peafowl don't eat them.
For a more hardy plant you could go for a japanese maple. The leaves are really cool looking and they change colors! Mine changes from green to a dark greyish purple. This is a tree, and I got mine at Lowe's (By the way Lowe's has some great plants).
I think you could plant a lot of different grasses that the peafowl would not eat. Every single grass I have planted in the pen the peafowl don't eat. I have some zebra grass in the pen, and although that grass is suposed to get tall mine isn't very impressive, I think it might be our sandy soil. Also let the pens grow grass naturally. Don't worry about weeds in the pen, peafowl love eating weeds! You will be surprized at how nice the peafowl can keep the pen from having small trees pop up everywere.
Should I add more Q's and A's? Tell me what you think I should add in a PM or an E-mail and I will put it on here!
This is a picture of my first peafowl I got in the fall of 2009. They were from the local zoo that closed down.
The males name is Fire and the female is Ice. Once we free-ranged them all was well until Fire ran away and hasn't come back home since. He will be greatly missed. I am sure he is still out there somewere roaming around in search of who knows what since he didn't even stick around places that have peafowl. Fire:
Currently I have 5 peafowl all in a 40x50' pen. Maybe I will create a new page to show pics and talk about the pen. Now I will show pictures and tell a bit of background info about the peafowl I have.
Ice: Ice is a blackshoulder peahen. She is going to be probably around 3-4 this year. Ice was a zoo peafowl, and when the zoo closed she went to a lady who has peafowl and she took all the zoo peafowl and was selling them. Ice is our only remaining first bird from our pair since Fire ran off. Ice no longer has a free-range life, but she is very happy to be the boss bird only answering to the athority of the two males. She also gets the kind and good lookin' Dragon as her mate.
Alto: Alto is an India Blue peacock that is two this year. He is quite the unique one of the bunch. We couldn't have just two peahens right, so we got Alto from the same lady we got Ice and Fire from. He was in a pen with another male the same age, but Alto was taller so I said I wanted the taller one. I also noticed he acted sort of comical so I wanted him. He has turned out to be a very wonderful bird! He has his first eye feather this year and he is the friendliest of them all. He likes to follow me around the pen and is very interested in what I am doing. He just loves to display for the peahens too but his favorite girl is Pip!
Damsel: Damsel is my first India blue pied peafowl! Damsel is a peahen that is two this year just like Pip and Alto. We got Damsel the same day we got our pied male, but we got Damsel first. Damsel was very flighty when we got her and she was all ruffled up because the boy we bought her from had trouble catching her. She lost a ton of feathers! As if that wasn't enough Ice horribly picked on her always jumping on her, but now that doesn't happen as much. Damsel went from being the spookiest to being the most likely to take any food out of my hand without any hesitation. Even Alto hesitates sometimes but Damsel is totally trusting and loves to try new foods!
Peep: This is the newest addition, my first ever peachick! This chick came from an egg I collected in the peafowl pen and I was able to hatch it out in my wonderful GQF styrofome incubator! This is the first chick of any kind I have ever hatched and the first baby animal I have ever raised so it is very exciting and new. For now we are calling the peachick Peep, because of how much noise it makes. We think Peep is a male, but are still not sure. Peep is about three weeks old and is a dark pied, meaning he is split to pied. I am pretty sure Damsel is the mom and I know Dragon is the father. Peep is living inside our house for now in a baby playpen with a top.
The Three Angels:
(picture to come)
These three white peachicks came as a bit of a surprise. We were suposed to get one free white peachick from a lady but our friend bought three white peachicks from her and gave them all to us for free to raise on one condition: That we give him one of them, a male one. It is hard to sex white peafowl but judging by the size of the three, it looks like I have two girls and a boy which is too bad cause I wanted a male white peacock for myself! Oh well at least they were free! One of them I like a lot, it is the smallest one that I definately think is female. I call her Goldielox.
Peafowl that have passed away:
A pied peachick that hatched too soon in 2011 was my first peafowl fatality (one of the peafowl must have accidently broken open the chick's shell before it was time to hatch), then on August 5, 2011 my dear peacock Dragon was found dead in the pen. We think a raccoon killed him. Not too many days later Pip my two year old IB peahen was also killed by a coon. She was Alto's girlfriend.
I hope you have enjoyed the beauty of peafowl!
Peafowl Fact Sheet by ~MinxFox on deviantART