Although there are only three species of peafowl in the world, there are numerous types of breeds. Among them is a hybrid breed, called the Spalding peacock that has some pretty interesting origins.
Spalding peacocks: As breeders have become more adept, new types of animals are introduced. The Spalding peafowl is a hybrid that was created by a male Indian peacock and a female Green peahen. The result is a peacock that has a blue-green neck, greenback and tail feathers, and black shoulder feathers. As for the peahen, it has a green neck but brown feathers on her body. These birds originated in California and are named after their breeder, Mrs. Spalding. Since their conception, there are now over 100 variations of the Spalding peafowl. While it is still hard to find this unique bird, its popularity is growing and breeders are becoming more common.
What is a Spalding Peacock?
First, let’s touch on the threes species of peafowl. Also, note that peafowl refers to both male peacocks and female peahens.
Indian peafowl, also known as Pavo cristatus, is the most common species. They are native to India and the surrounding areas and the male peacocks have the customary blue and green plumage we are familiar with.
Green peafowl, also known as Pavo muticus, is an endangered species that can be found in southeast Asia. They look similar to Indian peafowl but both the males and females have green necks.
Finally, there is Congo peafowl, also known as Afropavo congensis. They are a vulnerable species and look a bit more like turkeys.
Spalding peafowl is actually a hybrid between an Indian peafowl and a Green peafowl. To be more specific, the original bird was a product of a Green peacock and an Indian black-shouldered peahen.
As for the name, well it comes from the person who created the new breed, Mrs. Spalding who lived in California.
Spalding Peacock Characteristics
Spalding peafowl is rather unique looking, due to their parentage. It is important to realize that there are major differences between Green peafowl and Indian peafowl.
Among them, the most important difference is that Indian peacocks and peahens look completely different. Male peacocks have long tails and bright blue feathers, while female peahens have short tails and brown feathers.
In contrast, both male peacocks and female peahens of the Green peafowl species look almost the same, although they are different in size.
Spalding peacocks have green necks and blue and green tail feathers. However, their wings are often a brown-black color. They also have a patch of white feathers at their sides.
Spalding peahens have green feathers but have shorter tails and their bodies and tails are a grey-brown color.
When Indian peachicks hatch, they are a light yellow color but with Spalding peachicks, they are a much darker yellow color.
Interestingly, Spalding peachicks are much larger than Indian peachicks, which is evident right from when they are in an egg. Furthermore, their shells can be quite dense which makes it hard for the chicks to hatch so you may need to step in to help.
One thing remains the same with all species and breeds of peafowl, and that is their diet. Spalding peafowl is omnivorous, which means they will eat both meat and plants.
You should provide specific peafowl food to your birds to ensure they have a balanced diet. Furthermore, they should have a large space to roam so they can find insects to munch on.
It is very hard to find out just what the overall population of Spalding peafowl is. These birds are not native to the wild, as the original species do not live in the same areas. As a result, Spalding peafowl really only live on private farms, mainly in the United States.
One thing is certain, though. There is a rising demand for peafowl, especially different-colored breeds.
While you may not be able to find a Spalding peacock right away, the more you ask around, the easier it will be to find a breeder that specializes in them.
Spalding peafowl can live up to 20 years in age. This is quite a long time, and far longer than any species of peafowl will live in the wild.
All Spalding peafowl live on private farms so they have very little threat from predators and don’t need to compete with other animals for habitat or food.
Therefore, be prepared to have your Spalding peacock or peahen for quite some time after you get it, especially if you raise your bird from a chick.
While Spalding peafowl is different-looking in appearance, they have the same needs as other types of peafowl.
Spalding peafowl needs a large area to roam around, a sheltered area or coop, and a place up high to roost in. While you can start your peachicks in a chicken coop, they will quickly need a larger space, especially the males as they have larger tails.
Since their conception, there are now over 100 different varieties of Spalding peafowl, including a Spalding Dark Pied and a Spalding Silver Pied. The United Peafowl Association (UPA) keeps track of these varieties if you are ever unsure of what currently exists.
What makes Spalding peafowl so intricate is that they will not breed true. This means that when a Spalding peacock and a Spalding peahen mate, their offspring will be different depending on what their lineage is.
Is the Indian Peacock the national bird of India?
The Indian peafowl is the national bird of India and has been so since 1963. However, Spalding peafowl, despite their similarities, has no such designation.
This is a hybrid, man-made breed and thus does not exist in the wild anywhere on earth.
There are many interesting variations of peafowl now that their population continues to grow. The Spalding peafowl was created from a male Indian peacock and a female Green peahen and the results are quite stunning.