Baby Peacock

Reading Time: 7 mins

They're Also Called Peachicks

Baby peacocks, also known as peachicks, are the epitome of nature's magic. They're small, charming, and full of surprises. Today, we'll share some fascinating facts about these lovely creatures that you might not know. Let's get started, shall we?


They Don't Look Like Their Parents

Firstly, if you're expecting to see a miniature version of a flamboyant adult peacock when a peachick hatches, you might be surprised. Unlike their colorful parents, peachicks are born with a duller, camouflage-friendly coloration that blends in with their environment. This natural camouflage, a mix of yellowish-brown hues, is a survival strategy against predators. 


Born with Sharp Claws

Baby peacocks also possess strong legs and feet from the get-go, complete with sharp claws. This feature not only assists in foraging and running but also helps the little birds climb to safety, away from ground-level dangers. They are surprisingly agile climbers, and they learn to roost high in trees at a very young age.



They Can Fly

Interestingly, peachicks develop the ability to fly at a very early age. This early development is a significant survival factor, helping them escape ground predators and reach the safety of the tree branches where they roost. 


Only Baby Boys Will Have Colorful Feathers

The evolution of a peachick's plumage is a sight to behold. At about six months of age, peachicks undergo their first molt, a process where they lose their old feathers to make way for new ones. It's at this point that the male baby peacocks start to show signs of their future splendor, with the new feathers beginning to exhibit the iridescent blues and greens that make adult peacocks so mesmerizing. The females, on the other hand, continue to sport their more subdued brown plumage, which serves to camouflage them in their natural environment.


Sibling Solidarity

A critical factor to understand is that peachicks are not solitary creatures. They are born into a brood, a group of siblings that huddle together for warmth, protection, and companionship. When one peachick stumbles upon a good food source, it calls out to its siblings, alerting them to the find. It's a sort of 'share and share alike' mentality that enables them to thrive as a group. This behavior is crucial in their early days when they're learning to forage and hunt for their meals.


Great Eyesight

Another intriguing feature about baby peacocks is their eyesight. Equipped with almost adult-like vision from birth, these little ones can spot predators and identify food with remarkable precision. 



They are Omnivores

Peachicks have an incredibly diverse diet. They're omnivores, which means they eat both plants and meat. Insects, seeds, small mammals, and reptiles are all on the menu for these hungry little creatures.


Early Sexual Information

As they growing, baby peacocks also start to display preliminary courtship behaviors, imitating the adults. Though they are still a long way from being sexually mature, these early displays are practice runs for the elaborate dances and displays the males will use to attract a mate in the future.


Fast Runners

If you ever thought of chasing a peachick, you better reconsider! These babies are speedy. They can run quite fast to escape threats, which is a crucial survival skill in the wild.


Longevity Champs

Baby peacocks, once they pass the delicate early stage, can live quite a long life. A peafowl's life span can be anywhere from 15 to 20 years, some even making it to 25 years. Pretty impressive for our feathered friends!



They Embrace Their New Brother

But what happens when a new peachick joins the brood? Well, it's typically a warm welcome. Unlike some animals that show hostility to newcomers, peafowls are generally accepting of new brood members, provided that introductions are made during their early life. This acceptance is another testament to their social nature.


Incredible Growth Rate

From the moment they hatch, peachicks are precocial birds, which means they can walk, run, and feed themselves almost immediately. As we discuss peachicks' unique features, it's crucial to mention their growth rate. The baby peacocks grow at an astonishing pace, with their size doubling within a week after hatching. 


Plumage isn't just for showing off

While peacock's colorful and expansive plumage is indeed part of their mating display, it also serves other purposes. It's believed to be a signal of a peacock's fitness and health status. And guess what? The peachicks can tell! They inherently understand that vibrant plumage means a strong potential mate.


They're not all males

Here's a fascinating fact - the term 'peacock' is often incorrectly used to describe all members of the species. In actuality, 'peacock' refers to the males, 'peahen' to the females, and 'peachick' to the babies. Collectively, they are known as 'peafowl'.



Unique Personality

It's important to note that each baby peacocks has a unique personality. Just like us humans, no two peachicks are exactly alike. Some are bold and adventurous, always leading the way during explorations. Others are more cautious and observant, preferring to hang back and assess the situation. Observing these individual differences is a delightful and rewarding experience, giving us insights into the intricate dynamics of the peafowl social world.


Not all peachicks are created equal

While it's common to picture a peacock with iridescent blue and green plumage, it's important to note that not all peachicks will grow up to look like this. There are several different peafowl species, and they all have different color patterns. The ones you're probably picturing are Indian Peafowls. White peafowls, on the other hand, are born yellow and turn white as they mature!


Pecking Order

The first few weeks of a peachick's life are also critical for learning about the social structure within the flock. Peacocks are social birds, and learning to navigate this social order is a vital skill for the young. Peachicks start to grasp the 'pecking order' among adults, recognizing and respecting the dominant members of the flock. This understanding of hierarchy is key to their survival and acceptance within their social group.


Caring for Baby Peachicks

Welcoming a flock of baby peacocks into your life can be a truly rewarding experience, but with it comes the responsibility of ensuring their well-being and growth. Let's talk about feeding first, because a proper diet is one of the most critical elements in ensuring that your peachicks grow up healthy and strong. Peachicks are omnivores, just like their parents. This means they enjoy a diverse menu that includes insects, plants, and seeds. However, for the first few weeks of their life, they should be fed a high-protein starter feed—think something along the lines of a game bird or turkey starter. This will help them grow and develop their plumage. 

As they grow older, you can gradually introduce them to a wider variety of foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. It's crucial, though, that their diet remains high in protein, as this is essential for their development. It's also important to remember to provide them with plenty of fresh water, and to clean their water source daily to prevent the spread of diseases.

Now, let's move on to their habitat requirements. In the wild, peafowls are native to the lush forests of South Asia and Africa. So, if you're raising peachicks in a non-native environment, it's important to make their habitat as close to their natural one as possible. 

For starters, they'll need a secure and weather-resistant shelter that can protect them from predators and harsh weather conditions. This could be a coop or a spacious cage, preferably one with a heating source for the cooler months. Peachicks also need plenty of space to roam and explore during the day. A secure outdoor run, with plenty of natural vegetation, can be an ideal solution. It's also recommended to provide perches within the enclosure, as peachicks, like other birds, enjoy roosting off the ground.



Sources:

Auer, J.J., (2016) "The World of the Peafowl". Blue Hills Press.
Bradshaw, J. (2021). "Bird Behavior: An exploration of peafowl and their relatives". University of Oxford Press.
Davison, G.W.H. (2014). "Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide". Smithsonian Institution and Lynx Edicions.
Greenfield, P. (2015). "Peafowl, Peacock and their Young: an Avian Exploration". London Aviary Press.
Jamieson, I.G. (2017). "Sexual Selection and Mate Choice in Peafowl". In: Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer, Cham.
Mainardi, D., Poma, G. & Micheletta, N. (2000). "The Birds of the World". Lynx Edicions.
Shah, S.P. (2002). "Birds of India". Oxford University Press.
Sunquist, F. (2014). "Wild Cats of the World". University of Chicago Press. (For details on peafowl predation)

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