Cost Guide to Raising Peacocks
The first time I saw a peacock on a farm and not in a zoo was at a horse show I was competing in. Its regal appearance and crowned feathers on its head that made me come to the conclusion that these were expensive birds. In actuality, while peafowl are exotic in appearance, they are relatively easy to keep if you have the right environment. Peacocks are not expensive poultry, with a maintenance cost around that of more common poultry birds.
How much does it cost to keep peacocks? Your highest cost when starting a flock of peacocks will be your pen and coop, if unable to free-range. Expect to pay at least $1,000 total for these two initial investments. The peacock cost itself will vary according to age, gender, and coloring – from a $75 peachick to a $1,000 white adult male. When considering monthly costs, you should expect to pay around $25 per month on a small flock of peafowl for feed and dewormers.
Are you interested in raising peacocks? This article provides a complete breakdown of the financial commitment that comes with owning these birds. Keep reading!
Peacock vs. Peafowl: What Is The Difference?
While researching peacocks, you may have seen the term “peafowl” used to describe the bird. A peacock is simply a male peafowl. The males are called peacocks, females are called peahens, and chicks are called peachicks. While the appropriate term would be peafowl when referring to this group of birds, most use the term “peacock” interchangeably.
Initial Costs of Raising Peacocks
Initial costs required to keep peacocks will include the cost of the animal itself and, if not free-ranging, a pen and a coop.
What is the Average Cost of a Peacock?
The first cost you will want to consider is the peafowl itself. The cost of the bird will vary according to age, gender, coloring, and markings. In general, males will cost more than females, adult birds will cost more than young birds, and white birds will cost more than other colors. Oftentimes a peacock and peahen will be sold as a pair.
Expect to pay at least $150-$200 for one bird. You might pay as much as $700-$900 for an adult white peacock. Of course, these prices will also vary by region, as peafowl may be more widely available in some locations than others.
Another option is purchasing peachicks from an online hatchery – these hatcheries usually send out a set (often 8 or more) of day-old peachicks. You can get these young birds for around $50-$100 each. If going this route, expect to pay at least $500 for a set.
How Much Does a Peacock Shelter Cost?
There are essentially two ways that you can raise your peafowl – free-range, or confined. If you would like to free-range, you will ideally have around 5 acres of land or more. If you have less than this, you run the risk of your peafowl wandering off and not returning. If you would like to raise your peafowl in this manner, it is best to start with peachicks so that you can train them to return for food. Make sure that you have plenty of trees in the area for them to roost in, with branches high enough that the peacock’s long train will not touch the ground. And one last note – do not clip wings on free-ranging birds. You want them to be able to fly away from predators if needed.
If you have the right environment, peafowl will do best with a free-range lifestyle. Most of us do not have the perfect environment for free-ranging peafowl, however, and will need a pen.
When making a pen, you will need to have at least 100 square feet per bird, either enclosed completely or with a fence height of at least 8 feet. You can make this fence as simple or as elaborate as you would like. If making a simple fence with wooden posts and hardware cloth, expect to pay around $500 – $1,000 for a small flock of peafowl.
Peafowl are native to the jungle and prefer warm weather over cold. Green peafowl are especially susceptible to frostbite. If you live in a climate that sees cold winters, you will want to include a coop or treehouse in your peafowl pen. Again, you can make a simple coop, or a complex coop. If you don’t have a shed on-site that you can re-purpose, expect to pay around $500 or more to build a coop. It’s important to keep in mind that peacocks are larger than chickens and will need more room in a pen and a coop than a flock of chickens would need.
Maintenance Costs to Care for Your Peacock
Maintenance costs to keep peacocks will include feed and dewormers at minimum, and may extend to vaccinations and vet visits where appropriate.
Cost to Feed Your Peacock
Peacock feathers are 90% protein, and so they require a high-protein diet to maintain these feathers. You can use either a game bird feed or an all-purpose flock feed (the same feed you would feed your flock of chickens).
In most areas you can purchase a 40 pound bag of all-flock feed for $20. How long this will last depends on how many birds you have. For a small flock, plan to go through one bag, or $20, per month.
Deworming and Vaccinating Your Peacock
Peafowl are relatively hardy, and I know plenty of people who don’t vaccinate their peafowls at all. However, there are diseases that can afflict peafowl depending on your location; with Newcastle Disease and Fowlpox being two of the most common. Talk with your local avian vet to determine whether you should be vaccinating. If so, you shouldn’t expect to pay more than $50 per year, depending on how many birds you have.
You should definitely plan on de-worming your peafowl, however. Three parasitic infections that most commonly infest peafowl are blackhead, coccidiosis, and worms. These can be prevented by regularly de-worming your flock. Peafowl should be dewormed every four months, or even more frequently depending on the region you live in.
There are several brands of dewormer available, including Ivermectin, Tramisol, and Safeguard. Talk with either your vet or local feed store before deciding which is right for you. For a small flock, a bottle of dewormer may cost you between $20-$50, and will likely last you several administrations. Plan to spend an estimated $35 per year on dewormer.
Peacock Vet Costs
I’ll admit, never have a called a vet for poultry. However, if you plan on breeding peafowl and have invested a lot of money into these birds, you may think differently. If you do find yourself having to take your peacock or peahen into the vet, make sure that you find an avian or exotic vet. A visit to the vet may cost you around $30-$60 depending on your location. If you have a large flock and experience an unexplainable death, it is a good idea to take the deceased bird to a vet or university in your area to perform a necropsy. This often costs as little as $20 per bird. Necropsies can tell you a lot about the health of your flock.
Total Estimate of Peacock Costs
In summary, you should expect to spend at least $1,500 to get your flock started (this is assuming $500 for two or three peafowl, $500 for a pen fence, and $500 for a simple coop). From there, you should expect to pay around $25 per month on maintenance, which includes feed and dewormers.
How Many Peacocks Should You Keep?
Peafowl are social animals and because they are both tame and wild, we can see how they live naturally without human intervention. Peafowl in the wild live in groups, called “parties”, of around 5-10 adult birds. When kept as pets or poultry, it is best to keep multiple peafowl, ideally at least two to three peahens with one peacock. If you would prefer to keep just one peacock, however, you can do so if you keep them with other farm birds like chickens, ducks, or turkeys. While peafowl prefer the company of their own species, they will usually live contentedly among other poultry and game birds as well.
If you decide to keep multiple peafowl, carefully consider the gender that you would like to keep. Multiple peahens will live together happily. Peacocks, on the other hand, can quickly turn aggressive with other peacocks when living together. They will compete for territory and for the attention of the peahens. If you would like to keep a small flock of peafowl, it would be appropriate to keep up to five peahens and one peacock. If you would like to keep more than one peacock, make sure you have plenty of space, and enough peahens to limit competition.
Which Type Of Peacock Will You Keep?
While there are three main types of peafowl, two are kept domestically. These two are the Javanese (more commonly known as the “green peafowl”) and the Indian (more commonly known as the “blue peafowl”). Do your research on these two before purchasing your peafowl – having originated from different regions, they each have slightly different care requirements.
Peafowl are relatively inexpensive and simple to keep, and the sight of their plumage on full display in your yard will be well worth the cost.
How much does it cost to own other poultry birds? To learn more, visit my articles below!