Peacocks can eat anything from insects to forage and vegetation and blend it all to satisfy their high protein nutritional needs. In fact, they can make food out of the best thing they find on the ground as they are not very picky eaters and are naturally omnivorous.
While being brought up in North Dakota, US, my old man and I would go hunting pheasants in the brushy woods of Killdeer Mountains. I was also lucky to have folks who loved keeping birds, including Peacocks which is why I have a lot of info about these birds like feeding and eggs.
When you hear the metaphor ‘proud as a peacock’ nothing is far from the truth. You can see the truth when they stretch and put their colorful feathers on the show. Peacocks, especially white peacocks are one of the most attractive and beautiful creatures that you will find in the bird kingdom.
Fun Fact about Peacocks
Did you know that Peacocks require foods that are high in protein content to make those colorful feathers you see? Yes, that is in addition to living healthfully and boosting reproduction. That being said, I guess you are now ready to know what they eat.
What you should know about Peacocks Eating Habits
As mentioned in the first paragraph above, Peacocks might be proud but can survive on anything they pick on the ground. Even better, these birds have excellent hearing and sight senses which they use to find insects, small reptiles, fish, and small animals to feed on.
Peacocks also like to eat ants, crickets, termites, scorpions, locusts, and fruits. That is their innate eating habit. How about when they are tamed?
Domesticated peacocks are regularly fed on commercial poultry feed, cat food, and game-bird feed as well as grains like corn and oats. It is recommended that peacocks be allowed to eat their native diet via free-ranging for optimal health. Other foods that peafowls in captivity like to eat include kitchen scraps, nuts, grains, cheese, cooked rice, and scrambled eggs.
Constituents of Peacocks Diet
Here is a detailed review of what peacocks eat:
One thing I know is that peacocks love insects and it is their favorite food. From ants to bugs, termites, crickets, millipedes, centipedes, and grubs, that is a diet they can survive on.
- Grains & Veggies
Peacocks like eating grains such as oats, wheat, and corn which is why they love the wild where all these favorites are available in plenty. Veggies such as tomatoes and other foods such as peas and beans are also their favorite. It will be hard to hunt insects for them no matter how they like them, but grains and veggies are readily available so feed them.
- Several types of Fruits
From fresh and ripe blackberries to raspberries and grapes, peacocks will eat these fruits with a lot of passion. You want your peafowl to literally thank you, get these fruits for them and they will always want more.
- Reptiles & Amphibians
As much as it sounds disgusting from the human perspective, slugs and snails make up the list of peacock’s preferred foods. Reptiles such as lizards are high in protein which is fundamental for peacock’s health and so do frogs.
- Pet Food
Domesticated peacocks are usually fed pet foods as a supplemental diet to their foraging. And while this plays a role in their diet, they should not be fed as the only diet. We recommend that you feed your peacock concentrated grains and mix pet foods with fresh or dried veggies and fruits.
Make sure your peacocks have fresh and clean water throughout the day.
What Do Peacocks Eat?
A peachick is a term used to refer to the chicks hatched by peahens. Peachicks like to eat what they see their parents eat. Just like with any other bird or animal in their native environment, the chicks will be taught how to scavenge for food in order to survive.
But if you are raising the peacock chick, feed them a high-protein game bird starter that has been specifically formulated for peafowls. They should eat starter feed (30% protein content) until they are approx. three months old. You can then introduce or supplement their diet with green, leafy veggies like spinach, dark lettuce, and cabbage.
When your peachicks have been used to this diet, you can change it to adult foods such as pellets gradually. Raising your peachick like that improves their overall health and productivity. Make sure they have access to clean and fresh water always.
There are three rep species of peacocks and they include the most common peafowl or the Indian peafowl, the Congo peafowl, and the Green peafowl. As the name suggests, the Indian peafowls or Blue peafowl are the Indian subcontinent’s native species.
From the Southeast Asian tropical forests comes the other species of peafowls known as the Green peafowl and the Congo or African peafowl which is the only one in Africa. Unfortunately, the Green peafowl is considered to be in danger of extinction.
Peacocks get their habits from their environments which mean that those in the forests will kill and eat snakes. Their habitat allows them to prey on snakes. Tamed peacocks, on the other hand, will eat what is available in their habitat and become accustomed to it.
Can Peacocks Eat Snakes?
Yes, peacocks can and actually do eat snakes. How so you may ask? When they see a snake crawling somewhere, they will hunt it, fight it, kill, eat, and later enjoy it as a meal. Those in India kill all snakes including poisonous ones.
Peacocks can eat anything but their daily diet should mainly consist of premium proteins to help them live happily and reproduce healthily. Poor nutrition on Peahens causes low eggs fertility or hatch rate as well as low eggs production in the bird’s breeding season. Peacock’s poor health will be visible in the tail and feathers.
Although peacocks can survive on foraging for food to look after themselves, these types of food do not promote their health. Make sure domesticated peacocks eat game food for optimal health.
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Hi there! My name is Ben Domb, an owner of two pets and I am one of the co-founders of OurPets HQ. I have several years of experience as a pet care professional in the New England region having spent time in various roles including a stint at a veterinary hospital in Upstate New York, Syracuse area. I am a certified pet care professional and mostly spend my time researching pet nutrition and sharing my thoughts in various blogs and columns. With quarantine and COVID restrictions, I have been spending a lot of time a lot with my dogs and cat and loving it! I also run a small consulting business providing advice to parents on pet nutrition, and especially safe homemade options to try. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org