Baby peacocks – also known as peachicks – are omnivores like adult peacocks. But like most other poultry birds, the diet of peachicks differs from the diet of adult peacocks in some ways.
So, what do baby peacocks eat?
Baby peacocks are omnivores, so they eat both plant and animal matter. They typically start out on processed feeds that are rich in protein. But they also enjoy fruits, insects, worms, vegetables, snails, and other similar food items.
There’s more to the diet of peachicks than we summarized above. So, below, we discuss the details of what baby peacocks eat.
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What Do Baby Peacocks Eat?
Like adult peacocks, baby peacocks have an extensive diet. They eat various food items, including insects, snails, small reptiles, fruits, vegetables, and seeds. However, baby peacocks feed primarily on high-protein game bird starter feed in their early days in domestic settings.
Of course, things are different for baby peacocks in the wild; they have no access to starter feed. So, they have to make do with what is available to them.
What Baby Peacocks Eat in the Wild
The diet of a baby peacock in the wild is not so different from that of adult peacocks. As expected, baby peacocks may not be able to nibble on larger-sized food items like the adults. But most of what they eat is similar to what the adult peacocks eat.
In the first 1 to 2 days of their lives, peachicks can thrive without food as they survive on nutrients from the yolk they absorbed. If you are familiar with birds, you probably know that most baby birds absorb their yolk sac on hatching. The phenomenon is the same in peachicks.
After the first two days, baby peacocks survive on the food their mothers offer them. Peahens bring soft food to their peachicks for a couple of days after hatching. Then a few days after, the peachicks start trying to get their own food.
In about 3 to 4 days, a baby peacock may have started foraging for itself. But sometimes, it could take a few weeks – 2 to 4 weeks. The good news is baby peacocks are rapid growers; you wouldn’t have to wait too long for them to get into full stride.
In the early days of baby peacocks foraging for themselves, they try to figure out what is edible and what isn’t through the guidance of their mother. In other words, peachicks pay close attention to their mothers’ hunting and foraging skills in the first few weeks/months. This is essential to their survival as peachicks that do not know how to hunt and forage typically die earlier.
In this early stage, they will search for softer food items. But after 2 to 4 weeks, their beaks become sharp and strong enough to go after other foods. So, at this point, they will start feeding or trying to feed on amphibians, snails, slugs, lizards, and more.
What Baby Peacocks Eat in Captivity
When in captivity, the diet of a baby peacock is different but not too different from the wild. One factor that makes this difference is processed feed.
In the wild, baby peacocks do not get processed feed. But in captivity, you may have to provide that for your birds. This processed feed could either be high-protein game bird starter feed or cat food.
The inclusion of high-protein game bird starter feed in a peachick’s diet comes from a need to meet the high protein needs of baby peacocks. For context, peachicks need around 25 to 30% protein – almost twice the protein contained in chicken feed.
Besides boosting protein intake, people include commercial feed in the diet of baby peacocks when they do not have enough backyard space for foraging. Ordinarily, the birds will sort themselves out like in the wild if they are enough foraging space. But in the absence of that, you have to provide high-quality game bird starter feed to ensure they develop as they should.
In many cases, however, people give their baby peacocks high-protein starter feed no matter the foraging conditions.
After raising your peachicks on game bird starter feed for 12 weeks, you may move them to adult peacock feed.
While the primary peachick diet in captivity is game bird starter feed, you should add some treats to the mix. Your baby peacocks may seek out insects, lizards, worms, and arthropods on their own. But you could get them some dried mealworms, dried insects, fruits, and vegetables.
13 Vegetables You Can Give Baby Peacocks
- Carrot top
- Carrot leaf
- Swiss chard
17 Fruits You Can Feed Baby Peacocks
- Bell Pepper
- Gall berry
- Pineapple core
When feeding fruits to peachicks, you should de-seed fruits with large seeds. Doing this will keep the baby peacocks from choking on seeds. You can read more about what fruits peacock love to eat here.
9 Things Baby Peacocks Should Not Eat
- Fatty foods
- Junk foods
- Moldy foods
- Rotten foods
- Salty foods
Baby peacocks eat about the same thing as adult peacocks. However, in captivity, they need high-protein feed for the first three months of their lives. Beyond the first three months, their diet becomes the same as adult peacocks.