As many of you know, I've grown quite fond of peafowl. I have two adult peacocks, three adult peahens, and their offspring - several fast growing peachicks. Last weekend, I added another bird to my group - a two-year old Bronze male - I shared a glimpse of him in a blog earlier this week. This new peacock came from Pedda Reddy, a very knowledgeable and passionate peafowl breeder and raiser. Pedda is also where I got my other beautiful male peacocks - a Black Shoulder Pied and a Black Shoulder Silver Pied.
This new young bird won’t be fully mature until three years of age, when he grows his first train of upper tail covert feathers. But for now, he is happy, healthy and seems to be enjoying his first week here at Cantitoe Corners. Enjoy these photos.
The weather warmed to a delightful 64-degrees this week, so the new peacock ventured out of the coop. He is a Bronze male. The bold coloring on males works in their favor as they seek out mates.
This male is considered an adolescent bird. He will be fully mature at the age of three when he will be old enough to breed.
I love his striking dark colors and expressive eyes.
He has only been at the farm for a couple of days, but already he is exploring his new surroundings and spending time with new friends.
He is also very alert and curious.
Here, he turned his head after hearing a plane fly overhead.
Peafowl are very adaptable creatures, and can easily transition from one environment to another.
These are two of the three peachicks that share his pen – they will turn one this summer. Yearling peafowl act much like teenagers – they play, pester each other and love to explore if allowed.
Full grown, peafowl weigh nine to 13-pounds. This bird hatched in an incubator on my kitchen counter last year – it makes me so happy to see how well they are developing.
The new peacock is very friendly. Peafowl will look at you in the eye; however, if you stare at them or seem aggressive in your body movements, these birds will feel threatened. If you are near peafowl, talk softly and keep your eyes averted – this tells them you are not a predator.
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. My peafowl are not shy at all. Because they have grown up here at the farm, they are all very accustomed to the crew and to all the noises.
As peachicks get to be yearlings, their individual personalities become more evident. Some will be more tame and more friendly than others.
Both male and female peafowl will have the fancy crest atop their heads. 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.
The new peacock did not open his tail during this visit, but I am sure he will in no time – he grows more and more comfortable every day.
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 the group.
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 feet long.
Remember, only males are called peacocks – these females are growing peahens. A family of peafowl is called a bevy, and an ostentation or a muster is the term used to describe a group of peafowl.
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 – about eight-months, and I want to protect them from predators.
As beautiful as peafowl are, they don’t make very melodious sounds. Peafowl have 11 different calls. And, with their sharp eyesight, peafowl are quick to see predators and call out alarms.
Notice the covert feathers on the new peacock – because he is only two years old, this is all the train he has been able to grow. A peacock doesn’t grow its first train until three. And even then, it won’t be full grown or have showy ocelli. The train gets longer and more elaborate every year until five or six years old when it reaches maximum splendor.
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, however, to give them shelter from the elements.
I think the new peacock will get along quite nicely with the others, don’t you?
Right outside the young peafowl enclosure, the Black Shoulder Silver Pied adult male opened his train. The Silver Pied is a white bird with about 10 to 20-percent color on it, including the bright iridescent blue. I love the white-eyed feathers.
My new peacock is doing very well. I am looking forward to seeing his first spectacular tail come Christmas.
See you soon, my dear peacock, and welcome to Cantitoe Corners. For the largest source of peafowl information, go to http://www.unitedpeafowlassociation.org