Peacock Paradise
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Peafowl normally reach breeding age at three years;  some say two, but I have not seen this at Peacock Paradise.  Peahens will sometimes lay fertile eggs as yearlings, but most not until the age of two. They will lay their eggs in early Spring and into Summer. The best chance for a yearling hen to lay eggs is when she is in the same pen as a mature male. A mature male is a peacock which is at least three years old. A peacock will not have a full train until he is three years old. The tail train will lengthen and get fuller over the first two to three years. After the peacock is five or six years old, the tail train will remain consistent in length and quality for the rest of the bird's life as long as the bird remains healthy. The tail train is very important to the breeding cycle of peafowl. The peacock will molt the tail in late summer and this is when the breeding season will end. A two year old peacock that has a one to two foot long tail train will be a better breeder at this age than a peacock of the same age that doesn't have a tail train of any size.  (The Peahen will ignore him...similar to a young girl who sees a cool guy, but he has no car!)

A mature peacock in prime condition can be mated to as many as five peahens, or harem. The egg fertility rate for each male should be monitored closely to determine how many peahens each male is capable of mating with successfully. When selecting peafowl for breeding purposes, unrelated males and females should be selected. Inbreeding can lead to many problems with both the eggs and the chicks. No matter what age of peafowl are purchased or raised for breeding purposes, the birds must be healthy. A healthy bird will be active, have good feather quality, straight legs and toes, and clear eyes.
   
Peahens begin laying eggs in March (where there are warm climates) and will lay eggs every other day until a clutch of seven to ten eggs is achieved. At Peacock Paradise I have never had a clutch with more than six eggs, except when two peahens were sharing the same nest.  The eggs are light brown in color and are similar in size to turkey eggs. If the eggs are collected from the nest for artificial incubation, a peahen may lay as many as thirty eggs in season. Peahens which are allowed to roam freely about, will hide their nests in tall grass, around shrubs, or under palm fronds. The nest is a depression scratched out in the ground and lined with grass. Nests in these  locations are many times destroyed by possums, raccoons, and skunks which will eat the eggs. Peahens that are setting on these nests are vulnerable to attack as well. 
 
 
As a new mom, Cameo laid her first egg by the entry of our front porch after making a depression in the rocks.
Eventually she relocated and abandoned this nest for a more secluded area with less traffic.
 
 
I try to let my peahens attempt to hatch their own chicks. After a few attempts at incubation, I realized it is A LOT OF WORK!!.  The only time I will incubate eggs now,  is when the peahen has abandoned her nest, and the eggs are found to still be warm.  The eggs should hatch after a 28 day incubation period with a steady temperature of 99.5'.  When gathering abandoned eggs you will not know how long the peahen has already sat on them, so I always wait 28 days before determining they are not viable unless candling shows a clear egg.   I once made the mistake of opening an egg I believed was not viable only to find the embryo's heart beating.  This was a true lesson on patience.
 

Prince & Sage 2009