PEACOCKS

peacocks
peacocks
Peacocks, members of Phasianidae family – there are three types. In our places, you can usually find them with poultry breeders. These animals are blue and green. We also know green, white, black-winged or albinos – although they wouldn´t survive in the wild. The peacock, taking into consideration its train – 150cm long – can be 200-235cm long. Feathers of the train are green-gold with freckles which resemble blue-bronze eyes. The feathers, covering their body, are usually blue and green.

This bird can be easily domesticated. In some countries (India) they are sacred. That is why some farmers put up with the damage they cause to their crops. When the male peacock entices their female counterpart, it spreads its train – forming a fan. This fan, decorated with »shinning eyes« attracts the female. The female will choose the male which impressed her the most.

This isn´t the only thing they do. The male first spreads its fan, then tilts it back and forth. This is followed by a quirky dance. Those chestnut-like feathers are hanging on the side when the male shakes its body – so some feather rattle. While doing this, they emit a loud squeak. It’s hard to say that this is a pleasant sound – this shows the female that the male is interested in her. The female peacock ignores the male, occasionally tries to mimic him – unsuccessfully. A male can entice up to 5 females and lead them into its harem. They can have up to 25 offspring per year.

The male peacocks are caring mothers. They lay 3-5 eggs into the nest. The nest is built on the floor and is quite deep and firm. It is also hidden in the bushes. This is not the case in our zoo. I would like to stress that you must be careful to avoid the dew or rain coming into contact with the offspring – at least until 3-4 months of age. They could die as a result of this. If you breed peacocks, you must monitor their diet. The offspring need different type of food – we advise you to slice cooked eggs. It's best if they can be outside, but there they need shelter in case of bad weather.

After the mating season, they change their feathers. An adult peacock has 200 feathers in its train. They rest in the high grass. They are incredibly beautiful animals, however; very noisy at night. Peacocks are omnivores (they eat everything) – insects, lizards, vegetables, fruit, seeds and even smaller snakes. Despite their vanity, they are very protective. They quickly spot danger – cats, buzzard, etc…. Their reaction to danger is quite interesting as they start to sprint toward the enemy and emit a loud voice. At this point, all the other males join and run one after the other – very fast.

The females will defend their offspring at all costs. Many offspring are killed by other wild animals. Even when flying, the long train doesn´t slow them down. They take off at high speeds, achieved by the fast flapping of their wings.

The offspring become independent after 8 months. Their independence means the mother can prepare for the next batch of offspring. Their quintessential train starts to grow after one year of age but is fully feathered only after 4-5 years - only then are they fertile. Peacocks used to be the pride of Greece, Rome, and India. Nowadays, people keep them in large gardens or estates. They aren´t to be kept in locked cages.



Dusan Kreslin
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