Feeding Peafowl

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by deerman, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    With breeding season almost here. I started this thread, for what has worked best for me ,also many of the big peafowl breeders.

    I all way fed a premixed feed 18% to 20% you can feed a bal. pellet or crumb....keep in mind each pellet has all the peafowl needs'

    Now do you think a peafowl knows whats best.....or what they like best...give them the pellets of cheap scratch feed, they will eat the scratch, not because its better, but because its grain.

    I have seen this done with chicken. Egg rate drops quick. Reason best to just keep only premix feed in from of the 24/7. no scratch

    Adding treats or other feed to a good premix feed , will hurt you breeding season ,with less eggs and poor hatch rates ,also poor health on the chicks......feeding a cheap feed and adding thing to find what they need can and does hurt a breeding season.

    go to upa and check with some of the top breeders, see how they feed.. really depend on what you want to raise, if you want the best breeding season....i don't mess with their feed......fat birds can get egg bound, treat are nice , but during the breeding season hard to beat a premix feed pellet or crumbles.

    FACT is the birds doesn't know best...no more than a child does they eat what they like best not whats good for them.

    its also know fact these home raised peafowl live many more years. the wild peafowl do pick their diet....but never live as long , or are in the health of those care by breeders.

    Again check with top breeder , just don't take my word for it.

    Brad Legg
    Doug McNutt
    Sid Texas peafowl
    Craig Hopkin
    George Conner

    Also this is the month to worm in the northern states.

    I have nothing to gain , or pushing any brand.

    I do know a few people with people peafowl, that dont care about getting a lot of peachick, so giving treats reducing their hatch rate is ok.
    1 person likes this.
  2. bdfive

    bdfive Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2010
    South of Blanco, TX
    I'm having a hard time finding the Breeder feed. I think so many people just feed whatever so it's not worth while for feed stores to carry all the different rations. Have also noticed the feed I've been purchasing for a few years has seemed to decline in quality. Is it due to CEO's caring more about their stock market prices and what they put in their pocket? The few smaller mills around here don't produce gamebird feed nor will they produce a special mix unless a lot of it is being bought. What do you feed your peafowl Deerman? Thanks again for all your input. I'd just love to find the right trusted food for my birds and it be available. Much has been dropped by feed stores with the economy being so bad and lessor quality is being sold.
  3. featherhead

    featherhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2008
    Kentucky, USA
    Darlene, I understand what you're saying about the quality of gamebird maintenance mix declining in some of the brands. TSC had a brand that my birds loved, but it was dropped a couple of years ago. I tried a different brand with mixed results, then switched to Mazuri. The peafowl and chickens love this feed. It's nutritionally complete, contains 12% protein, and I found a farm store that orders it for several of us who keep peafowl. I learned about Mazuri a few years ago when the UPA toured the factory at the convention hosted by Brad Legg. Within a few months, I could see the difference this feed makes. It's a bit more expensive but I doubt that I'll ever switch feeds again.

    It's easy to increase the protein if you wish - just toss a handful of cat chow into the feed tray. Cat foods typically run 30+% protein. Dog foods are in the high 20s.

    Deerman is right - because I don't have my birds for breeding purposes, I can spoil them year-round. But they have a feed they like and are healthy and friendly. Mission accomplished.
  4. NateinFL

    NateinFL Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2009
    Wesley Chapel FL
    I let mine eat what they want and I get several clutches of healthy chicks each year, so I think what works for one person might not always work for another.
  5. 6littlechickies

    6littlechickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2009
    Burton, OH
    Feed ours pretty much as Deerman described with few problems and lots of birds.
  6. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    Really all depends on the long term health of your birds. The increased use of new forms of soybean meal that produce their own insecticide and/or are round up ready is a serious concern. That's only an issue if you are concerned with carcinogenic properties of insecticides and weed killers. These soys have only been introduced to feeds legally since 2011- other versions leading up to these right out scary forms have been around since the early part of this century and never before then. Lots of chicks of poor quality ( that get sick when stressed at some other home after the big sale) or a few chicks of higher quality with immune systems fully intact may be a deciding factor as well. The idea that peafowl egg yolks should be constructed of low quality protein formulated for commercial turkey production has been lauded by well-meaning big time breeders for a whole decade. That's hardly enough time to determine the health and wellness of our collective peafowl flocks. It's unfortunate that this same narrative is so often perpetuated. Given the number of people that take this advice seriously that write in with sick peafowl - peafowl that have very evidently died after more haphazard assertions- you'd think this muster of peafolk would be a bit more objective and begin to reflect upon the gravity of the implications. It's simply unethical to feed dogs or cats a vegetarian diet. These folks will assert that they've got nothing to gain and nothing to sell and nothing to prove.
    They'll sputter and whittle and whimper absolutes but none of it can substantiated with fact. The only easily supportable facts that come from their narrative is that the domestication of the peafowl from its natural form is the prime objective of those that have something to sell- specifically the birds themselves.
    It's the breed up em up quick and sell em fast model of aviculture. Turn a wild bird into a domestic one. There's nothing wrong with that.

    And there has been a steady decline in the quality of feeds. Everyone honestly objective will speak on that. Mazuri seems to keep their quality control in tact but I'd be ordering a crane diet not a gamebird ration. Why? Because it's extruded and contains fish meal and bone meal and higher (healthy) fat content.
    Peafowl are closer to cranes ecologically than pheasants. They also live a whole lot longer. Crane breeders won't tolerate poor quality feed because each crane costs at least a thousand bucks. Crooked toes and sinusitis are just not going to cut it. No one is breeding cranes in high numbers. There are no big time breeders of cranes either- save for the conservation trust. But you'll be wise to educate yourself about the nutrition and aviculture of cranes so that you can weigh out the hubris of the peacock hobbyist with the objectivity of the conservation biologist. They both know what they're doing 50% of the time and care about what they're doing 100% of the time. Both have agendas. Neither are better or worse- just different. Diversity is the key to life.

    edited by staff
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2012
  7. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've been studying wild peafowl in the field for close to twenty years. How does a bird that matures only in its third (cristatus and Afropavo) and fourth ( muticus and Argusianus) and sixth ( Rheinardia) year manage to survive as a naturally selected species for tens of millions of years without the help of the poultry industry? I've never come across wild peafowl becoming infected with Blackhead, Mycoplasma, Sinusitus, Gapeworm, or Coccidia. I've never known them to die of Roundworm, or develop Bumblefoot ( staph). I've not known them to suffer from kidney failure. I've not heard of nor have I seen wild females developing cysts in the stigma, magnum infundibulum and/or ulcers in the uterus. Similarly, I've not observed males failing to develop normal spermatzoa nor known of what seem to be perfectly healthy males dropping dead- unlike necropises of captive mortalities I've never observed malignant tumors in the caudal vena cava and/or systematic infections of one or both the adrenal glands of those seemingly perfectly healthy adult male peafowl that just dropped dead. I should be careful though. It's wise not to speak in absolutes less I be obliged to substantiate assertions that cannot be supported. As the peafowl is the esteemed and beloved national bird of India there is a serious law that every mortality be reported and when possible the birds are transferred to state veterinary hospitals in precisely the same manner that Americans treat their Bald Eagles, the English treat their Mute Swans, the Swedes their Eagle Owls and so on...
    In other words, the health of India's national bird, one symbolic and sacred to one of the most ancient intact religions in all the world ( Hinduism), is something that we know about. The health of wild peafowl are well studied in India. I think that most wildlife biologists in India would disagree passionately with you about this assertion that turkey crumbles and life confined in poultry runs is superior to what wild peafowl experience in their naturally selected habitat...

    Of course your guidance and husbandry suggestions are well-meaning but it's never too early and never too late to open ones mind to learning.

    I'll reitterate that in nature, Peafowl live very complex and storied lives. In order to be successful in their environments, adult, train-bearing males must survive for at least a decade to see two or three generations of progeny to adult hood. The progeny of course inherit the territories of their parents. Peafowl are highly sedentary and ecological specialists. They occupy niches and are wiped out by over hunting because they cannot survive away from their preferred habitats which are few and far between in a much larger biome made up of food zones where peafowl cannot nest successfully. They return to the same trees night after night, the same streams and field day after day.
    Of course you've learned to intuit something about the biology of peafowl after all these years of big time breeding? I can agree on one point. From my experience, the vast majority of domestic strains of captive peafowl ( along with domestic guineafowl colour mutations, domestic turkey colour mutations and captive pheasant colour mutations) don't last long at free range. If this is what you meanby caged birds outliving "wild" ones I concur entirely, hence my urging for hobbyists to resist the temptation of feeding their birds junk food, rendering their birds into the piss poor protoplasm of those unfortunate teenage grandparents that live off readily procurable processed junkfood but can't seem to make a single beneficial decision for self or family. You simply cannot separate health from nutrition. Better food, better birds. We obviously disagree as to what successful peafowl husbandry amounts to.
    Some might say that as I don't rear hundreds of peafowl every year and sell them at every auction and hatchery- all those top quality "assorted" splits and so on-sell dozens of full grown healthy birds to taxidermists.-- that I don't know my thumb from a stick on the lawn. Of course this worth a hearty disagreement- worthy of healthy debate.

    My Great Argus "Chuckles" is 23 years this year in September. He's produced chicks with his mate "Medusa the Younger" who is at nineteen years old this last February for ~ 15 of those years. They don't reproduce every year, probably because I encourage pairs to nest naturally and rear their chicks to maturity. That means they may not nest but every three or even four years. But our cooperative- that pair and myself we've lost probably eight or nine chicks in all this time together. I've never had a bird drop dead in mid moult. No female has died after her reproductive organs have failed. No chicks have perished after succumbing to some infectious disease or moult stress. Geneological records for the species readily procurable at ISIS will substantiate just how successful this lineage and other lineages that have been in my care for decades and/or are descended of are. The same is true for every single Congo Peafowl that I've reared and consulted on the husbandry of over the last twenty+ years. I don't worm every year unless warranted and never use antibiotics unless there is no other way around it.
    You see, I know exactly what I'm talking about. And as pointed out I do have an agenda.
    I want for everyone's birds to live long productive lives. I too want to spare hobbyists heart ache and suffering. But my ulterior motive to stop the cycle of disease and infection is possibly lost on some people. My vision is crystal clear. It enables me long distance vantages points- focus is unwavering, memory, photographic. You may think that group dynamics and marginalization is going to intimidate me but you'll find it has the opposite effect. I may not be making the big bucks selling birds but there's not a person alive that can claim I don't love birds. Challenges test my resolve. I do not bluff nor do I falter. Used to be one of those guys stand behind their gates watching and listening out of view- pointing out obvious problems with no lasting solutions- talking poo about everyone that I decided not to like even though I never met them. And that was the old me. One day a realisation hit me- if I didn't stand up and make some noise no one else was going to stand up behind me. You are in the same boat but we are not rowing in the same direction and 75% of the established peafolk are never going to. That's not going to discourage me from pointing out the most direct route to a central and very practical objective- one that is being lost by virtue of an undertow that begins and ends in decreasing quality of commercial feeds -haphazard husbandry practices that treat peafowl like factory flocks of turkeys .
    Turkey food? Isn't the earthbound emanation of Vishnu, the dragon king of all birds, wearing the firmament of heaven upon its back worth anything more than turkey crumbles?

    edited by staff
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2012
  8. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Peafowl, yes a fact almost any animal live longer in captivity..

    Range: Southern Asia
    Habitat: Forests and Woods
    Conservation Status: Locally Common
    Scientific Name: Pavo cristatus

    Size: Length about 3 feet for the female and 6-7 feet for the male.
    Range: India and Sri Lanka
    Habitat: Dense tropical forest.
    Wild Diet: Seeds, grain, shoots, flowers, fruit, insects, and other small invertebrates.
    Zoo Diet: Poultry feed, corn, and dry dog food.
    Life Span: To 20 years or more in captivity.

    edited by staff
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2012
  9. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
  10. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    .. you're comparing song birds and owls living in urban settings with wild peafowl? None of the birds listed here exhibit delayed maturity. Without exception ( save for the Laysan albatross)
    the birds described in this arm chair article are ecological generalists, r selected species with high reproductive rates and low survivability of offspring. Birds like cranes, albatross, parrots, ravens, swans and peafowl are notable in their delayed maturity. They are ecological specialist with low reproductivity and high chick survivability. They are obliged to live long lives to even reproduce...

    edited by staff
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by