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Knowing When a Peafowl is Sick

I am not a veterinarian and I do not want to go into detail in this article how to treat peafowl for certain illnesses. It is my belief that the best way to find out what to treat your birds with is to get the opinion of several people instead of just one. I would depend on a bird forum such as Backyard Chickens to help you in the treatment aspect just because I don't want to give wrong advise in such a serious subject such as diagnosing your bird and what to then give them. Even though I am leery about informing you what to give your birds when they are sick with something, I will however in this article tell you the signs to look for to know if a peafowl is sick which is very important to know because if you can't tell when they are sick, you probably can't save them.

Every peafowl or bird owner has different illnesses that effect their birds. What my flock has issues with won't necessarily be what someone else's flock has issues with. Every peafowl is different as well.

A great way to be on top of keeping your birds health in check is to keep them in check. What I mean by this is you have to know your birds behavior. For example, my spalding white peacock, Frosty, is always very quick to run up to me for treats. One day I noticed he wasn't so excited about eating. I made sure to observe him carefully in the following days. He was eating a little but not a bunch. I then treated the whole flock and provided them with medicated crumble. He of course made a full recovery.

I know that this might seem subtle. I mean people will have off days and I know animals do too, so how does him not being as excited for food make him sick? Well, peafowl are masters at hiding illness. They are very tough birds. Some say that by the time you realize your bird is sick, it is too late. Your goal is to treat your peafowl before it is too late, so I will give you a list of things to look for.

Sick Peafowl Signs

- Lethargic - Lying around more than normal.

- Not eating - Peafowl don't eat all the time anyways, but if you have one that normally comes running to eat but instead now it is standing in a corner hunched over, it might be sick.

- Skinny - You can sometimes tell by looking at them or by catching them.

- Gasping for air - I think this is a sign of gape worm. Peafowl do pant but this looks different from panting. When they gasp they really open their mouth wide and puff out their throat. It is very obvious.

- Droopy wings - This is a classic thing that sick birds will do. I guess they are so weak that they can't hold up their wings. Droopy wings is not always a sign of sickness. For example a hot bird will pant and drop its wings so that it can cool down. A peahen that is about to lay an egg will drop her wings and pace around the pen. A sick bird that drops its wings will normally just be standing there moving slowly.

- Hunched over - Sick birds will not stand as tall as they normally do. This can especially be easy to spot in peacocks since the males stand more upright.

- Different stool - It might be very watery or in some cases like blackhead it could be yellow tinted although I have seen healthy bird stool that is a little yellow in color but just keep an eye out.

Keep your birds on a yearly worming schedule (I do it twice a year), and keep an eye on them. You might want to have a quarantine pen for new birds to stay in for a while so that they won't infect your flock with something just encase. Also have different medicine on hand. I am bad about keeping all the medicine I need on hand but it is very important to do.

There are not many vets who can help you, and you can save money by being your own avian vet. It all starts with knowing the signs!