What Do Peacocks Eat? Complete Food List And Interesting Facts

Christian Mba
Oct 13, 2023 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Oct 23, 2021
Two green peafowls eat grain.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.7 Min

Peacocks are magnificent yet fierce birds well-known for their beautiful and multicolored tail feathers.

Peacocks are omnivores birds and have a varied diet, mainly consisting of an array of plants and animals. They are opportunistic feeders and do nitpick while rummaging and eating food.

Peacocks eat just about anything edible that they come across. They eat both plants and animals to fulfill their nutritional needs.

They feed on plant foods such as wild plants, flowers, fruits, leaves, seeds, grains, plant shoots, stalks, and roots. Along with that, they eat insects, worms, amphibians, rodents, small reptiles, and other small animals or creatures that they find while scavenging for food.

The peacock is actually the peafowl's male bird, whereas the peafowl's female bird is called a peahen. Peafowl consists of three bird species.

The first bird species of peafowl, the Indian Peacock, is native to India and Sri Lanka. The second species, called the Green Peacock, belongs to Southeast Asia. The last bird species of peafowl is the Congo Peacock from Africa.

Peafowl primarily reside in the wild. Their ideal habitat is dense forests with trees for roosting. They generally make their nests near abundant water sources such as streams and rivers. However, some species of peacocks are raised and kept as domesticated pets.

Peacocks are also kept in zoos or some captivity. The wild and the tame peafowl food requirements are not very different. However, a peacock's diet mainly depends on the bird's anatomy and habitat.

Did you find this article on peacocks fascinating? Give a read to these fun fact animal articles on what do frogs eat and what do iguanas eat here on Kidadl.

How do peacocks eat snakes?

Peacocks eat snakes and will prey on all different types of snakes. They feed on big and small snakes, venomous as well as non-venomous snakes.

Peacocks do not like snakes or any other small reptiles near their nesting area or within their territory. If a peacock comes across a snake, it will attack it and make a meal out of the snake, if possible. The peacock will grab the snake in its beak and shake it until it stops fighting.

What do baby peacocks eat?

Baby peacocks are called peachicks. The eating habits of the peachicks generally depend on their habitat and their anatomy. They usually follow the eating and feeding habits of their parents.

After hatching from the eggs, the peachicks maintain the nutrients they absorb from their yolk sacks for a couple of days. After that, their mother looks after them for a few days and feeds them various food such as grains, seeds, berries, insects, small animals, etc.

Peafowls teach the peachicks to hunt and forage for food. Peachicks typically learn to hunt down and forage for their food very quickly.

Beautiful colorful Indian Peafowl Peacock.

What grains do peacocks eat?

Peacocks generally love eating grains. They enjoy feeding on a variety of grains. Peacocks enjoy feeding on wheat and corn. They also consume grains like oats, rice, sorghum, barley, and many more.

Peacocks are omnivores, meaning that they feed on plants as well as animal matter. Peacocks eat a wide variety of foods. Below is the list of the foods that peacocks consume apart from grains.

Peacocks love eating plants. Plants are known to be one of their primary food sources. They peck on all kinds of plants and feed on various parts of plants such as soft green leaves, tender shoots and stalks, flower petals, flowers, grain seeds, seed heads, and succulent roots. They eat grass seeds, grasses, wild plants, flowering, and fruit-bearing plants.

Peacocks love munching on a wide variety of juicy fruits and vegetables. They relish eating vegetables like lettuce, kale, spinach, cabbage, cucumber, peas, beans, and many more. They also savor fruits such as grapes, berries, cherries, strawberries, apples, mangoes, and any other fruit that they come across.

Peacocks are excellent at catching and eating insects and small worms. They eat insects like grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, beetles, moths, butterflies, termites, ants, bugs, earthworms, maggots, millipedes, centipedes, mealworms, and just about any other worm or insects they spot while digging and pecking in the soil. Insects and worms are rich sources of protein for peacocks.

Wild peacocks are fond of eating amphibians such as frogs, newts, toads, salamanders. These birds have lightning-fast peafowl reflexes, and they hunt down amphibians that they find lingering in shallow waters or on marshy lands.

Peacocks also catch hold of rodents and feed on them. They like eating small ones such as rats, mice, squirrels, and rabbits. They poke their prey with their beaks and tear them open to eat.

If you are rearing peacocks as pets, you should ensure that they are fed with a high protein diet and get essential nutrients from their food. You can feed them a variety of foods as they are not picky eaters.

You can feed the pet peacocks a diet of grain meal, seeds, berries, chopped fruits, chopped fresh leafy green vegetables, boiled and cooled vegetables, small insects and worms, eggs, meat, and poultry products.

Along with that, you can give them small portions of bird food, pet food, cat food, baby peacocks food. Feeding the peacocks, cat food, or pet food once in a while is recommended but not as their main diet because pet foods have high sugar and sodium content.

You can also include commercial protein supplements in a peacock's diet.

You can provide peacocks in captivity with game feed pellets. These game feed pellets are good during the cold season when there may be a scarcity of natural or protein-rich foods. The game feed pellets have a high protein content and other essential nutrients that help peacocks stay healthy and strong during wintertime.

Peacocks in captivity mainly depend on human food products for their survival. They love to consume almost all kinds of food that humans eat. Peacocks eat bread, bread crumbs, cooked fish, meat, eggs.

Consuming human meals can be healthy and beneficial to peacocks. However, some of the foods may contain high levels of calories, fat, chemicals, and preservatives, which can deteriorate peacocks' health and lives. The peacock diet can include human food, but it should be given to them in moderation and small quantities.

While rearing or petting the peacocks, some foods should not be given to these birds, as pecking on such foods can be detrimental to their health. Foods with high spice and salt content and deep-fried foods are unhealthy for peacocks.

They are high in calories, fats, and sodium which is toxic for peacocks' health and tail feathers. Such foods may also cause dehydration in these birds.

These foods have very little to no nutritional benefit. They should not be a part of the peacock's diet.

Stale food and leftovers are also not suitable for peacocks. They can contain harmful bacteria and germs that can cause food poisoning in peacocks leading to deterioration in their health and may even cause death.

Beverages that consist of caffeine and alcohol can be toxic for peacocks. Such drinks can cause fatal health issues in peacocks and may also lead to death. Regardless of what you are feeding peacocks, it is necessary to provide them with fresh and clean water to drink. Keeping them well hydrated will, in turn, keep them healthy and thriving.

What do peacocks eat in the winter?

During the winter and cold conditions, peacocks require extra proteins. In the cold weather, peacocks prefer eating small animal-based foods, including reptiles, rodents, amphibians, insects, and other small creatures.

Wild peacocks eat any small reptile that they find around. They mainly eat lizards and snakes.

Peacocks are pretty fierce, and they can quickly overpower these small reptiles. They also munch on leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and kale, but animal-based food provides better nutrition during the winter months. Such foods provide them with additional protein and healthy fats to keep them warm and provide the energy to survive in colder weather.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what do peacocks eat, then why not take a look at what do rhinos eat or peacock facts?

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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