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Frequently Asked Questions about Peafowl

Question:  What is the difference between black shoulder and blue peafowl?


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                   Blue Hen          Black Shoulder Hen

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                   Blue Male          Black Shoulder Male

Question:  What do peafowl eat?

Answer:  Breeders eat a combination of Pheasant breeder pellets with 19% protein, small bite size dry dog food with 21% protein, and shelled corn (corn in the winter months only).  Treats are lettuce, tomatoes, grapes, raisins, and bread.  Adolescents (4 months to 1 1/2 yrs) eat a combination of chicken grower pellets with 18% protein, small bite size dry dog food with 21% protein, and shelled corn (corn in the winter months only).  Chicks (1 day to 4 months) eat medicated chicken starter crumbles with 20% protein.

Question:  How long to peafowl live?

Answer:  50+ years!!

Question:  How many days does it take for peafowl eggs to hatch?

Answer:  27 to 30

Question:  How old do peafowl need to be in order to breed?

Answer:  2 years (Note:  As long as the male's tail has a few eye feathers.  If not, he will not be able to fertilize eggs.)

Question:  At what age does a peacock get his first long tail train?

Answer:  3 years

Question:  What is the breeding season for peafowl?

Answer:  April to August

Question:  Does the male lose his tail every year?

Answer:  Yes, the male will molt the entire tail in late July or early August.

Question:  How often do peafowl need worming?

Answer:  Every 3 to 4 months.  Especially, 1 to 2 months prior to the start of the breeding season and immediately following the end of the breeding season.  See the Medications article for further details.

Question:  What is the recommended temperature for incubation?

Answer:  99.5 degrees F.  See the Incubation article for further details on Incubation.

Question:  What is the recommended humidity for incubation?

Answer:  60% relative humidity or 86-87 degrees F wet bulb temperature.  See the Incubation article for further details on Incubation.

Question:  How do I get peachicks to start eating and drinking?

Answer:    Peachicks are fed a medicated crumbled chicken starter feed which is easy for them to eat.  Fresh water is provided in small quart jar waterers so that the chicks can easily drink without being able to drown themselves.  For the first chicks of the season, a small glass marble is placed in a shallow feed dish so that the chicks will pick at the shiny marble and in turn, learn to pick at their feed.  A marble is also added to the water, for the same reason.  Older chicks teach younger chicks, so one chick is kept to teach the second batch to eat and drink and the cycle repeats for the rest of the season.  Click here to see pictures of our peachicks.

Question:  How do I give peafowl medications orally (by mouth)?

Answer:  See our article on Oral Dosing.

Question:  How do I keep peafowl from flying up in trees?

Answer:  Clip one wing to keep peafowl from flying up in trees.  Wing feathers will grow back in about 4 to 5 months.  See our page on how to clip wings.   

Question:  What is the best way to catch peafowl?

Answer:  The best way to catch peafowl in with a high quality net designed for poultry.  The best ones to purchase have a tightly woven nylon mesh.  This helps prevent injury to the birds. 

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Question:  Can peafowl be shipped?  How?

Answer:  Yes, peafowl can be shipped via Express Mail through the United States Postal Service.  Please see our Shipping Information page for more details.

Question:  Can a full tailed male peacock be shipped via Express Mail?

Answer:  Yes, a full tailed male can be shipped via Express Mail!  Provided, the tail is wrapped, that is.  See our article on preparing and wrapping a male's tail

Question:  How can rat and mouse poison be safely used around peafowl?

Answer:  Tomcat bait stations can be safely used around peafowl.

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Question:  What are the minimum housing requirements for green peafowl in cold climates?  

Answer:  An insulated roosting area, with a heated roost, that will stay above freezing.  A 10x10 or 10x12 utility building will easily a breeder pair or trio.

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Question: How big is a peacock egg compared to a chicken egg?

Answer:  A peacock egg is approximately 50% larger than a chicken egg.  The picture shown below illustrates the size difference.

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Question: How to provide extra calcium to laying hens?  How to minimize egg bound hens?

Answer:  Provide oyster shell free choice to laying hens.  Oyster shell can be purchased at your local feed supplier.

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Question:  How to sex India Blue and Black Shoulder chicks at 3 months of age?

Answer:  See photos below.

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BS Hen            BS Male

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IB Male              IB Pair            IB Hen

Question: What kind of a roost should be provided?

Answer:  A roost that is non-metal and flat rather than round.  Preferably, at least 4 inches wide so that the birds can stand flat footed.  This will allow them to cover their feet with their feathers preventing frostbitten toes.

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Question:  Is silver pied a peafowl color?

Answer:  No, silver pied is a pattern of color that can appear on any color of peafowl.  Some examples:  India Blue Silver Pied, Black Shoulder Silver Pied, Purple Silver Pied, Cameo Silver Pied, and etc.

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Black Shoulder         India Blue

Question:  When breeding two silver pied birds, what will the chicks be?

Answer:  The chicks produced will be 25% white, 50% silver pied, and 25% dark silver pied white eyed.  For more details, see our peafowl Genetics section.

Question:  What type of netting is best for winter weather?

Answer:  Knotted nylon netting works best in areas where snow is common.  It allows the snow to pass through rather than accumulate on the top.  See below for pictures of knotted nylon netting as well as knitted netting, during a recent snowfall.  The knitted netting doesn't allow snow to pass through.

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Knotted netting shown above

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Knitted netting shown above

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