Thinking of getting a peacock? Make sure it has room to play!

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When a lot of people think of peacocks, they imagine the regal animal standing there with feathers spread that we see in zoos and artwork.

two peacocks illustration
Two peacocks on a Japanese vase.

But, the reality is that peacocks need a lot of exercise. Below, you can see our two male peacocks, who have been together since before they hatched, playing “chase” through the bushes in our yard near where the chickens are kept. Like all peacocks, they like to both run and fly for exercise.

So, if you are thinking of getting a peacock as a pet, you will need to either have a lot of land where peacocks can free range or be able to otherwise provide your peacocks with an exercise area.

The free-ranging option comes with the risk that peacocks may fall prey to predators, including loose dogs and coyote. Alternately, peacocks have been known to “attack” and thus, scratch up, shiny things, like cars and glass doors.

We go with the penned but daily exercise option. We hope to eventually have a large enough area that is fenced in and has a net over it that the peacocks can be out as much as they want to run and even fly without worry of predators. But, for now, when they are out, we keep a close eye on them because of the fear of loose dogs.

Also, although our peacock tend to be really good about staying in the area near their pen (shown in the video) most of the time, occasionally they will decide to explore the neighbor’s yard or head toward the woods at the back of our field.

Usually, we wait to feed them till it’s time to come in and then they are easily bribed back into the pen with mealworms and chicken feed. In fact, if they don’t get their mealworms by a certain point (usually they are expecting them right before dusk, which is when we close them up in the pen for the night), they will get cheeky and start to fly over our heads, which is funny but also a bit nerve wracking given their size.

Another note about peacocks and exercise is the noise. We highly recommend having more than one peacock, as peafowl seem to get extremely lonely and agitated when they are by themselves. But, more than one peacock means extra noise.

The two we have now are extremely attached to each other and will honk back and forth to communicate.

When they get separated, that honking becomes very loud and panicky, even if if they are still within 20 or so feet of each other. As an example, they were flying and Sweet Pea flew around into the fenced in area of the backyard, but Trent flew up on the house and then back into the main area of the yard outside of the fence. In the video below, you can hear then honking back and forth trying to locate each other.

They continued to make the noise and it seemed to get louder and louder, with each of them seeming to freak each other out more and more each time they honked. We were able to coax Sweet Pea back to where Trent was and they settled back down though.

They also often honk and make loud calls when flying around their area in circles. This also just seems to just be a way of showing off. Kind of a way of saying “look at me! Look what I can do!” We think it’s hilarious (although our neighbors probably do not) and awesome to watch, although we’re not sure the neighbors love it as much.

We haven’t managed to get this on video yet, but stay tuned.

Although they are still young and haven’t tried it yet, we have the feeling that one of these days, they will fly all the way up to and perch on top of our house.

Thus, besides the room to exercise, the noise with peacocks is also an issue. We should also note that our peacocks are still are a year old and, although we hope not, their behavior might change in that they might want to explore further from home. At that point, we are really going to have to make sure we have that enclosed exercise area built so we can keep them safe!

While peacocks are amazing creatures, they are a lot of work, need a lot of exercise and looking after, and are pretty darn noisy at times. If this sounds like it’s for you, peacocks might be great pets. Otherwise, you might want to think about a less exotic pet. If you have neighbors, they may thank you. 🙂

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