Those that have a hobby farm are constantly looking for new animals to take on and you just might find yourself considering a peacock. While gorgeous to look at, there is a lot to consider before you commit yourself to such an animal.
Raising peacocks: Peacocks can be a real asset to your farm. They are able to alert other animals of approaching predators and they love to forage for mice and insects. Furthermore, while you do need to feed them a balanced diet, you can also bring them kitchen scraps and let them eat insects they find. However, peacocks are still wild animals. If there is a vegetable patch around, they will get into it, and be prepared for a messy habitat as they scratch at the ground. Overall, if you are ready for the possible 20-year commitment, these birds may be just what you are looking for.
Are peacocks easy to raise?
You would think that with their bold plumage peacocks may be divas when it comes to raising them. In actuality, they aren’t that difficult and more and more people are breeding them and attaining them for their own farms.
However, peacocks are wild animals and they need specific care and attention.
Benefits of Raising Peacocks
Excellent rodent catchers
Peacocks are animals that, while they are happy to eat what you give them, also like to hunt on their own. They love to eat bugs but are also known to eat larger animals.
Lizards and mice are a favorite of peacocks, so if you have a mice problem, this can be solved with a few peacocks. Just make sure your peacocks are able to move around enough to find all the critters you want to take care of.
Can sound the alarm
Although it can be tiring to hear the loud screeching of peacocks, they do have a reason for all that noise. One reason for being so vocal is to alert other peacocks of approaching predators.
Because peacocks can’t fly far or fast, they need other natural defenses to keep safe, and that includes sounding the alarm. While this is a benefit to other peacocks, it also helps other animals on your farm.
Chickens are, unfortunately, not the best at understanding when predators are around. Peacocks, however, will notice if there are coyotes or foxes in the area, and alert both their kind and others to the potential threat, thus giving other animals the chance to get to safety.
Challenges of Raising Peacocks
Long life span
This may be a challenge or a benefit, depending on your perspective, but it is a serious consideration. In captivity, peacocks can live up to 20 years.
Although they do not live as long as parrots, many owners of exotic birds can find themselves torn as to what to do if you no longer want your bird, or need to move due to external factors.
Those that are older and can’t commit themselves to raise a peacock for the next 20 years should really consider if this is the right move. And as for younger people, think about where you may be in the next few decades and if there will be a place for your new acquisition.
While you can rehome peacocks, if you raise them from birth, you might become very attached to them, especially if you have children.
They will eat your vegetables
If you have a hobby farm, you most likely have a vegetable garden. Peacocks are foragers and when they see an abundance of tasty vegetables, they will instantly go over and find some tasty treats.
It is best to install a security gate around your vegetable garden if you want it to remain uneaten. Furthermore, while peacocks can’t fly very far, they can still fly a bit. So, be sure to add either a very tall fence or a covering over the top of your garden.
Expect a lot of noise
Peacocks are not quiet birds. They are loud and this can become quite overwhelming to deal with.
Even though peacocks are vocal for a reason, such as alerting other animals about the threat of predators, or during mating season, it can be a lot to take for humans. Peacocks are also especially vocal during dusk and dawn, two times where you will definitely want your sleep.
If you are worried about the noise, try to house your peacocks in an area as far away from your home as possible. It also helps if there are trees or hedges between you and the peacocks so that it can muffle the sound a bit.
Can you raise a peacock as a pet?
Peacocks actually make decent pets, for a lot of reasons. However, there is a lot to consider.
First, if you want to raise a peacock as a pet, it is best to start with a peachick. At just three months old, they are ready to leave their mothers and this is the best time to start out with one.
Your peacock will become pretty attached at this age and will get to know you as it grows up. The earlier you socialize with your peacock, the more domestic it will be.
Furthermore, a peacock can live to be 20 years old, which gives you plenty of time to get to know its personality and become further attached to it.
However, while you can raise a peacock as a pet, it still needs to live outside. Peacocks are birds and can’t be litter trained. They leave a trail of mess wherever you go, so they need to stay outside.
Furthermore, they are not always good with small children. At younger ages, children are too excitable to be with peacocks and their constant moving can frighten the birds.
It’s best to get a peacock when your children are a bit older and can remain calm around the birds.
Things You Need When Raising Peacocks
Peacocks and peahens are omnivorous, meaning they need both vegetation and meat. To ensure your peacocks are the healthiest possible, feed them a balance of quality food high in protein and natural foods.
There is special peacock food you can purchase but if this isn’t readily available, you can actually use dried cat food. Rich in protein, if it is a decent brand, your peacock will get enough nutrients from it.
As for vegetation, leafy greens are the best as they are rich in vitamins. Fruit can be given to your peacocks but not too often as they don’t need all the sugars in fruits.
One benefit of raising peacocks is that you can actually feed them kitchen scraps. Just be sure that your scraps do not have processed foods in them, as these are full of unhealthy things like salt, sugar, and preservatives.
Like any animal, peacocks need daily access to fresh, clean water. While the birds aren’t too messy, you probably want to get into the habit of replacing the water every day or two.
Unfortunately, peacocks are prone to predators and while they have a few natural defenses, such as shrieking louder when threatened, they will need extra care in captivity.
Be sure to provide your peacock with an area they can safely go to escape predators. While this can be something like a chicken coop when they are young, once they become adults, they will need a larger space.
Furthermore, peacocks often roost in trees. Lower branches are a perfect place and if these types of trees are already growing in the area, it will greatly help.
If not, you may want to consider building a platform where peacocks can fly at night.
Where you live and what your natural climate is like will also affect how you raise your peacock. These birds are native to tropical areas and thus do not do well in cold areas.
If you do live somewhere where it freezes in the winter, you will need to add a heater to their shelter. Make sure it is built for animals so that the peacocks don’t burn themselves as they huddle for warmth.
Large, open space
While peacocks don’t really fly, they do walk around a lot. As a result, peacocks need a large space to roam and stay healthy.
While you don’t need to provide acres of space, they need more than you would give to, say chickens. A large area with a mixture of grass and dirt, along with shrubs, is ideal.
Furthermore, peacocks are foragers and like to hunt for their own food. While you definitely need to supplement their diet, giving them more space to roam will increase their ability to find their own food.
Peacocks will happily peck away at the dirt, looking for bugs and other insects. They will even eat lizards and mice.
Overall, peacocks can be a wonderful addition to any hobby farm. They are protective of other animals, help with the mice population, and can be quite loyal. As long as you can get over their loud noises, this might be the animal for you.