How cool would it be if animals were capable of making brand new species, such as a peacock chicken hybrid? While there might be a supposed example or two on the internet, let’s find out if they actually exist.
Peacock chicken hybrid: Peacocks belong to the Pavo genus and chickens belong to the Gallus genus. Unfortunately, for hybrid animals to exist, almost always they need to belong to the same genus. Even though peacocks and chickens are birds and have similar mannerisms, they are far too different to produce offspring together. Even if you see a peacock trying to mate with a chicken, there will be no end result. However, you can definitely raise the two types of animals together. Both chickens and peacocks eat similar food and live in a similar habitat. They are great companion animals if you have a hobby farm. Just don’t expect to become famous for suddenly producing a brand new hybrid species.
What is a peacock chicken?
The idea behind a peacock chicken is that it is a result of a chicken and a peacock breeding. However, there are no claims that have been substantiated.
Does peacock chicken hybrid actually exist?
There is a myth-making its rounds on the internet about the existence of a peacock chicken hybrid. Essentially, the original poster claims that the new bird is a result of a Rhode Island Red hen and a white peacock.
The picture is pretty convincing. The bird has a mix of white, brown, and white feathers, and the tail does indeed look like the tail feathers of a chicken.
It’s hard to dispute a picture and we don’t have proof that this is not an actual bird, but let’s look quickly at the facts.
Despite peacocks and chickens being birds, they are entirely different species. They aren’t even classified in the same genus.
Indian peafowl, the most common, is of the Pavo genus, while domesticated chickens belong to the Gallus genus.
It’s just incredibly rare that a peacock chicken hybrid could actually exist.
Can Peacock and Chicken Breed?
Unfortunately, peacocks and chickens cannot breed together. They cannot do this in the wild, and so far, have not been able to even with the help of artificial insemination.
The two species of birds are just too different for their genes to match up. However, this is a common misunderstanding that may have to do with the terminology around peacocks.
While the entire species is actually called peafowl, when you start talking about specifics, the same terms are used for both peafowl and chickens.
Female peafowl is called peahens, just like chicken hens. Male peafowl is called peacocks, and cock is another word for a male rooster.
Furthermore, when peafowl is babies, they are called peachicks, just as baby chickens are called chicks.
So, because the same terminology is used, many people jump to the conclusion that there are enough similarities for the two species to breed.
Can Chicken and Peacock Live Together?
While it used to be that hobby farms had pretty basic animals, such as chickens, rabbits, and goats, nowadays you can find more exotic animals. It is legal to buy and raise Indian peafowl in the United States and Canada, so many backyard farmers are adding them to the mix.
Chickens and peacocks are both birds and they share a lot of similarities.
For habitat, both birds prefer plenty of space to roam around. They both like to peck at the ground, eagerly looking for tasty bugs to eat.
Furthermore, you can feed both chickens and peacocks table scraps, which makes it easy and inexpensive to feed them.
You can even raise baby chicks and peachicks together as they both need a warm, safe place when they are little. However, peacocks will eventually need a larger place to roost, preferably with a higher area for them to sleep in.
While chickens have a lot of strengths, they are not very good at protecting themselves. Coyotes and foxes are just some of the natural predators that can attack chickens.
Many farmers now include peacocks with their chickens as a type of warning system. Peacocks are very good at spotting predators and their loud, shrill cry will quickly alert chickens of impending danger.
The one recommendation is that it is best to raise chickens and peacocks together from when they are both chicks. Peacocks are quite territorial so if you bring other animals into their space at a later date, they may not take too kindly to the addition.
How does interspecies breeding work?
Despite the fact that peacock chicken hybrids do not exist, there are other examples of interspecies breeding. The two animals almost always need to be from the same genus, which means their genetic makeup is closely related.
One famous example is the liger. This is a hybrid of a male lion and a female tiger. Both belong to the Panthera genus, which is why it works.
However, because lions and tigers rarely share the same territory, the liger was made in captivity.
One interspecies example that resulted in both the wild and captivity is the pizzly. This is a result of a grizzly bear and a polar bear.
One reason for this hybrid to occur naturally in the wild is that the two species face a rapid loss of habitat, forcing the two animals into closer contact.
So, as you can see from these examples, interspecies breeding is indeed a natural phenomenon, although is sometimes helped along by captivity circumstances.
However, peacocks and chickens are simply not closely related enough to create their own hybrid.
While it sounds cool to think there are new species of animals being produced all the time, the reality is that most species are very selective and can only breed with each other.
In the rare times that it does happen, the two animals need to be of the same genus. Unfortunately, chickens and peacocks are not similar enough to produce a hybrid animal.