Household Pets: Peafowl

Peafowl belongs to the Phasianidae Pheasant family. There are two species of peafowl, the Green Peafowl and The Indian Peafowl.

The Green peafowl is native to Myanmar, Thailand, and China and the Indian Peafowl or blue peafowl is native to India. The males, called Peacock, especially are famous for their glamorous tail and the crown on their head. The females are known as Peahen and are grey and brown in color.

Green peafowl are on the verge of extinction because of the massive hunting and depletion of their natural habitat. They further have three subspecies called P. M. muticus, P. M. imperator and P. muticus. Some breeders say that there are more subspecies of Green Peafowl. Green fowls are more expensive as they are not available on a large scale and they are very temperature sensitive. The Indian peafowl are hardy and are less expensive. They are also famous with breeders and are also found in North America.

When in full plumage, the tail of the peacock is a beautiful sight. It does this to attract females and they also call out to the female in a unique vocal. The feathers of the peacock are sold all over the world. The bird is also fancied for its meat. But when turkeys were domesticated for meat, peacocks were only kept as pets. They were kept as pets first in China and after few years in Europe, as exotic pets. Peacocks have been symbol of pride and gook luck for many.

Pet owners who have bought the peahen just because of their display of their beautiful tail, they should certainly pair it with a peahen. In only that case they will spread the tail. Peacock has a plumage or train which is green or blue green colored. The Green peafowl have a plumage of more brilliant green and golden color, but the upper feathers are short. The upper feathers are very elongated and there are series of eyes which look very beautiful when the tail is fanned. Peafowl are very easily to maintain. They do not develop diseases easily because they have natural resistance to many diseases. But peafowl certainly cannot be kept in extreme temperatures like below zero. They are habituated to live in temperate climates. They should also be saved from extreme heat exhaustion in hot months.

Peafowl are omnivorous and feed on mixed grains, flowers, green leafy vegetables, and game bird crumbles. In the wild peafowl are known to hunt and eat insects, amphibians, reptiles and arthropods. When on a healthy diet they can live for many years. They usually are allowed to roam in an open garden. For a healthier breeding, they should be given freedom of movement. They can be even kept in pens with closed tops. In captivity, they need lots of room to roam about, which is a kind of exercise for them. Another reason is that they are inquisitive pets, so they need lots of space to kill their curiosity. The pen can have facilities for warming and it should be insulated, incase if temperature drop. Peafowl should be left on their own with minimum human interference. They can be mixed with other poultry as they are very safe pets. They do not attack any bird, animal or human. But cats and dogs can attack the peafowl.

Peahen nests on the ground, although they stay on low raised braches most of their lives. Peahens take care of the peachicks for only sometime after which they drive them away. The peachicks can then be brought up in an electric brooder like any other poultry. Because of their hardiness and intelligence, when compared to other bird pets, they are very easy to be bred and raised. Peafowl are also known as urban guard dogs because they make warning cries when they see strangers approaching the premises. But their high pitched vocals can sometimes be disturbing in a closely inhabited area.


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