Peacock is the correct name for a male peafowl, while peahen is correct for females. Because of the male’s incredible iridescent beauty, we tend to refer to males and females as peacocks.
Whether you use the correct names or not, there is no denying that peacocks (or peafowl) are among the most spectacular birds on the planet!
Peacocks feel right at home in a warm climate, so they naturally have a better capacity to resist heat. While this is an incredibly positive result of their evolution, it does not mean they can be left without support and attention during the hot summer months.
Keep reading to learn what peacocks need when temperatures rise and how you can help them.
Is It True That Peafowl Can Survive in Very Hot Weather?
Two well-known species of peacock are the blue peacock, which is native to Sri Lanka, and the green peacock, which is native to Myanmar and the Indonesian island of Java. The Congo variety is the third most common type of peafowl and originates in the jungles of Africa.
The weather in most forests on the equator is always hot and humid. The average temperature in tropical rainforest regions ranges from 68 to 84°F (20 to 28.8°C), and never dips below 64°F (17.7°C)!
Even though the weather in tropical rainforests is always hot, the temperatures never get as high as in drier parts of the equatorial belt. This is due to abundant cloud cover, which helps reduce the average number of sunshine hours per day to between four and six.
Still, the high humidity levels in the air are usually over 50% during the day and close to 100% at night, making the heat seem very intense.
Peacocks use their surroundings to minimize incoming solar radiation. The climate is regulated because the plants and trees of the rainforest act like a giant parasol. For the peacocks to survive, they need access to all-season water sources.
If you have peacocks, ensure you provide plenty of shade and water while the temperature rises in the enclosure under your watch.
How Do Peacocks Cool Themselves Down?
Birds can survive in extremely hot conditions by employing various strategies that use their natural surroundings and body traits.
Birds release excess heat through the bare skin on their legs, feet, wattles, or comb, by finding shaded areas and breathing rapidly.
When a bird breathes, it takes quick breaths that move air over its moist lungs and throat. Water evaporates as a result and removes heat from the bird’s body. Some of its body heat is released every time the bird breathes out, making it feel slightly colder.
Fluffing the Feathers
Peafowls lift their feathers and spread their wings so air can get to their skin and take away some of their body heat.
Contact of the body with cooler surfaces
Touching cooler surfaces allows peafowls to reduce their body temperature. In warm weather, they like to burrow into moist, chilly soil.
During the heat, peafowls spend a lot of time resting quietly in the shade to prevent overheating.
Symptoms of a Peacock Overheating
- Putting out its wings and fluffing up its feathers
- Drinking more water and eating less than usual
- Being weak in body
Peacocks originated in the rainforest, and the tropical jungle naturally has plenty of water sources. Remember that water is one of the essential factors for peafowl during hot weather.
Your peacocks will need their water dishes refreshed several times a day. Stinky, stagnant water isn’t good for your birds’ health, and it might make them sick if they drink it.
A water feeder or watering nipple is a simple solution for preventing water contamination and spilling. Cleaning and managing the water supply using watering equipment is also less hassle.
Don’t hang water feeders for peacocks. Peafowl can experience wing damage if entangled in the line or wire used to hang a water feeder.
The water can be kept chilled for longer by adding ice cubes. Or, if you’re using large troughs to serve water, you can keep the temperature down by placing frozen water bottles inside.
You can ensure that your peacocks never go thirsty if you give them various water sources in shady, cool spaces.
Birds raise their respiratory rate in hot conditions to cool off. However, vital electrolytes are lost through heavy panting.
Peafowl can’t keep their fluid balanced without these electrolytes. Therefore, it is necessary to provide the flock with electrolytes and water to prevent dehydration.
These electrolytes are necessary for the peafowl to retain water. So, in addition to water, electrolytes should be given to the flock to keep it hydrated.
You can either purchase an electrolyte supplement or DIY using some common kitchen products.
Electrolyte supplements for purchase:
- Sav-A-Chick, Vitamins & Electrolytes
- Durvet, Vitamins and Electrolytes for Poultry
DIY recipe for the electrolyte solution:
- 3/4 gallon of water
- Eight spoonsful of sugar
- Half a teaspoon of salt, table salt, or sea salt
- Half of a teaspoon of baking soda
Provide electrolytes by following the manufacturer’s instructions and consulting your veterinarian before trying a home remedy.
3. Water the Pen
Use a garden hose to spray water over your peacock’s pen to reduce the ambient temperature. It would be ideal if you could do it several times during the day, but you should give it a shot at least twice a day on particularly hot days.
Having as much grass as possible in the bird’s run is also a good idea. Grass keeps water longer and is cooler than bare ground.
To reduce the heat in the aviary, a mister is an excellent purchase.
You can buy single or multiple standalone misters that attach to a garden hose or install a more complex, permanent misting system.
Sprinklers in a permanent misting system may be operated automatically and configured to activate at specific times of day or night.
The mist created by sprinklers gives the peacocks a much-needed break from the heat while imitating the humid, muggy conditions of the rainforest where they are originally from.
As a bonus, your peacocks can also take a relaxing mud bath.
5. Dust Bath
When a peafowl comes into contact with a cooler surface, its body temperature drops.
It’s important to provide a particular location in the peacocks’ aviary for them to burrow into the dirt, preferably in a shady place or several different places to ensure space for the whole flock.
Shrubs and trees planted within the enclosure can provide peafowls with natural protection from the sun. That’s the simplest answer and the closest to how things work in nature.
But if you can’t give the birds access to natural plant cover, you will need to come up with an alternative approach.
To make deep shadows easily, you just need to stretch a large piece of dark fabric over a few sets of posts.
You might also try to build a shady structure for your peacocks. If you do this, you’ll have a long-lasting shelter that your birds can use for several seasons and on rainy days all year round.
7. Cooling Snacks
It won’t take you long to whip up some nutritious, refreshing snacks.
Cut some fruits, veggies, or herbs and pop them in the freezer for a few hours.
Spread the frozen treats around the aviary or drop them into water containers.
Here are some suggestions for healthy fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you can use:
8. Avoid Overcrowding
To provide the ideal living conditions for your birds, you must follow a few criteria when determining how much room you will need for your flock. Remember that peafowls are larger than most birds and require more space.
Full-grown peacocks can reach lengths of nearly 6 feet (1.8 meters)! Fencing should be at least 6 to 7 feet (1.8 to 2.1 meters) high and provide enough space for each peacock to roam freely.
Remember that peacocks thrive in groups of five or six adults, so you need a sizable pen.
Without proper ventilation, a coop can rapidly become unbearably hot and stuffy.
If you find your vents’ natural airflow insufficient, install some fans in your coop to help keep the temperature down.
Peacocks are tropical forest-dwelling birds. Even though they have an inherent natural tolerance to heat and perform better in the heat than other poultry, you must provide them with heat-resistant settings.
Imagine a dense tropical jungle. Many animals and birds benefit from its protection. Huge trees offer shade from the sun, and a steady water supply is available thanks to the humid environment and regular rainfall.
That’s just what your peacocks require in the heat. If you provide plenty of shade and water, and if you add delicious cold snacks, they will be both happy and healthy.