Are Peacocks Considered Poultry?
We use the term poultry to refer to domesticated birds or other captive birds, which we raise for meat, eggs, or their feathers.
Chickens, geese, ducks, and turkeys are the most common types of poultry. So, can peacocks be considered poultry as well?
As you will see below the answer depends on the reason why you’re raising peacocks.
Below, I will discuss the differences between pet birds and poultry, and whether peacocks are poultry or pets.
Pet vs Poultry Birds – What is the Difference?
There’s an important distinction between pet birds and poultry birds. Pet birds we keep for the company. Poultry we raise for the meat, the eggs, or the feathers.
Typical examples of pet birds include parakeets and parrots. These we don’t keep for their meat or eggs; we simply enjoy their company.
Just because you can eat the eggs or the meat of a duck, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a duck pet. Plenty of people keep poultry as pets.
Therefore, just because we call them poultry, it doesn’t mean you can’t keep any of the types of poultry as pets.
Are Peacocks Poultry?
Technically, yes, peacocks can be considered poultry. However, there are only a few places on earth where peacocks are still bred for their meat.
While the meat of peacocks is edible and so are their eggs, peacocks have been cast aside in favour of other, meatier poultry such as turkeys, and today, peacocks are mostly kept as pets or have a decorative role on a property.
Also, peacocks don’t produce as many eggs as other poultry such as chickens. Peahen typically lay only 20 eggs a year, while chickens will lay that many in just two weeks or so.
Therefore, peacocks are not a good choice for egg production, even though their eggs are twice the size of a chicken egg, they can’t outperform chicken in terms of egg production.
Can Peacocks Be Pets?
Yes, peacocks can be kept as pets. But not all species of peacocks have the temperament to be kept as pets.
If you’re thinking about getting a pet peacock, the Blue Peacock is the most docile of the three species of peacocks.
It’s native to the Indian subcontinent and features colorful blue plumage and long upper tail covert feathers that open like a fan. These feathers are called the ‘train’ of the peacock, and they’re adorned with colorful eyespots.
The other two peacock species – the Congo peacock and the Green peacock – are temperamental and don’t make suitable pets.
Do You Need Permit to Keep Peacocks?
Keeping peacocks as a pet or breeding peacocks is not tied to a permit as long as you’re keeping Blue Peafowls and not Congo peafowls or Green peafowls.
The reason? These last two species are vulnerable or endangered, and therefore, their ownership is not allowed.
Blue peafowls, on the other hand, are the most common types of peafowls and they’re marked as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
But even though you don’t need a permit to keep a peacock, you must remember that these are large birds that need ample space to roam free.
If they’re not afforded enough space, they may try to escape by flying away.
Also, keeping them in a crowded space can raise the likelihood of diseases. Even though peacocks are generally healthy and rarely get sick, inadequate conditions can lead to various diseases.
Other than ample space, peacocks also need cover against the sun during heatwaves in the summer, but also protection against rain.
In winter, they need a warm coop to protect against the cold and the snow.
In terms of their diet, peacocks aren’t fussy, they’ll eat almost anything since they’re an omnivorous bird species.
In the wild, peacocks eat seeds, grains, small lizards, reptiles, frogs, small rodents, insects, fruits, worms, grasses, etc.
In captivity, they’re fed pheasant pellets and other game bird pellets that are high in protein. They’re also given bits of fruits and grains. Peacocks also need access to clean and fresh water.
These birds have adapted to life on the ground and spend a lot of their time scavenging for food.
Examples of Other Poultry
There are various other types of poultry that we keep for their meat. One that’s closest to peacocks is the turkey, which is another heavy-bodied, ground-living bird.
Just as the peacock, the turkey is part of the Phasianidae family of birds. This family includes chickens as well, which is the quintessential example of a poultry, i.e. a bird kept for its meat and eggs.
Other examples of poultry include ducks, geese, quail, guinea fowl, ostriches, and pheasants.
Can You Keep Peacocks with Other Poultry?
As I mentioned, of the three species of peacocks, the Indian peafowl is the most docile one. It’s also the one that’s most suited for being kept as a pet or as a decorative bird. And it’s the only one to get along with other poultry.
You can keep peacocks together with other types of poultry and they’ll get along just fine, especially if they have plenty of space to roam around.
The Congo peafowl or the Green peafowl cannot be kept together with other poultry. The peacocks of these species tend to become aggressive during the breeding season, especially.
When this happens, they’ll attack other birds or other types of poultry, so keeping them together is not a good idea.
Peacocks have been historically raised for their meat, but today, there are very few countries in which peacock meat is still consumed.
Peacocks can be considered poultry, but they can also be raised as a pet. If you’re looking to get a pet peacock, you can easily get one from a breeder.
The most common type of peafowl, the Indian peafowl, can be kept as a pet bird if you have enough space in your garden and you can provide them with the basic housing requirements.
Other than these, they’re not high-maintenance birds and are suitable even for beginners. They’re also healthy birds that rarely get sick, especially if they’re well-looked after.