This peacock baby page is part of a website about
and for peafowl:
To The Peacock-Peachick Page
their behavior, their care
and feeding, their flower eating,
their habitat, peafowl
predators, peacock feathers,
and peafowl young.
This page is for the little ones.
about 10 days old
Peacock eggs are about three times the size of
chicken eggs, and smaller than goose eggs, light tan or ivory
The mother lays usually 4-6 eggs in a short period in spring,
though we had
one lay on top of a pickup camper and hatch her peacock
babies in October! We tried to care for them with
a cage and light to warm them, but it was just too cold and
they didn't make it. It's a tough world.
After 28 days of incubation, the peacock eggs
hatch, in a nest usually hidden in the woods, in leaves, sometimes
I've heard of peahens sitting on a nest
in the open, next to a woodpile! We had one a few
years ago who nested in some berries, about 10 feet
away from the shop we were adding onto. We had a
tractor doing grading that must have come within 3 feet
or so of the mother, but she still stayed on the nest!
Mothers leave the nest only once a day, usually flying in, making
alot of noise, probably to distract predators from the eggs.
The larger peacocks also help out by honking and howling
as the nesting female comes in for a landing, her neck all fluffed
Peacock babies are yellow and brown,
and all wings.
They look much like turkey babies, and like poults,
peacock babies need to learn how to eat!
Below is a picture of the mother peahen showing the
baby the food to eat. She points it out, and makes
noises like "bup, bup bup!!!" and "wheeewheeeewhee!!
as she drops bits of food for them, or holds feed in her beak
as the youngsters grab it.
Sometimes, when there is something extra good,
pea-mom makes a "whee, whee"
noise, and "bup, bup."
Many times these morsels turn out to be bothersome
insect pests, like mosquitoes. Mothers and babies
walk the lawn in the early morning and devour just about anything
small that moves. The mothers bring the peacock babies
to my door, and wait in hopes of getting some treat from me-
bread ends are a big favorite, also cottage cheese.
At night the fun begins.
When the little babies are only days old,
the mother hen, instead of sitting on the ground and covering
up the babies at night, decides it's time for the babies to fly
up to a tree limb where she is. If she can get them up there,
she perches on the limb and fans out her wings to cover the
babies. Usually, these first few nights are confusing and
nosy, as the mother calls and the babies peep loudly,
trying to figure out a way up.
We sometimes have to help them at first.
Occasionally, the mother comes back the next morning with one
less peacock baby: we figure the little one has fallen off
the tree limb at night, and sadly, one of the many
predators (coons, skunks, possums, cats,
has gotten it.
As if the world weren't mean enough already, peacock chicks
have to contend with older peacocks: other hens without
babies chase the youngsters away from the food.
Mothers with other chicks beat up on younger mothers and
chicks, and sometimes ALL the babies run to ONE mother,
who can't cover them all if it gets cold...
Also, peacock males tend to chase the babies away from
food, and even kill babies in cages.
It's a wonder any survive at all, but if they do,
you know they are tough!
Books to read about peacocks:
- "A Peacock on the Lawn," by Anna Hadfield
- "The Spooky Tale of Prewitt Peacock,"
by Bill Peet
- "Just Plain Fancy, " by Patricia Polacco
- "Feathers and Fools," by Mem Fox
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