1 I got a Black Shoulder Pied peacock. Here is Pedda holding him. The bright coloring on males works in their favor as they seek out mates. A peahen will typically choose the male with the brightest coloring and the longest tail.
2 This was one of my four peahens who went to stay with peafowl breeder, Pedda Reddy, while I took a peacock back with me to the farm. Peafowl are very adaptable creatures, and can easily transition from one environment to another. This India Blue peahen will be very happy with Pedda's flock.
3 Here, Pedda is getting acquainted with the peahen. He was so gentle with her, and she was very calm. Pedda is a biochemist by profession, but he is also very passionate about caring for peafowl. He currently has about 25-birds, but has had up to 80-peafowl during the six years he has been breeding and raising them.
4 Here she was in her new pen - she will be very happy with her new peafowl friends.
5 Pedda's love for raising peafowl began after a peacock started visiting his backyard. Pedda began feeding him, and soon there were two wild peacocks. They inspired Pedda to become an expert in raising these majestic birds, Pavo cristatus.
6 Both male and female peafowl will have the fancy crest atop their heads, but only the males will have the elongated upper tail coverts. In the wild, peafowl forage for worms and insects, but they will also eat other small rodents and reptiles. Kept peafowl are fed protein meals made especially for them.
7 Although peacocks are full grown at about nine-months of age, they do not get their full, beautiful tails until they reach three years.
8 After the breeding season, the males shed all 150 tail feathers, and then start regrowing them immediately. By Christmas, this peacock's tail should be about three to four feet long, and by March, it will be full sized at about five feet long.
10 Look at this elegant bird - it is a five-year old Black Shoulder Silverpied peacock. It was not the bird I took home, but I definitely admired him.
11 This is a Cameo White-Eyed peacock - his distinguishing markings include the chocolate brown neck with a small patch of white right under his head. When peacocks walk, they do so rather slowly, creating the appearance of strutting; however, in the air, peacocks are among the largest flying birds in the world.
12 Take a look at his tail - another characteristic of this peacock breed are the white ocelli - the "eyelets" or circular shaped spots on each of the long covert feathers. This massive tail makes up about 60-percent of the peacock's total length.
13 This peacock is about five years old. There are up to 220 different varieties of peafowl, and they can easily live more than 30-years.
14 Peacocks typically live in groups, and the male will often have a harem of several females at any given time. Peacocks are happiest where there are at least two and no more than four females in his group. When the peacock doesn't have his elaborate tail feathers on display, they drag behind him - this is known as the train.
15 Here I am with Pedda's wife, Leela Reddy. It was such a pleasant afternoon learning more about this impressive bird, the peacock.
16 These are the three peahens I have been raising at the farm. Two India Blue and one Black Shoulder Pied. The Black Shoulder Pied peahen is basically white in color, with a lot of black present and a reddish-tan patch on the neck. India Blue peahens have brown crests, white throats, greenish breasts and cream abdomens. The rest of the bird is a brownish grey.
17 Remember, only males are called peacocks - these females are peahens, and their offspring are peachicks. A family of peafowl is called a bevy, and a party is the collective term for a group.
18 In the wild, these birds select homes in varied, deciduous forests, and cultivated lands near villages. To hide from predators, they often roost high up in trees.
19 Here, the male was walking toward the three females in their fully enclosed pen. There is no way to predict what a wild peafowl will do if free. Many of them tend to stay close to their coops, where they are familiar and can access food and water. Right now, I keep them enclosed because they are still young, and I want to protect them from predators.
20 Anyone interested in caring for peacocks, know that just like caring for any other animal, it takes time and commitment. A more common breed of peacock may average about 150-dollars. More rare breeds, such as the Black Shoulder Pied, could be two-hundred dollars or more. It is definitely an investment.
21 Notice the covert feathers on the peacock - because he is only two years old, this is all the train he has been able to grow. They are all intact now, but once the breeding season ends, he will lose them and start regrowing. Peafowl have very acute eyesight and hearing but can be poor at discerning the direction from which a sound is traveling.
22 Peafowl love to perch, and will perch on anything to get a better view. Peafowl are also very hardy, and although they are native to warm climates, such as the sub-tropics of India and southeast Asia, they can withstand cold and are able to survive brutal winters. It is important to give them shelter from the elements.
23 Full grown, the peacock weighs about nine to 13-pounds. When its train is full, a peacock can reach seven feet in length.
24 The iridescent colors are caused by the feathers and how they interact with certain light. The bright colors are not produced by the pigments, but instead by tiny crystal-like structures. The spacing of these structures causes different wavelengths of light to be filtered and reflected, which we see as shimmer in the peacock's body.
25 After being here just a couple of days, our new peacock is doing very well. I am looking forward to seeing that spectacular tail come March.