Peacock Nesting Habits | How Does The Peacock Build Its Nest?

A peacock’s nesting habits are more unusual than what one might expect. 

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Intro Video - Backtobirds

While they are more often seen roaming on foot in fields and forest lowlands and even resting on open grounds, peacocks do have nests. 

However, their nesting needs are quite different compared to other birds.

Peacock Nesting | Do peacocks have nests?

Yes, peacocks have nests. However, they do not live in their nests. 

Fully grown peacocks prefer to live on fields and lowlands. Nests are usually built for laying eggs and raising baby peacocks, better known as peachicks. 

It is quite common to see peacocks around their nests, even when they do not live in them. 

Female peacocks, better known as peahens, are the ones most commonly seen near the nests, as they play the main part in laying the eggs and raising the peachicks.

How does the peacock build its nest?

Peacocks do not participate in the building of nests. It is the peahens that build the nests.

In order to build the nests, peahens usually dig a hole in the ground. It is usually dug near bushes, small trees, or patches of tall grass. 

This hole is made large enough for the eggs to fit in with ease, and once they hatch, for the peachicks to grow with ease. 

Peahens use the following things to build their nest in the holes they dig:

  1. Grass
  2. Twigs
  3. Fallen branches 
  4. Fallen leaves
  5. Sticks available on the ground

Where do peacocks sleep at night?

Peacocks are known to sleep on trees in their natural habitat. 

Fully grown peacocks and peahens do not need their nests to roost. They usually fly up to a thick branch of a tree at night and sleep over there.

Do peacocks lay eggs in their nest?

Yes, the nests are built for the purpose of laying eggs and raising peachicks. However, peacocks do not lay eggs. It’s the peahens that lay the eggs and raise the offspring.

Peahens are very meticulous during the entire process of building their nests. 

Do peacocks need a nesting box?

Yes. Peacocks that are raised in captivity require a nesting box.

Peacocks, in general, require a lot of space. Given the long length of their tails, peacocks require aviaries that are large enough for them to roam in, and also to let them spread their tail feathers. 

Peahens also benefit from aviaries with enough space as they allow them to feed and raise the peachicks with greater comfort. 

Things to consider While making a nesting box:

1. Location of the nesting box

The nesting box must be located inside the aviary where the parents of the peachick reside. 

It can either be located in the center of the aviary or towards one of the corners. However, the location must allow easy access to the peahens.

2. Size of the nesting box 

The nesting area, in general, needs to be at least 80 to 100 square feet in size. As for the nesting box, it should be big enough for the peahen to fit in. 

The ideal size for the nesting box (made in a rectangular shape) should be around 46 inches in length and 32 inches in breadth.

3. The shape of the nesting box

Rectangular nesting boxes are the most common choice for most people. 

However, the shape of the nesting box does not matter as long as it is big enough to accommodate the eggs and the peahen. 

Nesting boxes can also be made in circular, triangular, and square shapes. 

4. The material used to make the nesting box

Wood is usually the first choice when it comes to making nesting boxes. However, as long as the material isn’t rough and feels natural, nesting boxes can be made with any material. 

Many nesting boxes are also made with soft plastic as well as rubber.

5. The material used inside the nesting box

The nesting box needs to look similar to the nests that peahens usually create. Hence, it would be best to fill it up with the same materials that most peahens often use. 

For example, sticks, straws, fallen leaves, twigs, and so on.

Interesting facts about peafowl’s nesting habits:

1. Participation of peacocks in the incubation process

Peacocks are not known to be a part of either the incubation process or the raising of peachicks. It’s mostly the peahens that play the primary role in both of these activities. 

Peahens usually incubate their eggs for a duration of 4 weeks. Once the eggs are hatched, peahens are the ones that feed the peachicks and take care of them.

2. Time is taken to get used to nesting boxes

Even when the nesting boxes imitate a natural nest, peahens kept in captivity don’t start using them immediately. They naturally try to make their own nest first. However, they can be trained to use the nesting boxes.

Food is usually the most preferred source to get the peahens to use the nesting boxes. If food is kept near the nesting boxes, and the area is private and feels safe to the peahen, they will not take long before they get used to using the nesting boxes. 

3. Unusual places to lay eggs

It is not uncommon for a peahen to lay eggs on the ground, outside of their nests. However, when laid on the ground, it is very easy for the eggs to crumble and break. 

It does not happen every time, but this situation is commonly seen in the peahens that lay eggs for the first time.

In captivity, it has been noticed that peahens can, at times, lay eggs while they’re sitting on a perch. This makes it easy for the egg to fall and break. 

For this reason, it is usually suggested to remove their perches from their aviaries during the breeding season.

4. Exception in nest building

If the peahens detect the presence of certain predators in the area, they can choose to build their nest on trees instead of digging a hole, in order to protect their offspring. 

Even when they’re raised in captivity, a peahen tends to build its nest in higher places than the ground if it does not feel safe in the nesting area.

Takeaway:

The peculiar nesting habits of peafowl are the reason why they need extra care and attention when raised in captivity. 

In the wild, the whole nesting process is completely natural, and the peahens know how to take care of their offspring.

To imitate this whole process in captivity requires a lot of attention to detail. However, it is not as difficult as it looks. 

As long as the peahens feel safe and comfortable, it is easy to get them to lay eggs and raise their offspring in captivity.

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