Peacocks are beautiful birds, and you should be a proud owner if you have one. One downside of raising peacocks is that their feed is costly. But don’t worry; there are ways to reduce the cost of peacock feed. For example, you can feed your peacocks alternative feeds.
What makes an alternative feed for peacocks? Can peacocks eat potatoes?
Peacocks can eat potatoes but only as treats. Potatoes do not make a good alternative feed for peacocks because they do not contain as much protein as peacocks need and contain more carbohydrates than birds need.
If potatoes are not a suitable alternative feed, how can you feed them to your peacocks? What is the best feed or alternative feed for your peacocks? Continue reading.
Can Peacocks Eat Potatoes?
Birds such as peacocks, turkeys, and guinea fowl love potatoes. They will surely run to you for more if you give them potatoes and sweet potatoes. Potatoes are sweet, and peacocks have a sweet tooth. You just need to make sure that you feed them to your birds the right way so that your birds don’t become ill.
Potatoes may be delicious and nutritious, but they do not have as much protein as peacocks need. This means that even though peacocks love to eat potatoes, you need to minimize how much you give and also give them foods with much more proteins so that they can grow optimally.
To understand why you should not give your peacocks too many potatoes, let us discuss the nutritional composition of these tubers.
Potato Nutritional Composition
Potatoes are truly nutritious even though they do not have enough proteins for peacocks. The table below shows how many nutrients are in 100 grams of potato.
Please note that the composition of each nutrient is represented by a percent.
|Nutrient||Composition per 100 grams|
As you can see, potatoes (like other tubers) are very high in carbohydrates. Potatoes have a high carbohydrate content because they are tubers. Many plants store their energy from photosynthesis as starch (carbohydrates) in their tubers. Even though potatoes are rich in carbohydrates, they are not so protein-rich.
A pet owner or farmer always pays close attention to the protein consumption of their animal feeds because without enough proteins animals cannot grow properly. Peacocks are among the largest birds, so they need a lot of proteins to grow big and maintain their long feathers.
How much protein do peacocks need?
Peacock Protein Requirements
Like gamebirds, peacocks need a very large amount of proteins.
It is common for baby peacocks or peachicks to require more than 30% protein in their diet for optimal growth. Any food item with lower protein content can negatively affect your peacock’s growth.
If you go back to the table above, you will notice that potatoes have just around 2% protein. Even though potatoes are sweet, they do not satisfy your peacocks’ nutritional needs, so you should not feed peacocks only potatoes.
How then should you give potatoes to peacocks? Continue reading.
How to Feed Your Peacocks Potatoes
You should not feed potatoes to peacocks as regular or consistent meals. You can, however, give potatoes to your peacocks in the following instances.
- Give potatoes to peacocks as treats: If you want to give your peacocks some treats or you want to reward their good behavior, you can give them some potatoes or sweet potatoes.
- Mix potatoes with protein-rich seeds for your peacocks: There are some seeds (to be discussed later) that have a lot of proteins and very few carbohydrates. To help your birds to have enough energy from their feed, you can mix some potatoes with those seeds and give them to the birds.
- Feed your peacocks various meals made with potatoes: You do not have to give only boiled or plain potatoes to your peacocks. You can give them some kitchen scraps made with potatoes and other ingredients.
Potatoes are super safe for peacocks when you serve them as treats, but there are things to watch out for. Continue reading for extra tips for when feeding peacocks potatoes.
What You Should Watch Out for When Feeding Peacocks Potatoes
Please use the tips below:
- Do not feed peacocks potato skins: Some potato skins are harmful for consumption, so it is not safe to feed peacocks potato skin. Just give your peacocks the flesh or mass of the tuber.
- Do not feed peacocks raw potatoes: Raw potatoes are difficult to digest and are not as palatable as cooked ones. They can also cause various health issues for your peacocks. Make sure that the potatoes are well-cooked before you give them to your peacocks.
- Do not overfeed your peacocks with potatoes: Potatoes have a lot of carbohydrates, and they can bloat your peacocks’ stomachs or even cause the birds to gain too much weight. Only give potatoes to peacocks as treats.
Make sure that you feed potatoes to peacocks in the right way.
Can Baby Peacocks Eat Potatoes?
You should not feed your baby peacocks potatoes. Recall that the younger a peacock is, the more proteins it needs. While older peacocks use proteins for reproduction and to repair tissues, younger peacocks need more proteins to grow their feathers, as well as other important organs and body parts.
This means that it is in your best interest to feed your baby peacocks protein-rich foods and not potatoes. Even though there is no rule that prevents you from feeding peachicks potatoes, you need to consider their growth requirements (e.g., protein needs as well as their other nutrients needs).
Now you know when and how to feed your peacocks potatoes.
What Should You Feed Your Peacocks?
Here are some regular foods that you can give to your peacocks.
1. Formulated Feed for Peacocks
Looking for the best food for your peacocks? Here you go. Peacock pellets have just the right amount of minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and other types of nutrients that your peacocks need.
If you are new to raising peacocks or cannot think of other feeds for your birds, feed them formulated feed. It is the best type of feed for pet or farm peacocks.
The only downside to feeding peacocks formulated feed is that this type of feed is expensive. To save money, you may need to substitute a little of your peacocks’ formulated feed diet with alternative types of feed.
Continue reading for more feed ideas for peacocks.
2. Mealworms and Other Insect Larvae
The best type of treat for your peacocks is insects. Peacocks love insects and insect larvae and will appreciate them as treats. You can use them for training your peacocks or rewarding their good behavior.
Note that most insect larvae are very rich in proteins, so you can feed them to your peacocks regularly.
The only reason why you should feed insect larvae to your peacocks as treats is that if you feed your peacocks too often with what they love, you may find it more difficult in the future to train the birds with them.
Mealworms are very healthy for peacocks, and you can even raise them by yourself and harvest some for your peacocks regularly.
Seeds are plant products that peacocks love a lot as well. Examples of seeds that you can feed to your peacocks are grains (barley, wheat, millet, maize, etc.), nuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and others.
Most seeds are protein-rich, so you can give them to your peacocks regularly, except for grain seeds, however. Give those to your peacocks as treats.
Note that most farmers and pet owners substitute up to 30% of their peacocks’ formulated feed diet with seeds. You can do that too, but make sure that you only do so for matured peacocks. Your baby peacocks should mostly eat formulated feed.
4. Fruits and Vegetables
Peacocks need their fruits and veggies for extra nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and fiber). You should occasionally treat your peacocks to sweet fruits such as cucumbers, apples, watermelons, pineapples, cantaloupes, etc. Peacocks also enjoy various vegetables.
Remember the protein needs of your peacocks when you are giving them treats.
Most fruits and vegetables are very rich in vitamins and minerals, so they make great feed supplements. This does not mean that they make good feed alternatives or substitutes. You can only substitute your peacock diet with protein-rich foods.
5. Natural Diet
Have you ever wondered what wild peacocks eat?
In the wild, peacocks eat whatever they can find. They can eat seeds, insects, earthworms, nematodes, and food from the ground, trees, and other places. You should raise your peacocks in a yard with a lot of space so that they can forage for some food by themselves.
Now you know a lot of food ideas for your peacocks. What will you be feeding your birds?
Peacocks can eat potatoes, but you should serve them as treats instead of regular meals. Remember that you should not feed your peacocks raw potatoes or potato skins. Also, always remember the protein needs of your peacocks.