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Peacocks, Peahens and chicks

Updated on September 25, 2014

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 grow

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Peacock colours

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.

More Peacock Pictures

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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.

Comments on my page? - Thanks for reading!

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    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 5 years ago from Royalton

      Caught me with the peacock laying eggs too! Groan! I love this lens. It is fun to read, informative and offers great information and enticing pictures. You even answered a question that I have been wondering about for many years, Peafowl can survive the winter but they need shelter.

      Squid Angel Blessed!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      You got me with your peahen laying eggs question. lol I love to watch Peacocks even though they can be aggressive at times. We have a friend who raises them. There used to be a lot of wild peacocks and other pheasants in our state but not now.

    • imolaK profile image

      imolaK 5 years ago

      Very interesting lens and informative lens. I love peacocks; they are wonderful creatures. Blessed!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 5 years ago from Royalton

      Peacocks are fascinating creatures. Can they live outside in the winter? Can they live in a chicken coop? Can you eat peacock eggs?