Anything can happen in nature, so it stands to reason that a turkey and a peacock might be able to mate and form a hybrid species. Let’s dive into if this can happen and what evidence might support it.
Turkey peacock hybrid: It is a fact that there are interspecies hybrids. This is when two closely related species of animals mate and reproduce. Common examples include a mule, which is a cross of a horse and a donkey, and a zonkey, which is a cross of a donkey and a zebra. While turkeys and peacocks are both unique looking, they are completely different species. They do not share enough chromosomal similarities for breeding to be a possibility. Even if you hear someone state they have seen a turkey peacock hybrid, it is simply not true. Furthermore, if you come across images that seem to attest to the possibility, these are simply really well-done photoshop pictures. Turkeys and peacocks can get along well, both in the wild and in captivity, which may be another reason why the existence of a hybrid continues to be a rumor.
What is a peacock turkey?
First of all, unfortunately, there are no turkey peacock hybrids. The two birds are different species, and therefore unable to mate.
However, there are certain birds that look like they are a hybrid product of a turkey and a peacock, which is why this common myth continues to persist.
This species of bird can be found in Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala it has a very unique coloring but there is a good chance you have never seen it.
The ocellated turkey lives in a very small area in the Yucatan Peninsula and while it is not a threatened species, there are not many still living.
As for appearance, this is a definite contender for a turkey peacock hybrid. The back feathers of the turkey are iridescent blue and bronze.
Even female turkeys have similar bold colors. As for the tails, they are stuck up at the back like traditional turkeys.
Both male and female birds in this species have eyespots on their tail feathers, similar to traditional peacocks.
One difference to typical turkeys is that ocellated turkeys don’t have a beard under their neck.
Grey Peacock Pheasant
Another animal that looks like a turkey peacock hybrid is actually a completely different species. The grey peacock pheasant was given its name by a naturalist who thought the bird looked like a mixture of two different species, and so the name stuck.
The grey peacock pheasant has tail feathers similar to a turkey. They stick straight up in the back.
The tail feathers also have eyespots on them, although they are much smaller than a peacock’s. Furthermore, the body of the grey peacock pheasant is different shades of dark grey. There are green eyespots on the body tail feathers but the feathers themselves are not colorful.
Grey peacock pheasants live in southeast Asia and areas of Bangladesh. Interestingly, it is the national bird of Myanmar.
Does peacock turkey hybrid actually exist?
If you do a quick search for peacock turkey hybrids, you will find a bunch of impressive pictures that suggest their existence. You may even find some people who emphatically state they have seen this hybrid in the wild.
Unfortunately, if you look closely at the pictures, you will notice they are actually expertly photoshopped images. You can do a lot with an image, including manifesting a completely new species.
The reality is that a peacock turkey hybrid does not exist.
Can Turkeys and Peacock Breed?
Turkeys and peacocks are completely different species. And for the most part, different species cannot breed and reproduce.
There are a few exceptions in nature, which is why some people believe that hybrid species exist more frequently.
For example, a mule is a hybrid species. It is a result of a male donkey and a female horse. However, one problem that mules face is they are usually infertile, due to the number of chromosomes they have.
Another example of an interspecies hybrid is the zonkey. This is rare but it occurs when a female donkey mates with a male zebra.
One reason why there is a belief that a turkey peacock hybrid exists is that turkeys can be seen trying to mate with other birds. Even though they may show this behavior, nothing can actually come from it.
Can Turkey and Peacock Live Together?
Peacocks are actually great animals to have on hobby farms and they get along with chickens and turkeys. You can see turkeys and peacocks living together quite nicely.
Turkeys and peacocks generally eat the same types of food, so it is easy for farmers to have them living together. Both types of birds eat grains and leafy vegetables.
They also both like to peck and forage for food, so their habitat is similar. A large space with a mixture of grass and dirt means more grubs can be found and shared.
Peacocks are also useful because they are good at alerting other birds of potential threats. If a peacock sees a predator nearing, he will sound the alarm and allow other birds, including turkeys, to get to a safe space faster.
If you are thinking about keeping both peacocks and turkeys, it is suggested to raise them together starting from when they are young. This will allow both birds to see each other as natural companions.
If you try to introduce new birds to a peacock’s habitat, they may become territorial. While peacocks aren’t too aggressive, if they feel threatened, they will use their pointy beak and sharp claws to defend their space.
Unfortunately, a turkey peacock hybrid is just a myth. While there are some animals, like the ocellated turkey and the grey peacock pheasant that look like a supposed hybrid, none such animal exists in the wild. The two types of birds are different species and for the most part, different species cannot breed with each other.