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Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by hairco, Jan 17, 2015.
What kind of plants do everyone plants do everyone plant in their avery/pens
Here is an article about the plants that have worked in my aviary, and what to look for in plants that will be tough enough to survive alongside birds: http://bamboopeacock.com/Landscaping Your Aviary.html
I don't have elephant ears on there, but in 2014 I bought Jack's Giant Elephant Ear bulbs from the Home Depo. I planted 2 of them inside the aviary and they did very well. One of them even bloomed so that is one of the exceptions for soft plants. Most soft plants don't do so well with birds since they can easily eat them and/or shred them, but the elephant ears work.
Native plants are good too. I let oak trees grow in the aviary.
A good thing to do is buy a plant or dig up a plant, put it in a pot if it is not already in one, leave it in the pot and in the pen for a week or more to see if the peafowl eat it a lot, and if they don't start destroying it then it might be safe to plant it inside the pen. Peafowl will normally nibble on new plants, so if they peck at it a bit that is okay. If they are actually eating leaves off and seem to enjoy the taste, then that plant might not do so well in their pen.
Aren't elephant ears seriously toxic?
I am pretty sure they are toxic and so I wasn't sure about planting them in the pen at first. I have at least 2 plants in the pen that are poisonous, and I have seen the peafowl eat berries off of these plants and sometimes even the leaves. I trust their judgement on what they can and cannot eat and these plants have been in there for 4 or more years so I personally don't worry about it.
The Bronx Zoo has an indoor building called Jungle World. They housed a green peacock in part of the indoor tropical exhibit and there are several photos of this peacock next to some huge elephant ears. Zoos are very particular about what plants they should and should not use. I have also seen an aviary at the Jacksonville Zoo filled with ducks and other types of birds and there was a big patch of elephant ears in the aviary. They even had parrots in this aviary, and to me it seems like most toxic plant lists for birds are focused on parrots.
Rocking BAB Ranch has huge elephant ears over 6ft tall growing right next to some of their pens - even the young peafowl pens. The peafowl could easily reach through the fence and eat the leaves.
They will nibble at the plant, but they can tell it isn't good to eat. Of all plants for the aviary, grass is the best because they can eat it, but it is harder for them to destroy it (depending on pen size) because there is so much of it.