What Do Animals Eat? Everything From Ants To Zebras

What Do Peacocks Eat?

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Peacocks are of the pheasant family and have an interesting diet. They are ground foragers but would also eat things such as snakes in the wild. Two of the most well known peacock species are the green peafowl and the Indian peafowl. The diets for tame peacocks are a bit different than their wild cousins. It can also differ by the region of the world that they live in. Take a look below for interesting information on peacock diets.

Indian PeacockIndian peacock or blue peafowl (Pavo cristatus). Photo by Vidhya Narayanan.

Wild peacocks

Wild peacocks are omnivorous eating fruits, berries, grains, small mammals, reptiles, arthropods, amphibians, small snakes and insects like ants, millipedes, crickets, termites, centipedes, locust and scorpions. They will also eat flower petals, seeds, grass and plant parts as a part of their diet in the wild. Surprisingly enough, these birds will eat snakes, especially poisonous snakes. They have actually been seen stalking and then eating these snakes.

Domestic peacocks

These peacocks have a bit of a different diet than their wild cousins. They can eat insects, plants, cheese, cooked rice, grubs, flowers and cat food. They will also graze on grass as well as seeds and bread. So their diet is a bit more varied than their wild cousins.

Albino PeacockAlbino peacock. Photo by Darren St0ne.

Baby peacocks

Baby peacocks can be fed with small animals and insects when they are at least three days of age. They will eventually balance their diet with flowers and plants after a few weeks. They will forage for their diet just as the adults do.

Things not to feed peacocks

If you come across a wild or a domesticated peacock, be careful what you feed them. Paper, styrofoam and other things are not good for them. A rule of thumb here is that if it is not something that a pet would eat, or even a human for that matter, do not feed it to a peacock. This can help safeguard the health and digestive system of the peacock in question. Peacocks are lovely animals that eat many different things to keep themselves healthy.

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64 Comments on What Do Peacocks Eat?
  1. geneva:

    what did ancient indian peacocks eat

  2. Summer:

    What kind of digestive system do they have?

  3. admin:

    Hi Geneva,

    As for Indian Peacocks or Indian Peafowls, they would eat the same thing as an average peacock would. As for ancient Indian Peacocks, well, that would depend on how old is ancient. If it is like hundreds or even thousands of years, then it would be pretty much the same as what they would eat today simply because the environment have not evolved or changed much.

    For really old Indian Peacocks, like millions of years ago, then your guess is as good as mine since we know so little about their environment and we can only speculate on what they would eat.

  4. admin:

    Hi Summer,

    A peacock’s digestive system would be very similar to that of a chicken or your average bird. You can have a look at the link below for some very detail and rather graphic image on a chicken’s digestive system, but i would warn you, you will need a strong stomach to see them!

    http://www2.ca.uky.edu/afspoultry-files/pubs/Anatomy_Digestive.pdf

  5. elena:

    Would a peacock that just walks around your yard eat snakes too? And how do I send your page to facebook because I want my mom to see this?

  6. admin:

    Hi Elena,

    That would depend on the size of the snake. If it is a baby snake, then peacocks would be more than happy eat them. For bigger snakes, it would rather avoid them. To sent this page to facebook for your mom to see it, you can just copy the url or the web address and paste it on your facebook page.

  7. melissa:

    Hi

    I have just had a peacock come in to my back garden… but it won’t eat anything, i tried it with cheese and bread, i even gave it a cheese sandwich, what should i do?

  8. admin:

    Hi Melissa,

    I’m guessing it’s a wild peacock and you probably won’t be as successful as if it was a domesticated peacock. You can try chicken or bird feeds but better yet is to try seeds, berries or freshly chopped fruits. Something it will find rather familiar in it’s wild environment.

  9. Greg:

    Good morning,

    We have several peacocks in our neighboorhood. There has been one high in my camphor tree that doesn’t seem to want to come down. It has moved to several differnt spots. I am afraid that it will die in the tree. What should I do.

  10. admin:

    Hi Greg,

    Depending on how tall is your camphor tree, im guessing the peacock can’t get down. Peacocks are know to make a short flight but down from a tree? Im not sure. Options are pretty limited. If you could get to it, then that would be the best option, to get it down yourself. Other than that, i hope the peacock could get down by itself.

  11. Greg:

    The tree is very tall >30 ft. It is at the top of the tree and is not moving around just staying on one spot. It is too tall for me to get to it. It was calling this morning but not very loud like the peacocks are kinda like when you have a sore throat and don’t speak very well. After the peacock was calling some of the other showed up but then they disappeared like the usually do. Saturday will be one week that it has been in the tree. It was in a low spot and acted like it was going to come down but I guess it got caught and was flapping its wings and then began to go higher. It has gotten to the top of the tree.

  12. admin:

    Hi Greg,

    It’s so sad. Could you get in touch with the local animal care and control agency? Like in Chicago, you can contact the Animal Care and Control agency and there is even a case of a peacock needing help. They do animal rescue as well.

  13. tony i:

    hi admin: i live in mississippi and over the last 3 months we have seen what seems to be wild white peas at first hens at least two different ones yesterday a white cock came by and our chickens were out of there pen and he went in my caretaker closed the door so we could see him after i did i let him out he just ran back in the woods our property is 80 acres and is adjacent to a national forest should i start supplementing his diet and can i build nesting boxes what size and should they be elevated i would like for them to stay around tony i

  14. Praveen:

    Hey hi praveen tdy morning when i been out in my town one one beautiful peacock flew throw the high voltage electric wire (fence) by the side of the road n fell down i took it back home it is not able to stand on itz leg n im feeding glucose liquid itz not eating so wat can i do mail me at (private) but me asap

  15. admin:

    Hi Tony,

    I think it is ok since it is not protected by law in the state of Mississippi. Making a nesting box is a great idea but peacocks need a big one, compared to chickens and since they lay their eggs on the ground, making your nesting box out of hay or straw would be a great way to do it. BTW, was it a white peacock? Pictures or a flickr link would be great.

    Hi Praveen,

    Feeding it with liquid glucose is a great idea! But you need to bring it to see a vet or local animal care expert. They can take care of any wounds the peacock may have plus they may have special facility to add to their recovery.

  16. Christina:

    I’m thinking of getting some peacocks for my yard. I have acarage with a large pond that contain ducks and geese. Will peacocks get along with them? What kind of plants do they tend to eat? I have just estabalish flower beds and do not want to compormise that.

  17. admin:

    Hi Christina,

    I think it should be ok as long as it is not too crowded. For plants, peacocks don’t eat specific plants but rather plant parts like flower and seed heads. Having flowers are just excellent.

  18. Cris:

    Hi I have 2 peachicks. Is there any way to sex them at 5 weeks old? Should they still have a heat lamp or can I put them in the hen house yet? Also I have been told you cant make them tame so is it possible? I have also been told stress will kill them and that they get stressed very easy therefore I dont touch them or let anyone near them. Thanks

  19. Franceska:

    Hey im doing a summer project for my school homework. I have to find facts about any animal. I have chosen a peacock. After reading this article gave me a few facts to write down. But i still have a question to ask… Do domestic peacocks eat animals? if yes which sort?

  20. admin:

    Hi Cris,

    You can’t sex them once they are hatched. Keep the environment slightly warmer and yes you can put them in the hen house. Yes, peacocks are not like chickens and can get aggressive at times. Its better for you to stay away for the time being and wait until they are big enough like a couple of months old.

    Hi Franceska,

    Domestic peacock may eat other animals like insects and even snakes. That is they can find it.

  21. Andy:

    Hey! Thanks for posting this on here, its been a great help! I couldn’t find out what they eat in all the other websites I’ve been through. But the thing that bothers me most is that I can’t find out how there habitats are, and I have a report due tomorrow! xP If you can possibly send some info. on it, would be great! Please send it to my email please, hopefully and if you read this, before 8pm, wherever you live, since I live in Arizona. The info would be nice!

    Thanks!
    Andy ^.~

  22. Ariana:

    Hi,

    I am doing a project on peacocks and it’s a requirement to know the Phylum, Class, Order,Family,Genus,and Species. Also, do peacocks eat small mammals like rats and mice?

  23. admin:

    Hi Andy,

    A peacock’s natural habitat is the jungle. They can be found in India/Pakistan as well as in Latin America but more importantly, closer to the equator.

    Hi Ariana,

    Here are the information you need:

    Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Aves
    Order: Galliformes
    Family: Phasianidae
    Subfamily: Phasianinae
    Genus: Pavo

    Peacocks don’t eat rats or mice simply because these mammals are simply too fast for them to catch.

  24. chenaye:

    i need to write an asay on peacocks but i need their habitat diet and descriptin

  25. admin:

    Hi Chenaye,

    You may use the information i have provided on this page for your essay.

  26. rox:

    Where do peacocks live?

  27. admin:

    Hi Rox,

    The short answer is in the wild. But more specifically rainforest and deciduous forest. Indian peacock can be found in India and Sri Lanka. As for the Green peacocks, they can be found in Southeast Asia, in countries like Myanmar, Thailand and even Malaysia.

  28. Sarah:

    Hello,

    Near my bustop this morning(11-15-12)a peacock appered and my bff (Abby)said she saw the mother dead.And we think there are babies. We saw the male and we’re worried that that peacock hasn’t ate. What do we feed it?

  29. meraj:

    hi

    I was just wondering where do white peacocks live besides the zoo i mean naturally in the wild ive searched it but not ver helpful answers hope u have the answer if not its fine i need it asap
    THANKS meraj

  30. jan:

    Hi, just had a white peahen adopt us the day before Thanksgiving…I think she got lost and was attracted to our hens…in any event, it’s been over a week now and she really has settled in, she stays in our small vineyard eating the rest of the raisined grapes, we feed her chicken scratch, she pecks at new grasses and bugs. She is fairly safe here as we don’t use any pesticides and she seems comfortable around cars and humans but no one can touch her, she just flies up onto the house. I would like to supplement her diet, what more can I do to keep her happy and healthy.

  31. admin:

    Hi Meraj,

    White peacocks are just albino peacocks. So, you can find wherever you can find normal peacocks. However, since white or albino peacocks are rare, you don’t see then as often as other peacocks.

    Hi Jan,

    I think you are doing an awesome job as she is still around. Just continue doing what you doing and i believe she will be happy and healthy.

  32. sherry:

    I just purchased four peacocks. Will the berries on my heavinly bamboo hurt them. I know the berries can be piosonous for dogs, but heard it wont hurt birds, and is good diet for birds in winter. Just wondering about my peacocks.

  33. admin:

    Hi Sherry,

    Yup, it will be OK for birds, especially peacocks as they are good at picking the right stuff to eat.

  34. Dee:

    I was just curious after reading these posts. Did Greg save the one in the tree or not. I sure hope so.

  35. admin:

    Hi Dee,

    I’m curious too but there is no update from Greg.

  36. darlene:

    Will peacocks eat baby chickens?

  37. admin:

    Hi Darlene,

    I doubt it and thank god for that.

  38. darlene:

    Ok thank you. I have chickens and my neighbors has a set of peacocks that will continually stay in their chicken pen. I was making sure because some of my babies came up missing when they started coming over. Do they pick on them or why would they be staying in our chicken pen?

  39. admin:

    Hi Darlene,

    Peacocks may not eat them but maybe aggressive. It would be best to separate them till you can figure out what happened to those baby chicks.

  40. Pravis:

    Hi,
    This noon today a large peahen came to my backyard which is undusturbed and thickly vegetated. At times the hen seems to be eating something from the ground. My query is that is the peahen looking out a place to lay its eggs. If so please guide me what next am to do? I don’t wanna catch the beauitful bird.

  41. admin:

    Hi Pravis,

    Best thing to do is nothing. Let her find her spot and everything will go well.

  42. julie:

    Hi,
    I absolutely love animals. The peafowl has always been a hypnotic favorite of mine. They aren’t very common where I live but on rare occasion I’ve seen some wild and some captive. This being said I don’t know much about them. Your posting has been very helpful.
    I always try to really look into a species before acquiring one. Currently my kids only pets are two kangaroo gerbils.
    I was wondering if these birds make good pets. I’m not sure my location is right for one after reading here. But I didn’t know if they were good around kids or if they are OK in the house on occasion. (Not long term of course). If they love attention is it possible to pet them hold them and such as your family cat or dog would want to be?
    I also don’t want to put them in any danger of stress or depression so would it be better to have a male and female?
    Iis there a major behavioral difference in breeds or sex and how do you know when they need a vet?

  43. admin:

    Hi Julie,

    I never had them myself so i can’t say for sure if they are great for kids. As for whether you should have males or females, i guess having both is best as they can mate and have more kids.

  44. jan:

    Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. Lilly the white peahen has really settled in. She still won’t let anyone get near her, which doesn’t bother me in the least…I believe that behaviour may keep her safe. All in all, she spends most of the time in the backyard now with the three hens that seem to have settled in also with her around so it’s kinda like having one more really big “hen”!

  45. admin:

    Hi Jan,

    Well done! Thanks for updating on lovely Lilly the white peahen. Any pictures?

  46. cody wilson:

    peacocks are awsome and they also eat peanutbutter

  47. jj:

    Would I feed a game bird maintenance feed ( commercial) at this time ? Second for breeding season is there a breeder feed I should feed. What about ratite feed would this work? Please help, I want to get some babies from my pair this year. I just got them in Sept. 2012.Thank,J

  48. admin:

    Hi Jj,

    Yes, feeding them ratite feed should be OK and you can go for commercial feed if you can afford it. For me, i would mix in some natural food too like berries, grains and plants.

  49. emya:

    does the peacocks live in the desert, forest, grassland, rainforest, tundra, or taiga.

  50. admin:

    Hi Emya,

    A peacock’s natural habitat is the forest. They can be found in India/Pakistan as well as in Latin America but more importantly, closer to the equator.

  51. Michael:

    A peacock adopted us recently. Can you tell me the best thing to feed it, and how much etc. Can you please be specific. Due to it’s tameness, I assume it was raised in a cage, but we are just letting it be free on the property, even though it pretty much stays in one place all day until it goes up to roost. Any advice you could offer would be really appreciated.

  52. Bill:

    Hello, two weeks ago we received a couple of peacocks and we have them in a big pen. When should we let them out to hang around our 3 acre yard and not leave or do they

  53. admin:

    Hi Michael,

    It must be your lucky day! Having a peacock is awesome. To feed them, you need to do a try and error to see what they likes the most. You can try fruits, berries, grains, cheese, cooked rice, grubs and even ratite feed. You can try commercial feed as well. How much to feed them? It depends on their size, age and how active they are. Try a small portion first and if they are still hungry, give them some more. Always remember to clean the leftovers. You want to keep them healthy and fit.

    Hi Bill,

    You can try to train them first. Let me go free on a small fenced, open area. They are wild in nature and may go stray easily, especially if their wild cousins are nearby. Best time to let them go free is early mornings and late evenings.

  54. ramzan:

    hi
    i have peacock . and peahen is died some days before due to coryza so now what should i do for precaution measure’s to safe other animals?

  55. Daya:

    Someone gave me a peacock only one I dont know if it is a meal or female I try lot of diffrent food but some time it eat I am worred because it look hungry to me he was eating when it was in the same cage as my pigon but the peacock started to fight with then so I move it now it just stay one place most of the time looking at the pegons. I gave it carrott birds feed its pellets grass it would eat the carrott some time what is the best food for it

  56. admin:

    Hi Daya,

    If it’s pretty with lots of colors and have a long tail, then it’s a male. You can try ratite feed.

  57. em:

    Hi,
    i live near norther new york and want to know what my pet peacocks will eat.
    thank you for your time,
    em

  58. Lynne:

    A beautiful male peacock has taken up residence in our back yard. He has about an acre of fenced in property with loads of flowers and vegetation to walk around in. I fed him some grapes yesterday…huge hit! Left some dog food out for him. My question: if this guy decides to stay here, how will winter affect him? How do they cope? I live in Atlanta, Ga. Thanks for any words of wisdom. Lynne

  59. Karen Edwards:

    I have 4 peafowl that I’ve had since they were babies, they’re about a year old now. We have 4 males that have the blue feathers and a white female. We kept them in a large coop until this past month when we finally turned them loose. We live on a 100 acre farm. The first night alone they did okay. By the second night they had all disappeared! I was frantic. The next day when we came home from work, they were all walking around in the yard perfectly fine. What a relief. Now they just wander around the farm and roost in the trees at night. They eat all sorts of things from the yard and the woods. We also give them watermelon, which they love!! Any fruits or veggies are great. When they were in the coop we fed them chicken feed. (We also have chickens) They don’t get close enough to touch but they do get close to us. They are very inquisitive. We love our birds. And I have loved reading all these posts. Also, we live in Ohio so they have experienced all sorts of weather!

  60. Carl:

    One of my many cousins Victor, has a peahen and a peacock. They reccently had 6 egg. At a family members wedding I showed him pictures of a peacock that came into my yard. He walked over to me about 2 feet away as I was sitting on the steps to my home. Victor is incubating then and said I could have one of the chicks when they hatch. My entire propertiy is only 35 feet by 100 feet. How can I keep the peacock or pea hen from flying or walking away since I don’t have a larger enclosure to keep him in?

  61. Atif:

    I bought 3 peachicks of black shoulder from a friend they are 2 months old…i wana ask…….how can i hand tammed them …or tame enough thatwhe ever i go ount in my garden they will come to me by them self…!

  62. Diane:

    We bought a house on Lake Oconee in GA and a male peacock lives in the backyard! We’re excited about this, but also have several large ant hills that have to be exterminated. We’re concerned because I’m learning peacocks like to eat ants and we don’t want to poison him. Please advise.

  63. Lania:

    Hey I’m in forth grade and why do the peakoks have that much colors in its fan-like tail

  64. Teressa HUdson:

    hi i have so enjoyed reading your colum. we live in Arkansas and we have IB.Pied.White and recently obtained Java, we keep them off the ground for 6 months for heath reasons and then they either stay in a breeding pen or we let them run loose we only have six acres but they will hang lose and sleep in trees we feed them a mixture of game bird, and they absolutely love bread, we have chickens pigeons etc. there is nothing better than watching the peacocks they r also great watchdogs u will know if someone is here and as u say they eat snakes , but their tails r just to die for to see them spread them we currently have 7 out and we also have 10 babies i can’t say enough about these beautiful birds except i LOVE THEM we also have 6 dogs and they get along fine they guard the peacocks and chickens and juat everything!!

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