Peacocks are rightly considered one of the most beautiful birds in the world. However, few people know that this bird belongs to the chicken order, the pheasant family, although it is one of the largest representatives of this order. Peacocks come from India and Ceylon, and their typical habitats are high forests with shrubs.
Peacocks are considered exotic birds for our country, and the number of peacock farms in Russia is very small (they can be counted on the fingers). Meanwhile, there is a steady and rather high demand for peacocks: they are purchased mainly for decorative purposes. Thus, breeding and rearing peacocks can be a great business idea, while the competition in this area is not so great.
It is widely believed that, since peacocks come from South Asian countries, the climate of central Russia does not suit them. In fact, peacocks tolerate acclimatization well (they even withstand frosts), are relatively unpretentious, have good health, and with proper organization of the farm there will not be any big problems with them. However, for the successful conduct of such an unusual business, its owner must have extensive experience and knowledge in this area, otherwise it is unlikely that unnecessary expenses will be avoided, at least in the first time.
Types of Peacocks
In the natural environment, peacocks keep in packs, feed mainly on plant foods and partly animals (eats insects and small vertebrate mollusks with pleasure). Peacocks live for about 20 years, and reach puberty in three years. One male is a group of 3-5 females. The breeding season lasts from April to August-September (depending on the length of daylight hours, which should be at least 12-14 hours). In captivity, peacocks usually make no more than three clutches per year, 4-10 eggs per clutch. The egg incubation period is 28-30 days. Chicks are born, covered in brown down.
Two types of peacocks are most famous - the ordinary (Indian) and a large number of its varieties, as well as the gigantic (Javanese). The first differs in the characteristic color of feathers - from blue with a transition to purplish blue with a green or golden hue (the most common type of ordinary peacock is blue). The ordinary peacock has a strong physique, has a relatively long neck and small head, short wings, high legs and an average tail length. On the head of males of an ordinary peacock is a crown of feathers that expand at the ends. When unveiled, the upper covering feathers of the hypochondrium (which many people confuse with the tail) open into a luxurious train, which consists of long feathers with circles at the ends. The tail length of an ordinary peacock rarely exceeds half a meter, while the train can reach a length of one and a half meters. Males weigh 4-4.5 kg. Females of an ordinary peacock, like many other representatives of the chicken family, look much more modest, but still very attractive. Their neck and chest are colored green with shine, and the rest of the feathers are brownish in color with light stains. Crest of female ordinary peacock brownish-green.
The Javanese peacock is much larger than blue, has a brighter color, plumage with a metallic tint, longer legs, neck and crown on the head, and his voice is less loud and unpleasant than that of an ordinary peacock. Males can reach a length of three meters. Moreover, the tail accounts for 40-47 cm, and the train - up to 160 cm. The male Javanese peacock weighs less than five kilograms. The head and upper neck are brownish green, the lower back is copper-bronze with brown marks, the shoulders and wings are dark green. Females of the Javanese peacock are similar in color to males, but have smaller sizes.
As a rule, on peacock farms in our country you can often see ordinary peacocks and their various varieties. The Javanese are significantly inferior to them in number, due to their rarity. Please note: young males of an ordinary peacock at the age of one to one and a half years in terms of “alongside” practically do not differ from females. Feathers typical for adults develop only in three years. Thus, if you take young animals, then keep in mind that your peacocks will not be ready for sale to “final” customers who buy birds to decorate their personal plot, only after 2-3 years, when they become “salable”.
One of the relatively new forms of the ordinary peacock is the black-shouldered (black-winged) peacock, which has blue-black shoulders and wings. Females of the black-shouldered peacock are distinguished by a light color with brown and yellow spots throughout the body. These peacocks are valued above blue. White peacocks, which are one of the oldest varieties of the common peacock, are also in great demand. Both males and females of white peacocks have a spectacular beautiful snow-white color and blue or blue eyes.
Please note: peacocks easily get used to a person, respond to a call and take food from their hands. But they cannot be kept together with other representatives of the chicken detachment, including ordinary domestic chickens, since the “royal bird” simply kills them to death. Therefore, if you plan to breed peacocks on your bird farm, make sure that they are kept separately from their distant relatives.
For keeping peacocks you can use large aviaries installed in a dry area. The frame is placed on a strong foundation and fitted with a stainless steel mesh with a cell of 1.5x1.5 cm. It is not recommended to take a larger mesh, as sparrows or rats that transmit various diseases can climb through it. The height of one such enclosure, designed for one adult (3-8-year-old male) and 1-5 females is 2.4-3 meters, width and length - five meters (2.5-3 square meters per bird). square meter). For breeding, the peacock family is “completed” at the rate of two males for five females. Each family should be kept in a separate enclosure or section.
Experts recommend making enclosures as high as possible. Inside them, at a height of 1.5-2 meters (but not less than one meter from the roof), it will be necessary to establish perches, since in nature peacocks, like other representatives of the pheasant family, prefer to spend the night not on the ground, but on tall trees. The floor of the enclosure is covered with shell rock or large river calcined sand. Moreover, the layer of such a flooring should be at least five centimeters (and optimally - 10 cm). Small pebbles are poured on top, which is used by birds to grind food in the stomach. In the corner you can pour a bucket of ash: such dry baths are very useful for birds. Part of the land in the aviary is recommended to be planted with forage grass and shrubs, which will provide the birds with a natural forage base.
On the north side, an avian shed is also attached to the aviary, also high up to three meters, 2.5 meters wide and 3 meters long. The enclosure and the barn should communicate with each other using manhole windows wide enough for an adult male peacock to pass through. The barn is equipped with bird perches and nests with a height and width of about 50-60 cm and a depth of 70 cm. Nests are needed so that the eggs do not scatter throughout the room. You can make nests from old boxes, but still experienced peacock breeders prefer to use wicker baskets that are more convenient in shape and well ventilated, or old car tires. The inner space of the nests is filled with finely chopped straw or sawdust.
On some farms, peacocks are kept in closed houses. This option is suitable if you purchase an existing farm with all the buildings, because the arrangement of the house from scratch will cost significantly more than aviaries. The floor in the house can be clay, cement or wood. From a practical point of view, the second option is better: the cement floor is more durable, easy to clean, protects the room from rats and mice, which cause great damage to households. However, it is too cold. Although adult peacocks are quite resistant to cold, chicks on too thin litter can easily catch a cold. Your house may need to be rebuilt a bit if the room has narrow passages between feeders and various equipment and walls. Chicks, hiding in these crevices, often choke each other. Exits from the premises to the walks, as a rule, are located in the corner parts of the building at the floor level.
Experienced poultry farmers are also advised to foresee a place for installing a clamshell in the house. At first glance, these are trifles, but when you have to get up several times a night to check the chicks, this advice can be very useful.
Before you start the chicks, the room must be processed. For disinfection use a 5% solution of soda ash, 2% sodium hydroxide solution, 20% freshly slaked lime or 3% formaldehyde solution. Processing should be carried out at least three days before the introduction of daily chicks. After disinfection, the house is dried using electrical appliances, the litter is laid, drinkers and feeders are placed. As litter, as in aviaries, crushed straw, hardwood shavings and dry sand are used. Most often, poultry farmers use straw, as it has absorbent (absorbs excess moisture) and heat-saving properties. However, in order to avoid the appearance of parasites and harmful bacteria in it, it is recommended to pour dry lime under the straw. In hard-to-reach places of the premises and in the corners, the straw layer is increased to half a meter to prevent the chicks from clogging in them.
In the summer, experts advise keeping peacocks on a free range in the territory of the household. It is noted that when kept outdoors, chicks develop faster, gain weight better and have better health. In regions with a harsh climate or during the cold and rainy season, chicks are kept in the house until they reach one month of age. At the same time, it is extremely important that the conditions of their maintenance are as close as possible to natural ones (ventilation, temperature, lighting). If the birds are not kept in enclosures, but indoors, then the windows in the latter should be large in order to let in enough light. Otherwise, you will have to take care of good artificial lighting, which is associated with high costs.
Many novice poultry farmers are worried that cries of peacocks can cause discontent among neighbors. In fact, peacocks do not cry very loudly and, mainly, only during the mating season. Therefore, it is unlikely that their screams, even if not the most melodic ones, will cause much trouble to others. If the cries are heard at inopportune times (for example, in the early morning), when the males begin to shout to each other, with other birds and animals, then you must close the trouble-maker in complete darkness. In extreme cases, if you can’t calm him down in other ways, they scream the screamer for the night in a long cardboard box.
Although peacocks are granivorous birds, but they are not very demanding and picky in food. The main thing is that the water and feed are always fresh. Keep the feeders and drinkers clean, rinse and disinfect them regularly.
To save money, many farmers substitute up to 40% of grain feed in their diet with various mixtures: boiled potatoes, chopped fresh herbs (alfalfa, herbs, clover, sweet cereals, nettles), hay flour, trash (in winter) and grated vegetables. Grain to peacocks is recommended to be pre-washed and sieved, and leaves and grass should be washed and dried. In the winter season, during the morning feeding give germinated grain. Peacocks are fed twice a day (in the morning, they give a wet mash, and in the evening, dry grain mixtures), and during the breeding season (spring-summer) and molting (September), they are transferred to an intensified three meals a day. Make sure that after morning feeding the mash does not remain in the feeders. A peacock eats about 200 g of grain feed and 400 g of fresh herbs per day. But from March to September, additional vitamin feeds, as well as dry protein feed (200 g per day per bird) are introduced into the diet of males and peacocks that have reached puberty.
Breeding and growing peacocks
As mentioned above, peacocks breed mainly in the spring-summer period. Peacocks reach puberty in the third year of life. From the fourth year, their egg production increases, but after five years it begins to gradually decline. However, unlike other birds, peacocks are kept, as a rule, until the end of their lives. From one adult female, you can get up to fifteen (and in rare cases, up to thirty) eggs. However, for this you need to remove new eggs from the nest every day (in general, there are usually three masonry cycles with weekly breaks). Usually the average number of eggs in a clutch is 6-7. Peacock females are good brood hens. In captivity, more eggs are laid under one female than her wild relatives usually hatch (she can very well hatch all the eggs laid by her - that is, 12-15 pieces). But if you take young inexperienced females, then they may have problems with hatching. In this case, you will need either the help of a more experienced brood hen (on some bird farms peacock eggs allow to incubate turkeys or chickens) or incubators. The latter option will reduce losses. The fact is that even with good care of the parental pair, chicks hatch from only 80-90% of the eggs hatched by the female. When using an incubator, this indicator tends to 100%.
After the appearance of the chicks, they, together with the brood hen, are planted in a separate aviary, where there must necessarily be shelter from rain and sun. Peacock chicks, like pheasants, are fed from the very first day millet, fresh cottage cheese, wheat bran, cornmeal, greens, carrots, and boiled eggs (up to 5 g per chick per day). The food is laid out on plywood sheets. Experts advise drinking daily chick vitamin juice, which is prepared from nettle juice, alfalfa and carrots in an equal ratio of all ingredients. The first ten days of the chicks are fed every two hours, gradually bringing the number of feeds to one month old up to five per day. From a month, chicks can be fed with feed for broiler chickens, and they begin to eat whole grains from the age of 45 days. By the age of ten days, the chicks replace the fluff with feathers and begin to fly. It is by these feathers that it will already be possible to distinguish young growth by sex: in females the tail feathers of the wing are brown (gray-brown), and in males it is light brown in color with a splash of absolutely white feathers.
For breeding, they leave only strong chicks that stand well on their feet, are active, well pubescent, have a healed umbilical cord. To test the reaction of the chicks, you can tap on the floor of the house or aviary. Birds that do not respond to noise are not allowed to divorce. Some of the rejected birds can be raised for sale, some are slaughtered. Although peacocks are not bred for meat because of the too long period of cultivation, but their meat is very tasty and healthy.
In the event that you are buying chicks for the first time for divorce, it is recommended to get special heating appliances - brooders. The temperature in the room where the chicks are kept can be regulated in various ways, for example, changing the location of the brooder or turning the heating elements on and off. The humidity level in the house should be maintained in the region of 60-70%. It is recommended that this indicator be carefully monitored using measuring instruments. With the active use of brooders, indoor humidity can fall below this level, which leads to increased thirst in birds, impaired appetite, poor digestibility of feeds and a decrease in growth rates. High humidity in the house also adversely affects the health of young animals, worsening their appetite, resistance to disease, negatively affecting the growth rate. In addition, with increased humidity, the walls of the house are damp and moldy fungi appear on them. The humidity level in the house can be controlled by ventilation. At high humidity, ventilation is enhanced (hoods are turned on, windows are opened), and at low humidity, it is weakened.
Expenses and income
If you read the specialized sites, then the picture with the income from peacock farms looms very bright. The cost of one adult peacock varies between $ 100-3000 per bird. The exact amount depends on the type and age of the bird. For feathers collected after seasonal annual molting of one male, they promise revenue in the amount of 40 to 80 of the same dollars. And according to rumors in France, white peacock feathers sell at a price of 100-140 euros. But are these promises true?
Before calculating the planned revenue, you need to determine the costs of organizing a peacock farm. The construction of enclosures, the purchase of the necessary equipment and feed will require about 100, 000-150, 000 rubles. The exact amount depends on the area of the plot, the area of the enclosures, the number of families that are planned to be kept in them. You can, of course, start by buying a couple of families, but it is hardly worth counting on a large income in this case. A significant item of expenditure is the purchase of the birds themselves. They are purchased in specialized nurseries (the largest in our country are in the Moscow, Rostov, Volgograd regions). According to the latest data, peacock eggs can be purchased here for 500-700 rubles. Young animals under the age of 1-1.5 years will cost 3000-4000 rubles per head. Adult peacocks cost 12, 000-15, 000 rubles per pair. For a three-year-old peacock of beautiful colors, you will have to pay a considerable amount in the amount of 15, 000 to 25, 000 rubles. Obviously, it is most profitable to grow chicks yourself for subsequent sale. If you want to make a profit as soon as possible, and not in three years, then you can buy young animals, grow and sell them, but your income in this case will be less.
Most peacock farms were initially organized not so much as a business, but as a hobby. Therefore, their owners were prepared for the fact that they would not receive the first profit from the sale of peacocks in less than three years, and that their costs of organizing a farm would be recouped under the most favorable conditions in 5-7 years. If you have an additional source of income (for example, a poultry farm), then for starters you should buy one family - one male and 2-3 females. For the first year you can learn all the wisdom of this matter, get offspring, evaluate your labor and financial costs and understand whether the game is worth the candle. In this case, the initial costs will be from 15 thousand rubles (purchase of birds), provided that existing aviaries or the construction of new aviaries on their own. The income only from the sale of birds can be up to 50 thousand rubles. An additional source of income for such farms is guided tours for children and adults.
По разным данным, которые сложно проверить, крупные дичепитомники зарабатывают от 70 тысяч рублей в месяц. Но нужно учитывать, что помимо павлинов, они разводят на продажу также другие виды птиц, включая фазанов, перепелов и т. д.Sysoeva Liliya (c) www.clogicsecure.com - a portal to small business business plans and guides