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Peacocks belong to the genus of large birds of the pheasant family of the chickens order. These birds are characterized by the presence of a flat, elongated tail. Peacocks keep in flocks (small or large). A significant part of the diet of peacocks is plant food.
However, peacocks also eat food of animal origin (these can be small vertebrates, insects, mollusks). This is the common peacock and the Javanese peacock.
The common peacock is widespread. This applies to India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan. It can be found at an altitude not exceeding 2000 meters above sea level.
The Javan peacock in natural habitat is found at an altitude of 900 meters. The Java peacock inhabits the territory of Java, Indochina, it can be found in southern China, western Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh and northeastern India. Until the twentieth century, the Javanese peacock was not bred in captivity.
This is not to say that the peacock is very fertile in captivity, but it is possible to breed this bird. Peacocks find it difficult to get along with other poultry. However, with regard to the conditions of its detention, the peacock also tolerates rather severe cold. This bird also does not care about snow.
Peacock feathers have been the subject of fishing since ancient times. Poachers catch these birds not only for the sake of amazing feathers, but also for the meat, which, although it does not have taste characteristics, can successfully mix with the meat of other birds.
The peacock is famous for its tail. First, we are talking about a male peacock. And secondly, not at all about his tail as such, but about the unusually beautiful elongated feathers of the loin. During the current, peacocks proudly walk in front of the females, while raising and expanding the feathers of the upper tail. It turns out to all from the famous huge fan. During the current, the duration of mating poses and dances in peacocks is approximately fifteen to twenty minutes, and the intensity of such behavior significantly depends on the state of the weather. It is in not very hot, rather cool, weather that peacocks are more willing to show. With the arrival of the peacocks, molt begins, during which the male loses almost all feathers of the upper tail. However, even now he still looks very handsome. He keeps himself more calm at this time. Actually, the peacock's tail is not very large. Its length is approximately half a meter. When the peacock's fan is folded, its tail under it is practically invisible.
The peacock was famous in the ancient world. This bird was sacred and according to legend belonged to the ancient Greek goddess Hera. Legend has it that Hera (and in Roman mythology Juno) gave the peacock a thousand eyes. The reason for such a gift was the death of the all-seeing Argus. Peacocks are very common as a symbol of greatness. The peacock often became the emblem of royal powers, for example, in ancient Rome, this bird was the emblem of the empress and her daughters. At this time, the emblem of the emperor was the eagle. Moreover, the Shah's court in Persia was called the "Peacock Throne".
There are two Asian species of peacocks. This is the common peacock and the Javanese peacock. The habitats of these peacock species do not overlap. However, hybrids between individuals of the common and Javanese peacocks often occur when these birds are kept in captivity. The first person to cross between cristatus and muticus was Kate Spaulding. After her name, the hybrid is called "spaulding". An interesting fact is that the offspring from such crosses is absolutely fertile.
The population of the common peacock is very numerous. The common peacock (aka crested, aka Indian) is a monotypic species. This means that peacocks of this species have a range of color variations, although there is no sub-species subdivision. These variations are the result of mutations. The body length of an ordinary peacock ranges between one hundred and one hundred and twenty-five centimeters, the length of the tail ranges between forty and fifty centimeters. The length of the tail tail feathers often reaches one hundred and sixty centimeters. elongated, the weight of the male of the common peacock is approximately equal to four kilograms, the size of the female is somewhat smaller. The color of the male of the common peacock is very bright - the back is green, part of the chest, neck and head are blue, the lower body is black; the female is colored more modestly. In addition, the female lacks elongated uppertail feathers. The common peacock is domesticated by humans.
The common peacock is widespread. It can be found at an altitude not exceeding 2000 meters above sea level. The common peacock inhabits woodlands and jungles. It can often be seen not far from villages, along river banks, in forest clearings. The number of the common peacock significantly exceeds the number of the Javanese peacock, which declined sharply in the second half of the twentieth century. At the same time, the distribution area of the Javanese peacock was significantly reduced.
The peacock flies well. On the contrary, the peacock does it extremely reluctantly. Rather, the word "proud" can be used in relation to this bird. As a rule, peacock flights are very small in distance.
The peacock is a polygamous bird. The male lives with a group of three to five females. Peacocks become sexually mature at about three years of age. The breeding season starts in April and ends in September. The female lays four to ten eggs directly on the ground. In conditions artificially created for peacocks (in captivity), the female makes up to three clutches per year. Incubation of eggs lasts twenty-eight days.
Acclimatization in peacocks is relatively easy. These birds are very unpretentious to the conditions of their keeping. Moreover, peacocks are insensitive to cold and rain. In the southern part of Russia, peacocks can roost directly under the open sky both in winter and in summer - these birds should be kept in insulated sheds only in the most severe winters. And then with the onset of daylight, they can be released into the fresh air.
There are certain rules for keeping peacocks. First, it should be remembered that these birds absolutely cannot live next to chickens, including domestic chickens. Peacocks can easily beat them to death. Secondly, with regard to the diet, it should be similar to that usually received by domestic chickens. Peacocks love bread, grain, meat, root vegetables, etc. thirdly, you need to take care of enclosures. They must have tall poles. The height of the latter, as a rule, is two to three meters. It is recommended to put a roof over the poles. Its purpose is to provide shelter for peacocks from the scorching rays of the sun and rain streams.
Domestic peacocks are easy to breed. True, the number of females per male should not exceed three or four individuals. The period when female peacocks rush is conditionally limited to mid-spring - mid-summer. Up to thirty eggs can be collected from one female. To create all the necessary conditions, it is required to equip a nest for the female in some secluded place in the aviary. As such a nest, for example, a box or basket will come down. The bottom of the nest is covered with straw. By the way, the nest is also very useful in the sense that the eggs will be in it, and will not be scattered throughout the enclosure. There are times when a female peacock, sitting on her perch, lays an egg. In a similar situation, it falls and breaks accordingly. To avoid the latter, the bottom of the enclosure directly under the perch is covered with a significant layer of sand or sawdust. Fallen eggs will not hatch a peacock chick. Such eggs are only suitable for human consumption. When it comes to incubation, peacock eggs are often placed under chickens or turkeys, while female peacocks themselves, as a rule, do not hatch eggs very well. However, if the chicks hatched directly as a result of the incubation of eggs by female peacocks, then the latter are very careful about their offspring. The female searches for food for the chicks, heats them, and in rainy weather hides under her plumage.
After birth, peacock chicks are very tender. They are sensitive to bright sunlight (as well as to rain), as well as dampness and cold. It is in view of this that the chicks should be looked after as carefully as possible. As soon as the chicks dry up after birth, they need to start feeding. The diet of peacock chicks is similar to the diet of domestic chickens. However, in the first days of their life, peacocks should be given fresh herbs and small mealworms, and then add oatmeal, millet, barley, and crushed wheat. When the chicks reach two months of age, their diet becomes similar to that of adult peacocks. They don't give up on sweet fruits and berries. In addition, peacocks also eat animal food. These can be insects, leftovers of meat, etc. One of the possible dishes for domestic peacocks is the following. Meat powder is mixed with bread crumbs. Bread crumbs are ground with flour diluted with water. It's also a good idea to add hard-boiled eggs to this dish (also grind them). For normal development, peacock chicks should be given more freedom. The fact is that peacocks themselves are very temperamental birds. Hence their love of movement. Between six weeks and two months of age, peacocks require special attention and care. This is the time when the process of tuft formation begins in the chicks. At the same time, chicks especially need mineral feed and vitamins. The lack of these substances is extremely unfavorable for the health of the peacock. By the age of three months, it is already possible to distinguish young peacocks by sex. In males, rudiments of spurs are noticeable on the legs. Males also have a longer tail. And at the age of eight months, while females keep themselves rather calm, fights are not uncommon between young males. That is why, when the males reach the specified age, it is recommended to isolate them from each other as much as possible. Otherwise, these birds can significantly injure each other.
Peacock feathers are a trade item. This has actually been the case since ancient times. For knights of the Middle Ages, feathers served as an attribute of hats and helmets. Peacock feathers were prized by girls as original ornaments. And although it cannot be said that peacock meat is tasty, nevertheless, large feasts were often accompanied by the serving of such a dish as a fried peacock in all its glory (that is, together with feathers). This kind of custom took place until the end of the sixteenth century. Moreover, in those days, peacock eggs were also used for food. Peacocks were even specially bred. At the beginning of the last century, these birds were not often kept for the purpose of decorating, for example, parks. The reason was the losses that took place in the maintenance of peacocks, as well as in the not very pleasant voice of these birds. However, at present, the peacock in the role of a decorative bird in parks and poultry yards is already quite common. Peacock hunting is officially prohibited in India. Although this fact does not interfere with poachers at all. Peacocks for them are not only amazing feathers, but also meat. The latter, having no gustatory characteristics, is successfully mixed with turkey or chicken meat and in this form goes to store shelves.