Category: Game Birds
Facts about The Indian Peafowl or Blue Peafowl, it is a big and an intensely colored bird that belongs to the Pavo genus of the Phasianinae family. The binomial name of this bird is Pavo Cristatus and it also called as the Blue Peafowl. The Indian Peafowl hails from South Asia, but it has been introduced in several other continents around the world. The indigenous range of the Indian Peafowl includes India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal. Captive Indian Peafowls can be seen all over the world, and introduced, untamed populations now arise in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, and the Bahamas. The Indian Peafowl is the official national bird of India.
An adult male Indian Peafowl is capable of attaining a body length that ranges from 180 cm to 230 cm (1.8 meters to 2.3 meters), whereas the female birds that are smaller than the male ones have the body length of 95 cm (0.95 meter). Both the male and female peacocks have a body mass between 4.4 lbs and 9.6 lbs (2.75 kg and 6 kg).
The color, size, and shape of the crest of the Indian Peafowl make them instantly recognizable within their indigenous distribution range. The male bird is metallic blue color crown, the feathers of its head being small and coiled. A white line above the eye and a semi-circular shaped white patch under the eye are formed by the naked white skin. The sides of the skull are made up of shining greenish blue feathers. The back has peeling bronze-green feathers with copper and black marks. The wings and the scapular of these birds are buff and they are barred in black color, and the primaries are chestnut in color, whereas the secondaries are black in color.
The tail of the Indian Peafowl is dark brown in color and the train includes lengthened upper tail coverts. Though the bird has in excess of 200 feathers, its tail actually has only 20 feathers, and most of these feathers are finished with an intricate eye-spot. Some of the external feathers are short of the spot and end in a semi-circular shaped black color tip. The underside of the bird is dark shiny green, shadowing into blackish below the tail and the bird has buff colored thighs.
The male Indian Peafowl is mostly blue in color with a fan-like crown of spatula-tipped feathers like a wire, and it has a spur on its leg above the back toe. The Indian Peafowl is best recognized for the elongated train, which is made up of extended upper-tail concealed feathers that bear multicolored eye spots. These firm feathers are raised in the form of a fan and trembled in a display at the time of courtship. A female Indian Peafowl lacks the train, and boasts a duller brown plumage and greenish lower neck.
The Indian Peafowl mostly lives on the land under farming or in open forest where they search for their food. Their noisy call makes these Indian Peafowls trouble-free to detect, and in forest regions the calls habitually indicate the existence of a predator, like a tiger. The Indian Peafowls forage on the land in small clusters and they generally try to flee on foot through undergrowth and shun flying, though they can fly into high trees to roost.
The Indian Peafowl is celebrated in Greek and Indian mythology and it is recorded as the Least Concern bird by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The Indian Peafowl usually searches for food in groups in land and cultivated forms. The Indian Peafowl usually feeds on berries, grains, but sometimes, it also feeds on lizards, snakes, and small rodents.
The average life span of the Indian Peafowl ranges from 20 years to 24 years.
The clutch consists of 4-8 fawn to buff white eggs which are incubated only by the female. The eggs take about 28 days to hatch.
There are several methods of incubating peafowl eggs. The first method is artificial incubation. We incubate the eggs at 99-100 degrees F and at a wet bulb temperature of 83-85 degrees F. The eggs will hatch after 27 to 30 days of incubation. The eggs should be candled after 10 days of incubation to check for fertility. If an egg is not fertile, it should be removed from the incubator so that it doesn't spoil and possibly contaminate other eggs in the incubator. Eggs should be placed in the incubator as soon as possible after they are laid and no eggs should be held more than 10 days before incubation begins. This rule also applies to the alternative incubation methods that will be covered next.
Natural incubation of peafowl eggs can be done in several ways. The first is to allow the peahen to set on her own eggs and hatch them herself. Peahens normally do a good job of incubation but this method limits the number of eggs that a peahen will produce for the year. Once she has set on a clutch of eggs, she won't lay any more eggs for that season. Occasionally, if a nest is destroyed during incubation, a peahen will lay a second clutch of eggs and set on them. A second method of natural incubation, which allows for maximum egg production, is the use of broody chickens or ducks. The peafowl eggs are collected as they are laid and then set as a clutch under a chicken or duck. The size of the clutch is determined by the size of chicken or duck to be used for incubation. The eggs are left under the foster parent until two days before the normal hatch date. The eggs are removed from the nest and put in a hatcher. A new clutch of eggs is put under the hen and the process is repeated. If the eggs are allowed to hatch under the foster hen, the risk of disease in the chicks is much greater, and many times the hen won' t stay broody to allow for more eggs to be set under her.
The rule of thumb in brooding peafowl chicks is to start the chicks out with a brooder temperature of 95 degrees F and decrease this temperature by 5 degrees for every week of age. Brooders can be made at home or can be bought commercially. The brooder should provide a consistent heat source so that the chicks don't become chilled or overheated. The heating area should be large enough so that the chicks don't have to pile on top of one another to stay warm. The brooder should have a wire bottom floor so that droppings and wasted feed fall through. Brooders with feed and water troughs attached to the outside help keep the chicks healthy because the chicks can't get into them and make a mess out of the feed and water. The last thing that a brooder must have is a lid. Chicks that are only a few weeks old are surprisingly good flyers. The chicks are usually left in the hatcher for a day after they hatch. This gives them plenty of time to completely dry off and to gain enough strength to stand. The chicks are then placed in a small wooden brooder using a heat lamp for warmth. Chicks under a week old should be kept in small groups so that they learn to eat and drink without having to compete with one another. Chicks sometimes have to be taught to eat and drink. This can be done by placing a teacher chick, which is 3 to 4 days old and has learned to eat and drink, in with the new chicks. Baby chickens or pheasants can also be used as teacher chicks. If no teacher chick is available, I place a shiny marble in the feed and water container for the chicks to pick at. While picking at the marble, they will learn to eat and drink at the same time. I also provide the chicks with finely chopped lettuce or grass clippings along with their starter feed. The green color of these seems to attract the chicks' attention and provides a natural food source for the chicks