Avian enthusiasts have kept peacocks as pets for centuries. Peacocks are among the most beautiful birds in the world. They have long tails, colorful feathers, and add a bit majesty to any setting. If you are thinking about keeping peacocks for pets, then this article is for you.
Peacocks are one of the most popular exotic bird species. They are known for their beauty and gracefulness. Learn more about keeping peacocks as pets in the article below!
If you are researching other birds to keep as pets, read our article about small parrots.
Facts About Peacocks as Pets
There are several different breeds of peacocks. Each breed has its own unique characteristics. Here are some of the most common peacock breeds.
The peacock is an amazing creature that has been around since prehistoric times. It is also one of the most popular pet birds in the world today.
There are different kinds of peafowl. Peafowl is the overarching breed of three birds:
- Indian peafowl
- Green peafowl
- Congo peafowl
The three varieties include peacocks (male) and peahens (female). To add some confusion, the terms peafowl and peacock are used generically and interchangeably. However, there are some differences.
- Size of their tail feathers.
- Peacocks grow larger than peahens.
- Male trains (i.e., tail feathers) grows twice as long as the train of the female peafowl.
Size of Peahens: 36 inches
Size of Peacocks: Up to 90 inches
Peafowl Lifespan: 15 – 20 years
Within the three foundation varieties, peacock fanciers, have cross-bred the birds to develop color mutations.
If you are looking for birds that live longer in captivity, we also have an article about large parrots.
Can you buy peacocks as pets?
Yes. Peafowl have been kept domestically in the United States for many decades. Backyard farming magazines, local feed mills, and small farming retail stores often have classified advertisements and flyers posted on bulletin boards offering peafowl for sale.
Colors of Peafowl
Traditionally, keeps of peacocks as pets had only a few choices in colors. Blues and greens in various shades and levels of intensity encompassed the vast number of available domestic birds in the United States.
During the past 20 – 30 years, however; available colors have increased to include several exotic combinations.
Crossing the India Blue and Green peafowl resulted in an India Blue Spalding. Cameos, white, black shoulder, purple, Violeta, pied, peach, white eye, and silver-pied and other varieties are highly sought by fanciers.
According to a wonderful peacock article in Garden & Gun magazine published in 2021, the United Peafowl Association recognizes “225 varieties bred in ten colors and five patterns…”. Breeders are constantly working to develop other variations as well.
Where Do Peacocks Live?
Peacocks live in many parts of the world. In fact, they are native to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, China, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa.
In the wild, peafowl roam like other game birds including pheasants and turkeys. In some areas, peafowl are considered nuisance animals.
When kept domestically, it’s best to keep them in brood cages. Large, fenced areas with access to indoor accommodations are best until your bird become familiar with their new living environment. It’s also important to house them responsibly for their own protection.
Some natural predators like fox and coyote will gladly harass, and kill, peafowl. These predators don’t seem to care that your prized peafowl pair cost upwards of $500 (much more for certain color varieties). Peafowl have no significant defense.
It’s helpful to keep a powered-up radio near poultry and peafowl at night to help deter predators. Fox and coyotes will avoid human sounds.
Why Are Peacocks So Popular as Pets?
Peacocks are very intelligent animals. They are also very social, making them perfect pets for people who enjoy spending time with others. These birds love attention and will do anything to make sure they receive it.
Raising peacocks as pets
Peafowl are commonly kept in rural areas or on property of several acres within small towns that allow fowl to be raised. As an example, my grandmother kept a peafowl, chickens and ducks in a small town of with a population of 400.
Think twice about allowing them to free range if you have neighbors nearby. Peafowl have a knack for raiding flower bead, gardens, and roosting on houses and other places neighbors don’t always appreciate.
When well-adjusted to their new home, peafowl will remain in an area that provides readily available food, water and shelter.
Peafowl add an interesting dash of color to backyard gardens and people enjoy watching them.
Peacocks and peahens are not typically raised for table fare, like chickens and turkeys. People and small farmers interested in keeping something exotic that is unusual keep peacocks as pets. They are much easier to keep than koi or goldfish ponds and are certainly less expensive to feed and house than an emu or ostrich.
Is it legal to have peacocks as pets?
If you live somewhere that wouldn’t allow you to raise backyard chickens, keeping pet peacocks and other peafowl are probably not a possibility for you.
Peacocks can become quite loud during the breeding season.
It’s better to ask for permission in these circumstances, because in today’s litigious world forgiveness is short supply.
Are peacocks good pets?
Individual birds have varying temperament and hereditary traits but overall, keeping peafowl is rewarding. Available space, noise levels and predators are major concerns.
Peacocks are beautiful additions to small farms and backyards where local ordinances and regulations allow housing them.
Care and Feeding of Peacocks
Keeping peacocks as pets will require a lot of space to roam freely. A large enclosure is necessary for them to feel comfortable. You should provide a safe environment for your peacock, so he/she feels secure. Peacocks require daily exercise and plenty of fresh food.
A minimum pen size of 100 square feel per bird is required, but more is better for your birds. If they become nervous, they will pluck their feathers and suffer various illnesses.
In captivity, peacocks need a well-rounded diet of commercial game bird pellets and lots of greens like lettuce and cabbage.
Consult a veterinarian if you need help treating an ill bird.