What are Peacocks Good For?
There are plenty of reasons why people choose to raise peacocks. And their elegance and exquisitely colored plumage are the main reasons.
A few centuries ago, peacocks were raised as poultry – their meat and eggs as well as their plumage were the chief reasons for breeding them.
With time, however, people switched to the breeding of other types of poultry that were both meatier and produced more eggs than peacocks.
Today, peacocks are kept mostly as pets, and they are kept because they are beautiful, easy to care for, great for controlling pests, have valuable feathers and eggs, and many other reasons.
Here are my top reasons why I think owning a peacock is a good idea:
7 Reasons People Keep Peacocks
Peacocks are one of the most recognizable birds. The sheer size of their colorful, fan-shaped tail feathers is unmistakably unique to them.
Here’s why people enjoy having peacocks around:
– They Are Beautiful
Without question, peacocks are one of the most beautiful birds of the avian world. They’re heavy-bodied birds that are adapted to ground-living, and rarely take flight.
There are three species of peacocks, each with uniquely colored plumage and specific traits. But the most common and the most widespread is the Blue peafowl or the Indian peafowl.
In my eyes, it’s also the most beautiful of all the peacock species.
Indian peacocks have a metallic blue crown, fan-shaped crest on the head, and scaly bronze-green feathers with black-copper markings on the back. The neck and breast are also metallic blue.
But for all its beautiful shades of blue on the head and neck, the most appealing part of a peacock is the train, which is made up of long upper tail coverts.
These grow from the back of the peacock. The peacock uses its much shorter tail feathers to raise the train in a fan-shaped position. The train is almost 5 feet tall.
Almost all these feathers – as many as 200 – end up in olive green eyespots that create a dazzling image. During courtship, the peacock moves these feathers to impress peahens.
– They are Easy to Care For
Despite looking like high-maintenance birds, peacocks are very easy to care for; so much so that even a beginner can handle their care.
There’s only one thing that can be tricky in caring for peafowl – giving them an enclosure that’s large enough to suit them.
These are large birds that love to forage and scavenge for food, so they need ample space for that. If there isn’t enough space for them, they might try to escape or fly away.
If you live in an area that’s outside their native range, they also need a warm coop during the winter, and at least a cover during summer when there are heat waves or to protect them against the rain.
Mud and rain can cause their tail feathers to break, so it’s best to provide them a dry and warm place where they can have access to when the weather turns bad.
Other than these things, peafowl are docile birds that don’t need a lot of attention or round the clock care. They’re happy to be free in your garden, where they can forage in peace.
– They Make Great Pest Control
You may think of peacocks purely as a bird kept for aesthetic purposes, but peafowls are far from being only decorative birds.
They’re also useful to have on your farm or large property. Because they’re an omnivorous bird species, they feed on a variety of foods including small rodents, lizards, frogs, and even small snakes.
Peafowls hate snakes and don’t allow snakes to live on their grounds. They’ll do whatever they can to hunt down any snakes that encroach on their territories.
Beyond small rodents and the like, peafowls also eat a variety of insects, which is another helpful thing they can do, especially if those insects are harmful to your plants or vegetables.
Peafowls also feed on worms, fruits, grains, seeds, and various grasses.
If various pests are a problem in your garden, peacocks can prove to be an excellent way to keep pests in check.
– Their Feathers are Valuable
Feathers were once an extremely popular decorative element of women’s hats. Peacock feathers were especially popular in England starting with the 15th Century all the way through the Regency era.
Peacock feathers were used not only on hats but also on the garments of ladies and gents alike.
During this time, peacocks were hunted extensively, both for their meat and their feathers.
Peacock feathers are still valuable today. Luckily, they’re not slaughtered for their feathers. Peacocks grow back their feathers, so harvesting the feathers doesn’t cause them lasting damage.
Today, peacock feathers are used in a variety of home decoration settings, but also as decorative elements on various clothes and even hats. They even make wreaths out of peacock feathers.
– They Have a Long Lifespan
Peacocks can be longtime companions because of their long lifespans. Peacocks raised in captivity can live for more than 20 years. This means that peacocks can outlive your typical pets like cats and dogs.
To ensure that your peacock lives a long and healthy life, provide them with a healthy diet and adequate living conditions.
In captivity, peacocks are fed pheasant pellets or other game-bird pellets that are rich in the nutrients needed for these birds, including protein. Peacocks are also fed fruits and other plant matter.
It’s also important to monitor the health of peacocks, especially when raised together with other birds as they are susceptible to viruses like the avian flu.
– They Get Along with Other Animals
Peacocks can be raised on a farm together with other domesticated birds, since they get along easily with other birds. However, only Blue peafowl can be raised together with other birds.
Other species of peafowl like the Congo peafowl or the Green peafowl don’t have the docile disposition of the Indian peafowl and cannot be kept together with other animals.
Although peafowl can feel threatened by dogs and other animals they may perceive as predatory, they tend to mind their own business and don’t pick fights with other animals unless they’re directly attacked.
But even then, their flight response may become stronger and they’ll probably just make a run for it. But if peacocks do decide to attack other animals, they have sharp spurs on their feet, which can inflict some serious damage.
If you have pets that may attack your peafowl, for everybody’s peace of mind, it’s best to keep them separated.
– Their Eggs are Valuable
Peafowl don’t lay many eggs; hence their eggs are quite expensive. On average, a peahen may lay around 20 eggs a year. This isn’t much at all compared to the number of eggs chickens can lay.
Because peahen eggs are so scarce and because of their size – they’re about twice the size of a chicken egg – peahen eggs can cost a lot of money.
Peahen eggs taste similar to chicken eggs, but they may be a bit more flavorful than your average chicken egg.
Peahen eggs are used not only for human consumption, but also for hatching peachicks. Whether you allow the peahen to incubate, or hatch the eggs in an incubator, it can take up to 30 days for the eggs to hatch.
If you’re buying peahen eggs to hatch them in an incubator, be advised that not all eggs are fertile.
As you can see, peacocks aren’t just a pretty bird to have roaming around your property. They’re also excellent in keeping rodents and insects at bay and can offer valuable and long-lasting companionship.
Clearly, peacocks are not as affectionate as dogs, but they too can show affection. As much as a bird can show affection.
If you spend a lot of time with your peacock and build trust with them, they’ll come to view you as a friend or buddy, and they may even sit on your lap or allow you to hug them.