Ross’s tips for keep­ing peafowl as pets

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Your Poultry -

Peafowl can live for up to 20 years so they are not a short-term pet.

The sta­ple food we feed out to our peafowl is wheat or kib­bled maize. Ours also love raisins – if you need to en­tice them to go some­where, this is of­ten the best bait. They love wet bread too, although this just helps them put on fat and we use it as a treat food only.

They will also eat fruit. Friends on Wai­heke once owned a vine­yard called Pea­cock’s Ridge, named for the wild peafowl which were a ma­jor prob­lem as the grapes ripened. In our gar­den, all of our straw­ber­ries and rasp­ber­ries have to be cov­ered or we lose the lot.

Chicks need a feed that is 30% pro­tein. We feed ours on a mix­ture of chick starter mash and dog roll, with a lit­tle wet bread. As they get a bit big­ger we add wheat to the mix.

Af­ter about three months they progress to wheat only and for­ag­ing around the farm eat­ing up in­sects and herbage.

A pea­cock will see off a cat and can in­tim­i­date a dog, although a large dog is prob­a­bly the big­gest threat to peafowl if they do not fly off quickly.

Our other prob­lem has been neigh­bours out ‘pos­sum’ hunt­ing who have de­cided to take out some of our roost­ing peafowl.

Ide­ally, keep them away from roads in an area with no stray­ing dogs, and no threats from ‘hunters’.

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