Wondering, what do baby peacocks eat? In the wild, peachicks will be given bugs and bits of food by a mom for the first 2-4 days. Then they’re able to forage for insects, seeds, berries, and so on by themselves. In captivity, you can feed peachicks a game bird starter feed.
What Do Peachicks Eat in the Wild?
In the wild, peachicks will eat a lot of the same foods as their mother peahen and other peafowl - just in smaller bitesize pieces, of course.
When peachicks first hatch, they can go without food for 24-48 hours. This is true for most birds hatching from eggs as they’ve been absorbing nutrients from the yolk sack.
The mother peahen will bring bits of food to her peachicks and keep a close eye on them for the first few days.
Typically, however, within 3-4 days peachicks will already be foraging and scratching around and finding out what they can and can’t eat by themselves.
Peafowl are omnivores. They’ll eat - or at least try to eat - any kinds of berries, grains, and other bits of edible plant matter. As well as any insects, bugs, and creepy crawlies that they’re able to get a hold of.
One thing we do know is that peacocks have survived just fine in the wild for thousands of years. They’re very adept at finding food sources!
Related - Should you feed peafowl bread?
What Do You Feed Peachicks In Captivity?
If you’re raising peachicks in your backyard or under any other conditions where they do not have space and land to find enough to eat by themselves, you need to provide a commercial feed.
As far as I am aware, everyone I know who has raised peafowl provides a feed anyway. It’s the best way to ensure they’re getting all of their nutritional needs met.
Peachicks and peafowl in general need a high level of protein to maintain optimal health. This is largely due to growing and maintaining their beautiful feathers, which are made of around 90% protein.
Here’s what you should feed peachicks for optimal health and growth:
0-12 weeks of age - A good quality game bird starter feed. This one from Manna Pro available on Amazon is 25% protein and designed specifically for game birds with all the right balance of minerals and vitamins.
I know some owners prefer a feed closer to 28%-30% protein. This is something I’d discuss with the hatchery/seller you got the peafowl or chicks from or your local vet if you want to be 100% sure.
12 weeks to laying age - From 12 weeks on you can switch their feed to one with a little less protein content. This All Flock Crumbles available on Amazon from Manna Pro is 16% protein and designed specifically for growing game birds.
You can also mix some other foods in with their feed as their digestive system matures. I know a lot of owners start mixing corn in with their feed and some other protein-rich foods.
Peahens and peacocks reach maturity between 2-3 years old. This is when Peahens will start laying eggs during the breeding season and need a layer feed.
How Long Do Baby Peacocks Stay With Their Mother?
Peachicks can stay with their mothers for as long as six months. This is a lot longer than some other birds like chickens, for example, that leave their chicks after a few weeks.
This doesn’t mean they’re not self-sufficient within this time period though. Peachicks can usually start to fly, or at least get airborne for a bit after a week or so.
This enables them to get off the ground and into trees and other higher-up places to avoid predators.
I’m sure there aren’t many predators where you’re raising peachicks, but this is something that’s important to them in the wild.
Seeing the bond between peahen and peachick is a wonderful experience. It’s touching to see how they care for them for so long and help teach them how to be, well, peafowl.
Are Baby Peacocks Hard to Raise?
Baby peacocks are not hard to raise. At least, they’re no more challenging than chickens, (which is easy) but you do need more space as peafowl are larger, and of course peacocks have long tail feathers.
In summary, the basic needs you need to meet when raising peafowl are:
- Supplying the right feed (covered above) and fresh drinking water
- A large pen or other similar housing
- Roosting bars
- Basic bedding; nothing fancy for peafowl, just something dry and absorbent
Peafowl enjoy peace and quiet and don’t deal with stress well - although they are capable of making a right racket!
So, as a general rule of thumb, the more space you can give them to roam without the threat of predators the better.
There is no denying they are an attraction though. This is why you commonly see a peacock roaming the grounds of a public place like a theme park or zoo.
So, don’t be surprised if your friends keep asking to come round! If you’ve raised them from chicks they’ll usually be ok with some petting, they’ll eat from the palm of your hand, and probably follow you around curiously.
Where to Buy Peachicks and Peafowl Hatching Eggs?
If you’re in the U.S. and you want to buy peachicks or fertilized peafowl eggs to hatch, I recommend checking out Cackle Hatchery.
Cackle Hatchery is a 3rd generation family owned and operated business with one of the largest varieties of poultry online. They ship across the country, and have awesome customer service.
I took a look when writing this and I can see they’re offering quite a few varieties of peafowl. You can buy assorted peafowl chicks for around $53/ea, or choose from a long list of colors.
They have the common Indian Blue peafowl, as well as silver pied, black shoulder, the magnificent looking white peafowl, bronze, and loads more colors.
Peafowl are exotic and wonderful looking birds (especially the peacocks) but they’re really not that difficult to raise.
If you have the space and housing, I recommend talking with someone at Cackle hatchery or a local hatchery near you selling peafowl to see what you can find.
Seeing peafowl grow up into full size peacocks and peahens is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences. Good luck!
Image credits - Photo by Christian Paul Stobbe on Unsplash