Peacock Breeding & Farming A to Z Guide

  • Breed Name: Peacocks or Peafowl
  • There are two popular species of peafowl bred in captivity, the India Blue (Pavo cristatus) and the Greens (Pavo muticus).
  • There are 15 known colors of peafowl: Blue, Green, White, Purple, Cameo, Charcoal, Opal, Bronze, Peach, Midnight, Jade, Taupe, Sonja’s Violeta, Hazel and Indigo.
  • There are five known body patterns, Barred wing, Black shoulder, Pied, White-eyed, and Silver pied.
  • Considering all these color and pattern combinations there are 185 varieties of peafowl possible. Many of these varieties have not yet been developed
  • Species. The two species of peafowl most commonly bred in captivity are the Pavo cristatus and the Pavo muticus peafowl; better known as the India Blue and Green peafowl. Both species of peafowl are native to South Asia. The green peafowl, Pavo muticus, consists of three very similar, but distinct subspecies including Pavo muticus-muticus, Pavo muticus-imperator, and Pavo muticus-spicifer. These subspecies may also be known by their English terms Javanese Green (m. muticus), Indo-Chinese Green (m. imperator), and Burmese Green (m. spicifer) peafowl. Although many experts agree that there are several more subspecies of Green peafowl, as many as 10, identification of the three most common is sufficient for this article. The three subspecies of Green peafowl are very similar in appearance and can be differentiated by an experienced breeder or most accurately by DNA testing. Most people refer to the Green peafowl generically as Java Greens, which is inaccurate, but for the purpose of this article I will refer to them simply as Green peafowl. I will also be referring to the species Pavo Cristatus simply as India Blues
  • Colors. There are 13 different colors of peafowl in addition to the India Blue and the Green. The neck of the cock bird most often determines the color of the bird. Therefore, as most of you know, the India Blue peacock is blue and the Greens are green. So, where did all the other colors come from? All other colors of peafowl are the result of genetic mutations that have occurred in the India Blue peafowl. A mutation occurs in the genetic makeup of a bird that affects the coloring of the feathers and results in different colored peafowl. The chance of a genetic mutation occurring is 1 in 1,000,000 and most of them go unnoticed. However, there are 13 known distinct color mutations that have occurred in the India Blue peafowl. These colors, although not all yet recognized by the UPA, are White, Cameo, Purple, Charcoal, Opal, Buford Bronze, Peach, Midnight, Jade, Taupe, Sonja’s Violeta, Hazel and Indigo. These colors are the outcome of mutations that have occurred in the India Blue peafowl, (which if you recall is a different species than the Green peafowl), and as a result are all recessive colors. Recessive means that if these colored birds are bred to an India Blue, the dominant color Blue would be expressed and all the offspring would look like India Blue peafowl (some exceptions apply as in sex linked genes, but this is not an article on genetics). There are no records of any color mutations occurring in the Green peafowl. Although there have been rumors of a white mutation, I have yet to see any convincing evidence thereof. In summary, all peafowl currently known are one of two species P. Cristatus or P. Muticus and can be categorized as being one of these thirteen color mutations: White, Cameo, Purple, Charcoal, Opal, Bronze, Peach, Midnight, Jade, Taupe, Sonja’s Violeta, Hazel, Indigo or one of the two natural occurring colors: India Blue or Green. These thirteen color mutations plus the two wild occurring colors make the 15 possible peafowl colors
  • Patterns
    Another differentiating physical trait in peafowl is known as the body pattern. Patterns and colors refer to two very different aspects of peafowl and genetically act completely separate from one another. Peafowl can carry and express a particular body pattern and it will not effect the identifying color of the cock birds neck. A body pattern can be described as the way the colors of the peafowl’s body feathers are patterned. For example, the India Blue peafowl have what is called a barred wing pattern. This is the distinctive vertical black and white zebra like stripes on the wings. A peacock’s wings are also commonly referred to as the shoulders. The barred wing pattern is the original pattern and is present in the two wild occurring species birds. This barring pattern is present in the Green peafowl, but usually only occurs on the inner most feathers of the wings, is much darker in color, and is far less distinctive than on the India Blues.
    Much like color mutations described in the previous section, there have been four known pattern mutations that have occurred in the India Blue peafowl. These four pattern mutations are known as Black shoulder (Solid winged), Pied, White-eyed, and Silver pied. The Black shoulder pattern mutation changes the pattern of the wings of the India Blue cock bird from barred to solid colored. It effects the hens by changing their overall body from a brownish color to a creamy white with colored speckles throughout the body, but the identifying color on the back of the hens neck remains the same.
    The Pied pattern mutation creates a lack of pigmentation in the bird’s feathers and causes the birds to have random splotches of white throughout the entire body, both on the hen and the cock. Pied birds are most frequently about 60% colored and 40% white.
    The White-eyed pattern mutation causes the ocellis, or eyes, in the cock’s train to be white. It also causes a varying number of body feathers to either be white or turn white as it matures. The White-eyed pattern mutation is much less distinct in the hen because of the lack of a train, but does cause some body feathers to turn white and gives the overall tone of the body a frosted look. This frosty look is also present in the cock birds. The easiest way to identify the white-eyed gene in hens is to look for the distinctive flickering of white at the end of body feathers that are usually spread throughout the bird’s body. The White-eyed gene is more complicated than what is discussed in this article, but this information gives you a general idea of how it works and how to identify it.
    The Silver pied pattern mutation is much like the pied gene, but in most cases causes the bird to only be about 10% colored and 90% white. This gives the bird an appearance of being white with colored splotches, rather than colored with white splotches as seen in the Pied pattern. The Silver pied gene works in conjunction with the White-eyed gene and causes the India Blue hen’s body color to look silver, hence the name Silver pied. Silver Pied birds also have a tendency to get whiter as they grow in age. Much like the White-eyed gene, the Silver Pied gene is complicated. A peacock can be white-eyed without being silver pied, but all silver pied birds are carrying the white-eyed gene. This information is intended to give you a general understanding.
    Interestingly a single bird can have numerous body patterns, which can be referred to as combination patterns. For example, you can have an India Blue bird with the Black shoulder and the Pied body pattern. If you consider the original barred wing pattern and the four pattern mutations the following is a list of all the possible body patterns and combination patterns: Barred wing, Barred wing pied, Barred wing White-eyed, Barred wing Pied White-eyed, Barred wing Silver pied, Black shoulder, Black shoulder pied, Black shoulder White-eyed, Black shoulder Pied White-eyed, and Black shoulder Silver pied. If you recall patterns work separately from colors, so it is possible to have all of these patterns and pattern combinations bred into each of the nine color mutations and the India Blue. These unique combinations of colors and patterns are what we refer to as peafowl varieties, which will be explained in the next section. As with color mutations, there are no known pattern mutations that have occurred in the Green peafowl, so it is not possible to have any of these pattern mutations in a pure Green bird without first breeding it to a bird from the India Blue species, which in doing so produces a hybrid bird.
  • Varieties
    The varieties of peafowl refer to all of the unique combinations of species, colors, and patterns. With each different combination of species, color, and pattern, a new variety of peafowl is created. For example, the India Blues are considered one variety of peafowl, the Whites are considered another variety, the Cameo Pieds are considered a variety, the three subspecies of Greens are all considered different varieties, and the cross between the India Blue and the Green species is considered a variety of peafowl. The two wild occurring species of peafowl, India Blue and Green, were the first two varieties of peafowl available, naturally. A new variety was created when a lady by the name of Mrs. Spalding bred the two species, an India Blue and a Green, together and produced a hybrid bird known as a Spalding. The Blue Spalding is now known as its own variety. Now the term “Spalding” simply refers to any bird that originated from the India Blue species, meaning the India Blue or any of the nine color mutations, crossed with any of the three subspecies of Green peafowl.
    With each new mutation, whether it is a color or a pattern mutation, there are dozens of new varieties of peafowl possible. When considering all the mutations that have occurred, the varieties of peafowl have been greatly multiplied. Given the India Blue and the nine color mutations, which you may recall are White, Purple, Cameo, Charcoal, Opal, Bronze, Peach, Midnight, and Jade, it is possible to cross each colored bird with the Green and make a Spalding variety in each of those ten colors. Combinations such as those give you varieties like the Blue Spalding, White Spalding, Cameo Spalding and so on. It is also achievable to breed all of the possible body patterns and pattern combinations into all ten colors, as well as the Spalding varieties. For example: Blue pied, Blue White-eyed, Blue Pied White-eyed, Blue Silver pied, Blue Black shoulder (simply referred to as Black shoulder), Black shoulder pied, Black shoulder White-eyed, Black shoulder Pied White-eyed, Black shoulder Silver pied, Blue Spalding (simply referred to as Spalding), Spalding pied, Spalding White-eyed, Spalding pied White-eyed, Spalding Silver pied, Cameo Black Shoulder (formerly known as Oaten), Cameo pied, Cameo White-eyed, and the list goes on and on and on
  • Egg Laying Facts of Silkie Hen
    • Capability: Poor Egg Layer,120 Eggs per year
    • Laying Rate: 3 eggs per week
    • Egg Colour: Tinted or Creamy
    • Egg Size: Medium
  • Brooding Capability of Silkie Hen: Generally Very consistent broody. It is famous that they can even brood. Some poultry fanciers consider Silkie hens as the ideal organic incubator
  • Suitability to Backyard Life:
  • Cold Hardiness:Hardy in winter
  • Heat Tolerance:Tolerates heat well
  • Confinement:Bears confinement well
  • Docile:Yes
  • Ideal Environmental Conditions for Growth of Peacocks: They grow well in cold, wet and muddy environments
  • Lifespan (avg.): 9 years
  • Body Weight (Adult) of Peacocks:
    • Male (Cock) – 1.8 KG
    • Female (Hen) – 1.4 KG
    • Bantam (Miniature Variety)
      • Male (Cock) – 600 Grams
      • Female (Hen) – 500 Grams

Price of Peacocks in International Market: As of 2019, its top quality range is $10-15 per chick and $25-50 for a hen or stock breeding cockerel. Average quality start from $3 and the cost increases about $1 a week as the birds age. On average a hatchery quality Silkie chick is $4.00 (including shipping)

Breeding Requirements of Peacocks

  • Adolescence or Breeding Age. Peacocks can start to lay at around 7 to 9 months of age, although some will not lay until they are much older
  • Breeding Season. Although you can breed chickens throughout most of the year, chickens bred in the Spring tend to be stronger. Chickens born in the Spring will begin producing eggs in Autumn
  • Egg Collection & Transportation. Lift and carry the eggs from backyard to your incubators without any jerk. You may place the eggs over your palm for the purpose
  • Egg Incubation or Hatching Period – 21 Days
  • Incubation Temperature & Humidity
    • Keep thermostat at 99 Degrees Fahrenheit for initial 18 days
    • Keep thermostat at 97-98 Degrees Fahrenheit from day 18 to 21
    • Keep newly borne chicks in the same temperature for next 48 hours
    • Keep humidity level at 50% for initial 18 days
    • Increase humidity level to 56% from day 18 to 21
  • Rotation of Eggs in Incubator
    • Rotate the eggs for four times at least in a day  for initial 18 days
    • Do not rotate the eggs from day 18 to 21
  • How to Increase fertility in Peacocks (in case if you do not use Feed of Nadia Pets Cross), administer following once in a week, dilute it in water drinkers.
    • Vitamin E Supplement (e.g Alpha-Immune, Evion 400 or Liver Cod Oil)
    • Vitamin Mix (e.g Vitalsol Super)

Space Required for Peacocks Farming. The minimum rule of thumb is about 2 to 3 square feet per chicken inside the chicken coop, and 8 to 10 square feet per chicken in an outside run. More square footage is better. Skimping on space requirements for a flock of chickens can cause stress, cannibalism, pecking, and sometimes even death

Daily Feed Requirements of Peacocks

  • Chickens are great food-munching machines. But, just because they eat it doesn’t always mean it’s good for them so it’s important to know what to give them and what you shouldn’t give them. Following are the food items that you should not feed to your hens:
    • Avocado
    • Caffeine and Chocolates
    • Citrus fruits (Orange, Lemon etc)
    • Dried lentils or beans
    • Eggs in raw form
    • Potato Raw, green potato or potato peels
    • Rice Raw
    • Salt and saltish foods contents
    • Spoiled Mouldy foods must always be avoided
    • Suger Candies
    • Onion
  • Feed for Pullets
    • From Day 1 to 6 Weeks of age, try “Premium Starter Feed for Chickens” made through the secret Recipe of Nadia Pets Cross. It contains essential dietary requirements including 21% Proteins, 1.10% Ca, 0.40% Met, 1% Lys, 8%Fibre and other essential amino acids, minerals, vitamins, preventive medicines, dewormers and much more. For initial two weeks feed the crushed form only
    • From From age 6 week to 6 months, try “Premium Grower Feed for Chickens” made through the secret Recipe of Nadia Pets Cross. It contains essential dietary requirements including 19% Proteins, 1.05% Ca, 0.35% Met, 0.75% Lys, 10%Fibre and other essential amino acids, minerals, vitamins, preventive medicines, dewormers and much more
  • Feed for Adult Chickens
    • For Broiler. Try “Premium Broiler Feed for Chickens” made through the secret Recipe of Nadia Pets Cross. It contains essential dietary requirements including 24% Proteins, 1.05% Ca, 0.37% Met, 1.10% Lys, 5%Fibre and other essential amino acids, minerals, vitamins, preventive medicines, dewormers and much more
    • For Laying Hens (in production). Try “Premium Layer Feed for Chickens” made through the secret Recipe of Nadia Pets Cross. It contains essential dietary requirements including 19% Proteins, 4.7% Ca, 0.40% Met, 0.70% Lys, 10%Fibre and other essential amino acids, minerals, vitamins, preventive medicines, dewormers and much more
  • Can also try Try “Grain Feed Mix for Chickens”. It is wholly Organic and made through the secret Recipe of Nadia Pets Cross. It is medicated & supplemented with all essential dietary requirements, minerals, vitamins, preventive medicines, dewormers and much more.
  • Feed Consumption Per Day Per Head – A fully grown chicken will typically eat about 120 grams of feed a day. Have two feeders, one inside of their coop run and one outside of their run (if they are free ranging)
  • Feed Consumption Per Year Per Head – 44 kg

Health Issues (Diseases, Prevention & Treatment):

  • Aspergillosis. It is aka. brooder pneumonia. The disease is caused by a fungus.
    • Symptoms: Infected chicks lose their appetites but have increased thirst, and they begin gasping or show convulsions.
    • Prevention. Keeping a clean brooder, including all bedding, water drinkers and dishes, as well as improving ventilation in the area will help minimize this disease.
  • Avian Encephalomyelitis.
    • Symptoms: The symptoms of this disease include dull eyes, head and neck tremors, appetite loss and eventual paralysis.
    • Mode of Spread: It is spread through fecal contamination of food and water
    • Treatment. No cureis available and infected chicks will need to be killed and disposed of safely. A vaccine is available and can be effective to prevent the disease if it is administered properly
  • Avian Pox (aka.Fowl Pox):
    • Symptoms: White spots on skin; combs turn into scabby sores; white membrane and ulcers in mouth, on trachea; laying stops; all ages affected.
    • Mode of Spread: Viral disease; mosquitoes, other chickens with pox and contaminated surfaces.
    • Treatment: Supportive care, warm dry quarters, soft food; many birds with good care will survive.
    • Vaccine: It is available. Recovered birds are immune and do not carry the disease any further
  • Botulism:
    • Symptoms: Include remors quickly progressing to paralysis of body, including breathing; feathers pull out easily and death in a few hours.
    • Mode of Spread: Caused by a bacterial byproduct and by eating or drinking botulism-infected food or water
    • Treatment: Antitoxin available from vet but expensive. If found early try 1 teaspoon Epsom salts dissolved in 1 ounce warm water dripped into crop several times a day.
    • Vaccine: Not available. Ideally, locate and remove source, usually decaying carcass, meat near water, or insects that fed on the meat or the water the carcass is in.
  • Fowl or Avian Cholera:
    • Symptoms: Usually birds over 4 months — greenish yellow diarrhea; breathing difficulty; swollen joints; darkened head and wattles; often quick death. Does not infect humans.
    • Mode of Spread: Bacterial disease; wild birds, raccoons, opossums, rats, can carry. Also transmitted bird to bird and on contaminated soil, equipment, shoes, clothing contaminated water and food.
    • Treatment: Not available. Destroy all infected birds if recovery occurs the bird will be a carrier
    • Vaccine available: Yes
  • Infectious Bronchitis
    • Symptoms: Its symptoms are like of a cold-like illness such as gasping and other respiratory trouble, sneezing, watery eye or nasal discharge and loss of appetite.
    • Treatment: Raising the temperature in the brooder slightly (3-5 degrees) can help chicks better resist the infection, and offering a warm, moist mash will help them eat properly as they recover
  • Infectious Coryza:
    • Symptoms: Include Swollen heads, combs, and wattles; eyes swollen shut; sticky discharge from nose and eyes; moist area under wings; laying stops.
    • Mode of Spread: Being bacterial disease it transmits through carrier birds, contaminated surfaces, and drinking water
    • Treatment: Only prevention by destroying the sick birds as they remain carriers for life
    • Vaccine: Not available
  • Marek’s Disease. A type type of cancer that infects young chickens and chicks
    • Symptoms: Include lameness or paralysis as well as blindness or labored breathing.
    • Prevention. Improving ventilation in the coop and brooder can help prevent the disease, as can good cleanliness and the appropriate vaccination
  • Moniliasis (aka.Thrush):
    • Symptoms: Include white cheesy substance in crop; ruffled feathers; droopy looking; poor laying; white crusty vent area; inflamed vent area; increased appetite
    • Mode of Spread: Fungal disease; contracted through moldy feed and water and surfaces contaminated by infected birds. Often occurs after antibiotic treatment for other reasons.
    • Treatment: Yes. Ask a vet for Nystatin or other antifungal medication. Remove moldy feed and disinfect water containers.
    • Vaccine: Not available
  • Mycoplasmosis/CRD/Air Sac Disease:
    • Symptoms: include weakness and poor laying. Problems in breathing, coughing, sneezing, swollen infected joints, death
    • Mode of Spread: Mycoplasma disease; contracted through other birds (wild birds carry it); can transmit through egg to chick from infected hen.
    • Treatment: Antibiotics may save birds — see a vet.
    • Vaccine: Yes
  • Newcastle Disease (N.D.):
    • Symptoms: Include wheezing, breathing difficulty, nasal discharge, cloudy eyes, laying stops, paralysis of legs, wings, twisted heads, necks
    • Mode of Spread: Viral disease; highly contagious; contracted through infected chickens and wild birds and is also carried on shoes, clothes, and surfaces.
    • Treatment: None. Birds under 6 months usually die; older birds can recover. Recovered birds are not carriers.
    • Vaccine: It is available as name of Lasota etc. U.S.A is working to eradicate the disease permanantly
  • Omphalitis (aka. Mushy Chick):
    • Symptoms: For Newly hatched chicks — enlarged, bluish, inflamed naval area, bad smell, drowsy, weak chicks
    • Mode of Spread: Bacterial infection of naval. Can spread from chick to chick on contaminated surfaces.
    • Treatment: Antibiotics and clean housing sometimes help, but most chicks will die. Remove healthy chicks immediately to clean quarters.
    • Vaccine: Not available. Staph and strep that cause this disease may infect humans
  • Pullorum:
    • Symptoms: Chicks are inactive, may have white diarrhea with pasted rear ends, breathing difficulty, or die without symptoms. Older birds — coughing, sneezing, poor laying.
    • Mode of Spread: Viral disease; contracted through carrier birds and contaminated surfaces, clothing, and shoes.
    • Treatment: Destroy all infected birds — birds that recover are carriers. Most chicks infected will die.
    • Vaccine: Not available but there is a blood test to find carriers
  • Rot Gut
    • Symptoms: This is a bacterial infection which causes rotten-smelling diarrhea and signs of listlessness or depression in infected chicks.
    • Mode of Spread. The infection spreads largely through overcrowding
    • Prevention. Keeping chicks in a properly-sized brooder will help reduce the risk of infection. Regular cleaning is essential to minimize the disease, and antibiotics administered in the water can help cure infected chicks
  • Medicines. There are many different types of drugs available that can be added to poultry feed to prevent and treat illnesses and parasites.
  • Antibiotics. Acceptable antibiotics strains which are recommended for poultry production include the following:
    • Bacitracin
    • Chlortetracycline
    • Lincomycin
    • Oxytetracycline
    • Penicillin
    • Tylosin
    • Virginiamycin
    • Ionophores
  • Coccidiostats
  • Coccidiosis is a common parasitic disease of poultry. It is the result of an infestation of coccidia in the intestines. A number of different drugs, called coccidiostats, are available for use in conventional diets to control coccidiosis in poultry. Coccidiostats that can be used in conventional poultry production include the following:
    • Amprolium Bambermycin
    • Decoquinate
    • Diclazuril
    • Halofuginone hydrobromide
    • Lasalocid
    • Monensin
    • Narasin
    • Nicarbazin
    • Salinomycin
    • Semduramicin
    • Sulfadimethoxine and ormetoprim
  • Medications for Controlling Intestinal Worms. Many types of parasitic worm that can infest poultry, including roundworm, tapeworm, cecal worms, and capillary worms. There are only a few products that can be added to conventional poultry feed to control internal parasites. No products are approved for use with egg-laying hens. Acceptable medicinal salts for worm control include the following:
    • Albendazole
    • Hygromycin B
  • Medications for Controlling External Parasites. Many types of external parasite can infest a poultry flock. Typical pesticides (salt only) used for control of external parasites include:
    • Permethrin-based medications
    • Tetrachlorvinphos-based medications
    • Carbaryl-based
  • Medications for Controlling Beetles. Beetles are a common problem in poultry facilities. The adults are black with hardened front wings and antennae that start under a ridge near the eyes. The larvae are worm-like and slightly hardened for burrowing. Both the larvae and beetles eat decaying leaves, sticks, grass, dead insects, feces, and grains. Brand-name products that can be used to control darkling beetles include the following:
    • Credo
    • Tempo
  • Medications for Fly Control. Compounds that can be added to conventional feed to aid in fly control in poultry houses include the use of Cyromazine
Peafowl Farming Must to Know

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