Because of its fascinating appearance, peacocks have been widely domesticated as pets. People are amazed when a peacock (male bird) begins to walk around and display its magnificent tail feathers.
Peacock belongs to the pheasant family. Just like their cousins, peacocks also have a diverse and interesting diet. Naturally, peacocks are considered as ground eaters and will eat smaller animals that they might find along the way. There are two main species of peacocks or peafowl, the green peacocks, and the Indian peacocks. Take note that the diet of the wild peacocks slightly differs from the tamed ones and it usually depends on the geographical location where these birds are.
Are you interested in adopting peacocks as an additional attraction to your garden? Continue reading as we discuss important information regarding peacocks such as:
- What do peacocks eat in the wild?
- What do peacocks eat as pets?
- How can you raise peacocks from chicks to maturity?
- What are the foods that peacocks don’t eat?
What Do Wild Peacocks Eat?
Peacocks in the wild are omnivorous, meaning they can eat both plants and animals to satisfy their nutritional needs. Peacocks feed on plants foods such as grains, cereals, fruits, and berries. They also love to hunt smaller animals like scorpions, locusts, millipedes, centipedes, termites, crickets, ants, rats, mice, small snakes, and frogs. Peacocks love to hunt snakes, even the poisonous and deadly ones!
What Do Peacocks Eat As Pets?
Commercial feeds. Captive peacocks need specially formulated peacock diet. In case you cannot find any at a local pet store, you can also use pheasant or turkey feeds instead of feeding them chicken feeds. Thirty percent of your pet’s diet must be comprised of bugs and plant materials so giving them live insects and vegetables are recommended. Give your birds ¼ cup of feeds in the morning and in the late afternoon. Dog or cat food can also be given to your peacocks in small quantities as the protein source for your bird.
Fruits and vegetables. Peacocks naturally forage on leaves, flowers and fruits and other plant matter as they roam around throughout the day, but they need considerable amounts of plant food so you have to supplement their daily diet with fruit and veggies. Because peacocks are opportunistic feeders, they will consume vegetables such as beans, carrots, corn, leafy greens, berries and other fruits in no time! Chop or shred these veggies and serve it as mixed especially in their evening meal.
Bugs and other invertebrates. We do not expect you to hunt live and dangerous animals like snakes, rodents or lizards in the wild just to ensure that your peacocks will get the protein that their body needs. You can always supplement their protein requirements by giving them insects and invertebrates. Yes, they will find insects during the day but you need to supplement this as it may not be enough. So, give them live insects once or twice per week to make sure that your pets are getting the protein that they need. You can raise your own feeder insects or buy it from a reliable source. Acceptable feeders are crickets, wax worms, mealworms, earthworms and super worms. Take note; make sure that you are giving them feeders that are totally free from parasites.
Other foods. In order for your birds to be healthy, try to diversify the types of food that you are offering them. You can give them fatty snacks such as peanuts, safflower seeds, sunflower seeds and true nuts, provided that it must not be higher than 10% of their usual diet.
Place their food and water in a food and water dish. Hang these dishes using ropes or chains of your housing’s ceiling to restrict mice and rats from getting into their food. This will also ensure that the water they are drinking is free from dropping that might fall into the waterer if it is not hanged properly. If you don’t want to hang the water dishes, then the best option is to use a tall bucket, about 15 liters in capacity.
Peacock Chicks Diet
What do peacocks eat from the day of hatching? Peacock chicks need a high protein diet during their first months. This will be supplied by feeding them a pheasant or turkey crumble with 25-30% protein. Remember, this type of feed must be replaced by as they get older. High amounts of protein in an adult peacock’s diet can result in serious illnesses to your birds.
Newly hatched peacock chicks can also be offered small insects three days after hatching. They will gradually forage plants and flowers themselves to balance their diet after a few weeks, just like adult birds do.
The peacock chicks should be totally weaned from crumble after three months from hatching, to either game bird feed or pellets. If you are raising peacocks in cages that use chicken wire flooring, game bird pellets are the best for your pets.
Weaning from crumble to adult peacock feed can be done using a transition schedule that can last up to six weeks. Here is how you do the weaning:
- 1st Week: 3 portions crumble and 1 portion game bird feed/pellet
- 2nd Week: 2.5 portions crumble and 1 portion game bird feed/pellet
- 3rd Week: 2 portions crumble and 1 portion game bird feed/pellet
- 4th Week: 1.5 portions crumble and 1 portion game bird feed/pellet
- 5th Week: 1 portion crumble and 1 portion game bird feed/pellet
- 6th Week: ½ portion crumble and 1 portion game bird feed/pellet
- 7th Week: All game bird feed/pellet
Offering your peacock their favorite food or treats is also needed. Foods that make your bird happy include dog or cat food, cereals, bread, veggies or fruits. Giving treats will prevent them from straying. Just remember to give it in moderate amounts as too much of it will also cause problems. Never give them small bones as it can kill them through choking.
What Are The Foods That Peacocks Don’t Eat?
Now that we answered the question what do peacocks eat, we will also talk about the things that they should not eat. Be it a wild or a domesticated peacock, adequate care should be exercised in offering them food as it may have a negative impact on their health. Eating paper or Styrofoam can make them totally sick. So if you want to give peacocks a particular food, think about if that food is also acceptable to other pet. If it’s something that cannot be consumed by other animals, do not attempt to give it to the birds. Peacocks are greedy so they will eat everything that you have to offer, so be careful not to abuse them by offering anything that can make them sick.