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8 Reasons Why Your Peacocks Are Dying

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Sometimes, you do all you can to take of your birds, yet the unfortunate happens—they start dying of unknown causes.

It can be tough and puzzling to see your peacocks die without knowing why. Obviously, if you knew why they were dying, you’d do all you could to remove the fatal factor.

Below, we go over eight possible reasons why your peacocks are dying. When done with this article, you might be able to determine the cause of the strange deaths among your peafowls.

1. Dehydration

Peacock on a farm interior

As with most animals, sufficient hydration is essential to the survival of a peacock. If your peacocks do not get enough water, their bodies will not function properly.

Dehydration in peafowls may come from heat or diseases. It may also come from insufficient water. If your birds are not getting enough drinking water, you may be pushing them towards dehydration. This is especially relevant if your peafowls eat a lot of dry feed.

At the start, dehydration may only cause mild symptoms in your bird. But with time, the drop in water level will hamper respiration, muscle function, nerve function, and digestion. If not treated early enough, the affected peacocks will die.

Dehydration is treatable with water and electrolytes. So, if you suspect that your peacocks are dying because of dehydration, contact a vet for treatment.

2. Disease

Your peafowls may be dying because of a disease, especially a transmittable disease.

If one of your birds gets sick with a transmittable disease, it might pass it on to the other birds. Unfortunately, you may not detect this disease early enough until after some peafowls start dying.

If the prognosis of the disease plaguing your peacocks is good, you might be able to save some birds from dying. But if it isn’t, you will most probably lose the whole flock.

One of the diseases that may be killing your peacocks is coccidiosis. Coccidiosis is a protozoan disease that affects the intestinal tract of peafowls. It may cause symptoms like fever, diarrhea, weight loss, and loss of appetite. However, there are times when it shows no signs until it is too late.

Poultry worm infestations are another top cause of unusual deaths in peacocks.

Capillary worms and cecal worms are particularly notorious as they can cause death within a short period. Ordinarily, cecal worms are not very harmful. But then, they carry the parasite that causes blackhead disease. This is where the real issue comes from.

close up of a peacock head looking in the camera

Blackhead disease is another disease notorious for causing death in peacocks. It spreads rapidly from bird to bird – whether peacock to peacock, peacock to other birds, or other birds to peacocks.

Besides peafowls, blackhead disease affects various poultry birds, including turkeys and guineafowls. In turkeys, the prognosis of blackhead disease is pretty poor. There is about a 70% to 100% chance of death for a turkey infected with blackhead disease. If the odds are that bad for turkeys, they wouldn’t be much better for peafowl.

If you suspect that your peafowls may be dying because of a disease, reach out to a vet immediately. Also, avoid exposing yourself to the birds. If you interact with the peacocks, wear protective clothing.

3. Egg Binding

Your peahens may be dying because of egg binding. Egg binding occurs when an egg gets caught in a peahen and cannot come out.

Egg binding causes significant pain to peahens. It is primarily caused by nutritional deficiency or nutritional imbalance.

If your peahens are not getting sufficient calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium, they may suffer egg binding.

Conversely, if your young peahens are getting too much protein too soon, that may cause egg binding.

Egg binding is treatable if you notice it early. But if you don’t, things might go downhill quickly.

When an egg is bound in a peahen, it may keep growing until it hatches. Unfortunately, if an egg hatches or breaks inside the peahen, it will cause internal injuries. The injuries may then get infected, leading to the peahen’s death.

Besides internal injuries and infections, egg binding may cause vent prolapse. Vent prolapse comes increased risk of infection. Of course, you already know what infections can do to peahens.

If you have the experience, you might be able to help your egg-bound peahen. But if you can’t, you should reach out to a vet for help.

4. Heatstroke


Heatstroke is a life-threatening disease, even for humans. So, if your peafowls go through extensive periods of activities that could cause heatstroke, they may die.

Heatstroke is pretty dangerous as it hampers virtually every physiological function in peafowls. Most importantly, it causes the birds to overheat. It also causes dehydration.

Heatstroke can kill peafowls pretty fast. So, you should treat it as an emergency.

5. Impacted Crop

An impacted crop occurs when your peacocks swallow an item they cannot digest. The indigestible item travels through the digestive system of the peafowl and gets caught in the crop.

Ordinarily, the crop should be able to digest whatever gets in it. However, since this is an indigestible item, it does nothing. The crop keeps swelling and letting in new feed until it’s completely blocked.

An impacted crop will not be able to digest food as it should. The consequence? Your peacock will starve and lose nutrients gradually until it eventually dies.

There are treatments for an impacted crop. So, if you believe that your birds swallowed something they shouldn’t have, reach out to a vet.

To keep your peacocks from getting an impacted crop, never allow access to indigestible items they can swallow.

6. Injury

Peacock with a beautiful colorful tail and crest

Whether internally or externally, there’s a fair chance that your peacock might die when injured. But then, it all depends on how you handle the injury.

For obvious reasons, you might be able to spot an external injury early enough. But if the injury is internal, you may never see symptoms, so the bird may die before you treat them.

7. Poisoning or Food Contamination

Your peacocks may be dying because they are eating poisoned or contaminated food.

If the feed, fruits, seeds, or vegetables you feed your peacocks have mold, they may be killing your birds.

Also, if the plants or plant parts you feed your peacocks have some pesticide or insecticide on them, that may be killing your peacocks. This is why you should wash such food items well, before giving them to your birds.

8. Old Age

Sometimes, your peacocks may be dying because they are old. Of course, if the cause of death is old age, your vet would be able to tell.


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