1 Here are my three peahens - they're nearly a year old. Two India Blue and one Black Shoulder Pied. The Black Shoulder Pied peahen is basically white in color, with a reddish-tan patch on her neck. India Blue peahens have brown crests, white throats, greenish breasts and cream abdomens. The rest of the bird is a brownish grey.
2 Here is my peacock - he is a two-year old Black Shoulder Pied. He's grown a lot more comfortable since he arrived at my farm a couple months ago. He is outdoors most of the day keeping watch over his harem of peahens.
3 I can't wait to see his full grown tail of covert feathers and ocelli. By Christmas, this peacock's tail should be about three to four feet long, and by March, it should finally be full sized at about five feet long, taking up nearly 60-percent of his total body length.
4 Most of the time the peahens stick together, leaving the peacock on his own, but they all get along very well.
5 The male will often have a harem of several females at any given time - anywhere from four to six females.
6 Peafowl are pheasants. There are two Asiatic species - the blue or Indian peafowl native to India and Sri Lanka, and the green peafowl originally from Java and Burma, and one African species, the Congo peafowl from African rain forests.
7 When peafowl feel uncomfortable or threatened, they often ruffle up their neck feathers to look bigger and more menacing.
8 If you are near peafowl, talk softly and keep your eyes averted - this tells them you are not a predator. This peahen's neck feathers are laying flat, meaning she is relaxed and comfortable.
9 Although peafowl are ground feeders and ground nesters, they love roosting at higher levels. In the wild, this keeps them safe from predators. Here at my farm, it also gives them a better view of their surroundings.
10 I like to provide different perching surfaces in their pen. Recently, we planted this section of a dead tree, and soon after we noticed it started to grow leaves.
11 Peafowl 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.
12 Full grown, the peacock weighs about nine to 13-pounds. When its train is full, a peacock can reach seven feet in length.
13 Both male and female peafowl have the fancy crest atop their heads called a corona.
14 Peafowl prefer to forgo bathing in water, and instead take dirt or dust baths. These dust baths help keep off insects, and help align feathers. They like to scratch their own dust bathing bowl, and will seek out bare spots of dirt before scratching up the grass.
15 At top speed, peafowl can run about 10-miles per hour, and although they are one of the largest flying birds, they don't fly great distances.
16 When my peafowl are old enough to breed, the male's bright colors will work in his favor - peahens tend to favor males with the brightest colors and longest tails.
17 In the wild, the duller plumage of the peahens also works to their advantage because it makes them more difficult to spot in the jungle, especially when they are nesting.
18 As peachicks get to be yearlings, their individual personalities become more prominent. Some will be more tame and more friendly than others. So far, all my peafowl are pretty friendly.
19 Peafowl are social and curious animals. Young peafowl act much like teenagers - they play, pester each other and love to explore if allowed.
20 These birds will spend most of their days outdoors, but at night they enjoy being in their coop where it is cozy, and safe.
21 Kept peafowl are fed protein meals made especially for them, but in the wild, as omnivores, they eat insects, plants, grains and even small creatures such as rodents.
22 Peafowl are hardy, and while they are native to warm climates, such as the sub-tropics of India and southeast Asia, they can withstand cold, almost brutal winters if they have access to adequate shelter from the elements.
23 Peafowl are not very sweet-sounding. They have nearly a dozen different calls, but most of the vocalizing is made by the peacocks.
24 Peafowl have very acute eyesight and are quick to sound off alarms when they feel danger is near.
25 Peafowl also have great hearing, but can be poor at discerning from what direction certain sounds originate.
26 Even from inside the coop, my peacock kept watch.