Ross’s tips for keeping peafowl as pets
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’.