When we talk to you about the white peacock, perhaps you think of the character of Lord Shen, the terrible adversary that the panda Po must face in Kung Fu Panda 2 ? It is a rare form of the blue peacock, less widespread and less known, but which nevertheless does exist. We explain to you who he is, what his needs are and how he is rising.
Who is the white peacock?
The white peacock has the same characteristics as the blue peacock, except that it has undergone a genetic mutation that changes its colors. While the blue peacock is called Pavo cristatus, the white peacock is called Pavo albus. The white peacock is not an albino peacock. The white peacock has leucism, which is quite different.
Indeed, albino animals have also undergone a genetic mutation but this prevents the production of melanin, a pigment at the origin of the black color. An albino animal can therefore be quite colorful and an albino peacock would also retain its blue color. Leucism (or leucistism) prevents the deposition of pigments, regardless of color, in hair or feathers. A white peacock is therefore a peacock possessing a recessive gene, that is to say which is expressed only when both parents have this gene, which limits the deposit of any color. A white peacock, however, may have some gray and black feathers.
The characteristics of blue and white peacocks
These peacocks come from South Asia. In the wild, it lives in open, dry or humid deciduous forests that thrive near a stream.
They are animals with a plump body, with a long neck ending in a small head with a crest and a short, solid beak. They are well known for their sexual dimorphism. For the blue peacock, the male can be recognized by his bright blue neck and his long train which can measure up to 1.20m in blue and green shades, punctuated with ocelli, these beards which end the feathers and form a drawing in the shape of a eye. The female is gray and her tail is short. Colors excluded, the morphology of the white peacock is identical to that of the blue peacock. The peacock is an animal that can fly, but it prefers walking, running and jumping to get around.
It is an omnivore that feeds on seeds, grasses, leaves, flower petals, insects, small lizards, frogs, etc.
Space to breed a blue or white peacock?
The male blue or white peacock is a particularly decorative animal. Good news: anyone can own one or more! These two peacocks correspond to a species of domestic animal and therefore do not require any request for a specific detention authorization.
Despite its elegance which could evoke delicacy and fragility, the peacock is a rustic animal, which never falls ill. The only care to consider is to deworm them twice a year to prevent the proliferation of parasites.
The peacock feels good in freedom and tolerates day parole. This animal needs a lot of space: 10,000 square meters minimum. This surface does not correspond to the surface for a peacock but for the group of peacocks that you welcome in your home. As peacocks are not monogamous, males need to be around several females.
If you want more sociable peacocks, you should give preference to those born in a dwarf hen or, failing that, in an incubator, and not under the mother. It is also recommended to let them go free. Peacocks are sexually mature at 3 years old, but some can be at 2 years old. They lay eggs in April and incubate for 28 days.
Their cry is audible for several meters around. During the mating season, which takes place from February to May, peacocks are on constant alert and will tend to cry out at the slightest noise or suspicious presence (a cat, a distant snap …), night and day.
The food of blue and white peacocks
The free-roaming peacock can feed on its own if it has a garden available and a variety of food. He takes what he needs and does not wreck the premises. Peacocks are very fond of salads and currants. In the diet to give them, you should give preference to natural products, fruits and vegetables. Even if they feed on their own, supplements based on cereals, which they adore, will be welcome: sunflower seeds, corn, millet or barley. Dry bread, crumbs, boiled potatoes can also be given. On the protein side, peacocks can take insects in the garden, as well as earthworms. Some owners give their peacocks ground beef every two weeks. Additional salt is also necessary. As a guideline, remember that a healthy adult peacock should absorb about 600 g of food in a day, of which about 10% is a mixture of flour. Obviously, we must adapt the diet, especially during the breeding season.
The relationship to blue and white peacocks
They are not shy animals: once they are used to their environment, they can come and take treats in their hands and bask in the sun on your terrace. They are not intelligent birds and they are easily conditioned. If you get into the habit of pulling out a colored box that you store the treats in, they’ll quickly come back to you every time they see the box.
Keep in mind that the treats should only be given every 15 days otherwise you risk causing overweight in your pets.
It is important to provide them with an aviary or other closed place, as soon as it is bright and sheltered from drafts.
The aviary is a landmark. The younger the peacocks, the better they will get used to. The ideal is to keep them locked up for 2 to 3 weeks, in the company of one or two hens. Then, you let go only one at a time so that the one who is free will come back to his companions. When the habits are established, you can let them all evolve freely in your home.
The aviary is also useful if your peacocks are breeding. The peacock will use it to put the two to seven cubs to which she will have given birth during the year, in the shelter, in particular from foxes.
The aviary must be vast, adapted to the size of these animals. It includes as many enclosures as peacocks. Their surface is 7.5 m2 minimum. The aviary should also have perches set 2 m above the ground, provided there are 1 m above their heads. But if trees are present in the garden, it is quite possible that they will spend the night there. The aviary is a place of retreat in the event of bad weather. Its floor is made of wood – it can be in the form of sawdust – or straw: these insulating materials limit the rise of cold through the ground. It is of course necessary to regularly clean the aviary.