A common question people seem to ask is:
At what age should my first peafowl be?
In this article I will be addressing this topic since I have seen it brought up so many times and really, it all depends on several factors, some of which you might not have even considered.
Of all the ways to get into peafowl, my least favorite is getting started with hatching eggs. I say this because I think it is one of the hardest ways to get started with peafowl. On the other hand, there are people who got started with peafowl by getting eggs first. It all depends on what your plans are...
|If you want very tame peafowl hatching out the birds and raising them really helps make them tame.||Peafowl eggs are not available all year round. They are normally available in the spring and summer so you can only get them then.|
|You pay less for eggs than for the birds.||You can easily pay too much for eggs, because if you are unlucky like me, none of the eggs will develop or will quit developing after a week and then you will have to keep buying more eggs until you get something.|
|You get to watch your peafowl grow up.||You have to wait 3 years before the peacock will have his nice pretty train filled with eye feathers. The peahen will be pretty in a year.|
|You have even more time to plan out their adult pens because it will take around 25-30 days for the eggs to hatch and then it will be a while before the peachicks are large enough to need a big pen.||You have to wait for the eggs to hatch, which takes 25-30 days and during that time, you will be stressed out hoping they hatch and hoping that you didn't waste money.|
|You can have cute little peachicks right away without having to wait for a pair of peafowl to breed so that then you can have eggs to hatch.||For eggs you need an incubator and/or a hatcher, a brooder for the chicks, AND a pen for them as adults. You need a lot more stuff right away.|
|Getting eggs makes it easier for you to bring in new bloodlines. Shipping birds would be more costly than shipping eggs.||You never know what kind of bird you will be getting from an egg.|
|If the eggs don't work out it isn't as large of a loss as it would be if you lost a peachick or adult bird.||Peafowl eggs are harder to hatch then chicken eggs.|
|It can be exciting waiting to see what hatches out.||Eggs can easily get shaken up too much in shipping.|
|If you are a "hatch-a-holic" then this is great for you.||If hatching eggs stresses you out, this is not for you.|
I personally have had bad luck with shipped eggs. My advise is to try and find someone really close to you to buy peafowl eggs from. It would be even better if they were so close that you could drive there to pick up the eggs without having to worry about problems with shipping. Also, I would avoid hatchery sites and places like ebay for peafowl eggs. Seriously, if you find someone selling Java green peafowl hatching eggs on Ebay or craigslist, it is probably NOT for real!!! You will just end up getting Spalding eggs for green peafowl egg prices!!!
Yes, peachicks are very cute, and once again many people start off with peachicks. There is nothing wrong with that. They can be more fragile though, so be prepared.
|You don't have to worry about hatching anything!||You have to worry about the peachicks during their first few months of life because during this time they can sometimes be very fragile and can die randomly.|
|You get instant cuteness.||Peachicks need more attention.|
|Peachicks are easier to tame down then older birds.||Peachicks are small, so even a snake can get into their pen and kill them (which has happened to several people).|
|You get to watch the peachicks grow up.||You have to wait 3 years before the peacock will have his nice pretty train filled with eye feathers. The peahen will be pretty in a year.|
|You have peachicks right away without having to wait for a pair of peafowl to breed so that then you can eventually have peachicks.||You have to wait 2-3 years before your peachicks reach breeding age.|
|Peachicks make noises that adult birds don't make, so you get to enjoy those noises.||You won't get to enjoy that peacock call until your peacock is 2 or 3 years of age.|
|Peachicks don't take up much space.||Peachicks do need a heat lamp, perches, and preferably a pen off of the ground with a wire floor to help prevent them from getting something from the soil and to help keep the pen clean. When they are older then they can be moved to an adult pen.|
|Peachicks cost less than getting an older peafowl.||You can make more mistakes with adult birds than you can with peachicks.|
|Some breeders sell an assortment of peachicks, so you could get many peafowl varieties very easily this way.||You don't know what sex your peachicks are, and you might not even know if they are related or not.|
I didn't get started with peachicks, and I think peachicks are something you should worry about after you have had experience with an adult peafowl. Still, if you are not worried about them catching anything from your chickens and waiting 3 years for them to color out doesn't bother you, then peachicks are great for you! Once again, I would say avoid hatchery sites and places like ebay...Just sayin'.
(or almost yearlings)
This is a fantastic age to get your first peafowl at. At this point, they are hardy, but they are still young and will still take fairly well to taming down, but not as much as a peachick would.
|Great age for free-ranging. Just make sure you keep them penned for a few months before turning lose.||You will have to work with a yearling a little more to get it tame. The yearlings I have bought in the past were all spooky - Now they are not.|
|Hardy Age||They are in that in between where they aren't cute, and they aren't that beautiful yet. (although I still find them pretty)|
|Already full size or almost full size.||You don't get to watch the peafowl grow up.|
|You should be able to tell the sex of the bird at this point.||You still have to wait 1-2 years for them to be able to breed.|
|The personality of the bird will be evident by this age.||Yearlings don't do well with adult peafowl (Adults like to pick on them).|
|The peafowl will have color by this point (unless if it is say a white).||You still have to wait 2 years for the peacock to get a full train with eye feathers.|
|You don't need an incubator or peachick pen for this age group.||You do need a big pen right away!|
|The variety of the peafowl should also be more evident at this age.||Just not as cool as adults.|
|There almost always seems to be yearling peafowl for sale.||Can be more costly than an egg or a peachick.|
Seriously, yearlings are wonderful for a first time peafowl owner! I think they are a good in-between of peachick and adult.
These are breeder birds. If you want instant eye candy, look no further! I myself started off with an adult pair. I can tell you I think it was a great decision, but a bad decision to free-range them. Whoops!
|You don't have to wait years to see those beautiful eye feathers and the peacock displaying.||Harder to free-range. If they grew up on your property it is one thing, but if you got them as adults it can be very hard or impossible to get them to stay.|
|Adult peacocks have a regal appearance during breeding season.||You don't get to watch them grow up.|
|Adult peafowl can breed during the spring and summer.||You might not be ready to worry about peafowl breeding.|
|They make all of those cool peafowl noises you hear at the zoo.||The hardest peafowl to tame, but definitely not impossible. I have tamed adult peafowl.|
|Hardy||Could be hard to tell what age they are. You could be sold a peacock that was said to be 5, when really it is 20 and it ends up dying soon.|
|Easy to find for sale all year round.||The most expensive age group.|
|Easy to tell the sex.||You need a big pen right away.|
|Easy to tell the variety.||Hard to have shipped to you.|
|You don't have to guess what the bird will look like as an adult, because it is an adult!||Still have to wait for cute peachicks.|
I love adult peafowl. If I could start all over again, I would definitely get an adult pair. I just can't stand not having an adult peacock. You might not want to have adults right away though because then you will soon have to worry about breeding season.
In conclusion, younger birds are better for taming and for free-ranging but older birds are better for instant beauty and you will soon get offspring from older birds that you can then free-range. The decision is up to you now, but I hope this helped you figure out what peafowl you would like to start off with.
Also, keep in mind, I am a peafowl breeder, and I do sell peafowl. If I don't list any for sale at this time that doesn't mean I can't hatch out some eggs for you during the spring and summer if you let me know you are interested. Just a thought!