Are Peacocks Mean? Peacock Guide 2024

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Peacocks may look like lovely, gentle birds but remember that they are indeed wild animals. So, while peacocks aren’t necessarily mean, they will attack if they feel threatened.

Are peacocks mean: In the wild, peacocks can be quite mean. They need to defend their territory and ensure there is ample food available. Peacocks are also aggressive during mating season as they vie for the attention of peahens. However, peacocks that are bred in captivity are more docile. They are more used to humans and are ok with their presence. Just keep in mind that if a peacock feels threatened, it will definitely attack.

Can peacocks hurt you?

Peacocks are not overly large animals. While they are large in relation to other birds, they are not giant predators like bears and tigers.

That being said, all animals have defenses and peacocks can indeed hurt you. The severity of this hurting, though, depends on how they are behaving and how close to them you get.

The main way that a peacock can hurt you is with its beaks. Long and pointy, you do not want to be pecked by a peacock as this can really hurt.

Peacocks forage for their food, and that involves pecking through dirt for insects. As a result, they need sharp beaks for this process.

Peacocks also have claws that can be quite sharp. While they will mainly attack you from the ground, if a peacock flies away to escape a perceived threat, it can still swipe you with its claws from the sky.

Finally, peacocks defend themselves by charging at predators which means there is a lot of momentum behind their attacks. Even if you try to back away slowly, a peacock can easily get to you before you make your escape.

There are even times where a peacock will continue to attack you as you flee. If this happens, do your best to shield your face and protect your sensitive areas from their sharp beaks.

Behavior and Temperament of Peacocks

Peacock as Pets

The best way to raise a peacock is by starting out when it is a chick. This way it will become used to the presence of humans and won’t think of them as predators.

Wild Peacocks

In the wild, most peacocks do not interact with humans. As a result, if they see a human, they will automatically think it is a predator and will try to fly away to safety.

Peacocks have many other animal foes in the wild, including mongooses and foxes. Again, while peacocks will try to escape from this threat, if there is no other option, they will attack.

The biggest threat to wild peacocks is a lack of habitat. As their jungle homes are destroyed, peacocks will need to fight with other peacocks and animals to maintain their territory and keep a steady supply of food available.

Reasons why peacocks attack

The good news is that peacocks won’t just attack you for no reason. There has to be a perceived threat before they will come up against someone larger than them.


For the most part, if there are predators nearby, such as coyotes or foxes, peacocks will try to run or fly away. These birds are not capable of fighting stronger animals.

However, if there is nowhere for a peacock to fly to, it will turn and fight the predator. In close quarters, peacocks may be able to defend themselves by pecking with their sharp beaks and even using their wings to fight back.

Habitat protection

Overall, peacocks can be fairly territorial. They like their space and if someone is too close to them, or there are too many animals nearby, they can attack to defend their habitat.

If you own a peacock, you will want to give them plenty of space. This should include an enclosed area for protection as well as trees or platforms where the peacock can fly up to so it can escape a predator.

If you, as an owner, enter a peacock habitat, be sure to move slowly. Make sure the peacock has plenty of room to move around so it doesn’t think you are trying to take over.

Food scarcity

Peacocks will eat a mixture of bugs and fruit in the wild and food scraps in captivity. They like to know where their next food source is.

If there is not enough food and too many peacocks, then the birds can quickly attack each other. Without food, there is no survival.


When it comes to mating, female peahens hold all the power. Peacocks will need to strut their stuff, showing off the large eyespots on their tails in order to woo a potential mate.

Furthermore, one peacock usually takes on a harem of peahens. The result is an imbalanced ratio and peacocks will fight each other for the ability to mate with a particular peahen.

Protect their young

Peahens lay eggs once or twice a year and will sit on their clutch of eggs for up to 28 days. During this time, the peahen will not move very far from her nest.

Peahens, like most other female animals, are highly protective of their eggs. If you get too close to a nest, the peahen will do her best to attack.

Furthermore, a peahen won’t leave her eggs to a predator. So, while she may normally fly away to safety, if there are eggs involved, she will stay and fight so that the predator doesn’t get the eggs.

Has a peacock ever killed anyone?

While it thankfully does not happen very often, there are cases where a peacock has killed a human. For example, a man in Thailand twenty years ago died after his pet peacock attacked him with his claws.

However, there are very few cases of death by peacocks. There are, however, numerous reports of injuries.


Peacocks are wild animals, even in captivity. They should be treated with respect and given plenty of space to avoid any unnecessary attacks.

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