- Pets and Animals
Peacocks, Peahens and chicks
What is a Peacock
Peafowl are members of the pheasant family. This lens follows a peacock and his family through photos, and is filled with facts about the birds, their feathers and more. Most recognizable by their iridescent feathers that create a beautiful fan, peacocks are the male birds. The female birds are called peahens and together, they are know as peafowl.
What do they eat?
Peacocks are ground feeders and eat ticks, termites, ants, locusts, mice, plant parts, flower petals, seed heads, scorpions, other arthropods, reptiles, and amphibians.. Much like chickens the peafowl peck at the ground to pick up food.
Did you Know?
The Peacock is one of the largest flying birds!
A peahen usually lays 3 to 5 eggs. They are bigger than a chicken egg but smaller than a goose egg. They are tan or ivory in colour. After about 28 days the eggs hatch. The babies that hatch out are called peachicks. They remain peachicks until they are one year old, then they would be referred to as peacock or peahen depending on whether they are male or female.
Did You Know?
You can eat peahen eggs just like chicken eggs. But one peahen egg is equal to two chicken eggs.
Watch the peachicks growClick thumbnail to view full-size
Your own pet Peacock!
There are two familiar species of peacock, the blue peacock from India and the green peacock from Burma. This white peacock doesn't have any colour, but it is a variety of the blue peacock.
Did You Know?
Peafowl sleep in trees or other roosting spots off the ground!
Keeping Peafowl as pets
Farms and homesteads will often have chickens and so it is possible to have peafowl. Peafowl are tropical birds but they can survive cold winter weather if they are kept in a shelter. They like to roost so you would need to have small trees or wooden fencing that they can sit on to roost. Peachicks are susceptible to attack from cats, skunks and raccoons so you would need to keep them protected from such predators.
Peacock feathers and symbolism
The male peafowl is the one with the fancy tail feathers. He fans them out in an attempt to attract the female peahen.
The peacock feathers have long been associated with various gods of mythology. Throughout various religions the peacock symbolizes benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion, knowledge and eternal life.
Most recently the peacock has grown to represent pride, specifically in the phrase 'proud as a peacock'
Did you Know?
A group of peafowl are called a party!
Interesting facts about peafowl
Peafowl have a loud 'yelling' call.
When the tail is not fanned out it is called a 'train', much like that on a wedding dress.
When attracting a mate, the peacock fans his tail and then shakes it making a rustling sound.
The peacock feathers have 'eyes' on them said to be from the Greek Argus.
Read more about Peacocks
More Peacock PicturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
About the author
Sandra Wilson is Director of Education at the Wilson Education Resource Centre
My love for education and photography has found a place to combine in unit studies and lesson ideas. With my writing I hope to inspire fun and learning in children so that they continue to want to learn.