If you run a hobby farm, you may be interested in breeding peafowl. This is a growing interest in these majestic birds and many farmers are adding them to their menagerie as they have great predatory instincts that actually protect other animals around them.
Peacock chicks: Peafowl chicks start out with a cute yellow coloring and it is not until they are a few months old that you can tell if they are male peacock chicks or female peahen chicks. This is also when their coloring starts to develop, with peahens turning various shades of brown and peacocks taking on their quintessential blue and green hues. Caring for peafowl chicks is similar to chickens. You need to provide them with a small, heated coop as well as a large area to roam around during the day. As peafowl grow larger, you will then need to update their habitat and provide them with more room. Whether you decide to breed peafowl chicks for selling purposes or as new additions to your farm, provide them with the care they need, including fresh water and a balanced diet of protein and vegetation.
How to Care for Peacock Chicks
Peachicks will definitely need a safe place to live. They are small and therefore more susceptible to predators.
The best housing for peafowl chicks is an enclosed area where they can feel safe, especially at night, along with a larger area to run around and forage for food during the day.
If you already have a chicken coop, this is a good starting point although as they become larger, they will need more space.
You can keep peafowl chicks in this type of arrangement for the first three to four months of their life. After this, they can move to a larger space, both because they are better able to protect themselves and because they will be larger and just need a bigger area to move around.
Baby peafowl that is kept with their mother peahens will naturally have a warm space at night. However, if you plan on separating the chicks, they will need an artificial heat source.
Whatever type of coop you have for your peafowl chicks, this is where you can place a heater. Make sure there is a wire cage around it so that the chicks don’t accidentally burn themselves.
Also, remember that peacocks and peahens are native to warmer climates. While they can survive in certain parts of North America, our winters are a lot harsher than they are meant for.
Keep the coop heated and there should definitely be a heat source during the winter, even for older peafowl.
Peafowl is omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and meat. However, peachicks will need a more specific diet.
To start with, make sure the bowls you feed your peachicks from are shallow so that they can easily peck away with their beaks. There should be daily access to clean, freshwater, and a varied diet.
You can feed peachicks a game bird starter food which should have plenty of protein in it. Try to find a food specifically for peafowl but if you can’t look for chicken feed.
After three months of age, you can start feeding your peachicks a more varied diet. Remember to include a mix of protein and vegetables.
Green leafy vegetables are good and you can supplement with adult bird pellets. Once they reach about six months, you can actually start feeding peafowl kitchen scraps.
The one thing to keep in mind with feeding is that you should avoid salty or fatty foods. While your peafowl may enjoy these treats, they are not healthy and are certainly not part of their natural diet.
Another consideration is that peafowl likes to forge for their own food. Provide them with a large space to roam around so that they can learn to peck at the ground for insects such as bugs and worms.
Care and Maintenance
With a bit of attention, peachicks will grow into rather affectionate birds. However, your ultimate goal for your peachicks will determine how you interact with them.
If you are caring for peachicks with the idea you want them to stay on your farm, interact with them a lot when they are young so they get used to your scent and presence. However, if you want wilder birds, then maintain a more hands-off approach.
Be sure to keep the environment clean. Like most birds, peafowl will produce multiple droppings throughout the day.
Do your best to shovel this out. The good news is it’s rich in nutrients so perfect for your compost or garden.
Warning and Considerations
Usually, there are few health concerns with peafowl although you should have a vet periodically check on them. Parasites are a small concern so always pay attention to warning signs such as a lack of appetite.
When first born, it is impossible to determine the sex of your peafowl chicks. Instead, you will have to wait for them to be at least a month old.
Most importantly, be prepared for noise. While peacocks are amazing to look at, they are extremely noisy. If you plan on keeping your chicks on your own farm, make sure you have a large enough space that your neighbors won’t complain. Furthermore, the more peafowl you have, the noisier they will be.
Finally, peacocks and peahens are happiest when they have a large space to roam and low trees to roost in. You might just not have the space to keep peacocks, so make sure you take this into account if you want to keep them.
Peacocks and peahens have a long lifespan, up to 20 years, so you should also be prepared to have them for such a long time. If not, be sure to have a contingency plan with somewhere safe to live.
Those wanting to increase the diversity of their hobby farm may be interested in breeding peacock chicks for sale. While they need plenty of care and feeding, they are relatively similar to chickens, although as they grow older, they will need more room to wander and forage.