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    How to Breed Peacocks

    ArticlePoultry AdviceWednesday 09 March 2011
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    Although the more traditional poultry for sale -- chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese -- are still the most popular, many breeders and hobby farmers also raise peacocks. The male's tail feathers have been used to decorate homes and clothing and depicted in art for centuries. While peafowl are not generally thought of as prime egg-laying or meat-producing poultry, they are fun to breed and raise and no more difficult than any other fowl.

    Choose your breeding stock carefully. The easiest way to breed peafowl is to purchase quality stock and let them produce and raise the chicks. Peahens are generally ready to breed at 2 years old, and peacocks, for optimum fertility, should be at least 3 years old. Select healthy birds, preferably from a breeder with a good reputation. Make sure your male and female(s) are from different lines of breeding stock to prevent genetic problems in the chicks.

    Use an incubator to hatch fertilized eggs. If you don't have a brooder peahen, you can also use a standard egg incubator to hatch eggs you have bought from a breeder. Set the incubator at 100 degrees Fahrenheit and leave the eggs in there for 27 to 30 days; the same time it takes for a peahen to hatch them herself.

    Raise the peachicks in an optimum environment. Once the incubated eggs have hatched, the chicks must live in a confined space fitted with a standard brooder lamp that produces 95-degree Fahrenheit heat. Make sure fresh water and a feeding dish of high-protein starter feed is available to the chicks at all times. You can gradually reduce the lamp's heat by 5 degrees a week as the chicks grow and develop feathers. Once the lamp is no longer needed, the chicks can move outdoors when they are 2 to 3 months old.

    Provide enough room for your birds. Adult peafowl can -- and prefer to -- live in a large space, either loose in your backyard or a large fenced-in area that also has a roof as peafowl can fly. If you do not provide a brooding house for your peahens, they will lay their eggs in anything vaguely nest-like: old tires, brush piles, even tall grass. A large brood house rather like a large henhouse will do for most peahens.

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