Healthy diets

Dietary Habits of Peacocks

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. September 14, 2016
Dietary Habits of Peacocks

The most common kind of peafowl is the blue or Indian peafowl, also known by the scientific name Pavo cristatus. They are very popular across the world thanks to the spectacular tail and beautiful coloring of the males, which are called peacocks.

Since ancient times the stunning blue peacock has been associated to different myths and symbolic meanings across different cultures, religions and historical periods. From that we can understand that humans have been curious about peafowl for ages.

If you want to know more about one of the world's most beautiful birds, keep reading this AnimalWised article to learn what are the dietary habits of peacocks.

You may also be interested in: Dietary Habits of the Gorilla


  1. Habitat and distribution of the peacock
  2. Peafowl's omnivorous habits
  3. How do peafowl eat?
  4. What do tame peafowl eat?

Habitat and distribution of the peacock

An animal's original habitat is of key importance to understand their diet. Both aspects are closely linked, since its ideal environment will obviously be the one where it can get all the necessary nutrients to live, thrive and reproduce.

Blue peafowl originally lived in South Asia, especially in dense forest - both wet and dry. However, these birds have adapted to agricultural regions and nowadays they are even found very close to human sites, as long as they have water at hand. In our day and age it is very common to see captive peafowl in parks, gardens and zoos.

Dietary Habits of Peacocks - Habitat and distribution of the peacock

Peafowl's omnivorous habits

Peafowl have an omnivorous diet, that is, they will eat both other animals and plants. They feed from the soil - they don't fly - and that is where they take most of their nutrients.

Peacocks, then, can eat mostly everything. Among their favorite foods we can point out fruits, seeds, berries, plants, vegetables, insects, larvae and small reptiles.

Let's turn now to the way peafowl hunt in order to feed and fulfill their nutritional needs.

Dietary Habits of Peacocks - Peafowl's omnivorous habits

How do peafowl eat?

Let's see how do peacocks hunt and gather the different foods they take from their natural habitat in the wild.

  • Insects: Peafowl dig into the earth to search for worms and small insects like ants and larvae. They also eat spiders - although they aren't technically insects.
  • Lizards, frogs, slugs and snails: Peafowl get these prey by ripping open the flowers and vegetables where they usually hide. Their ingestion is a great source of proteins for the birds.
  • Seeds: These birds open up peppers, tomatoes and many different fruits to get to the seeds within. However, they rarely eat the pulp.
  • Berries: Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, redcurrants and similar foods are some of the peacock's favorite dishes. They get them directly from bushes and trees. Moreover, they are mad about the insects that they find around these ripe fruits.
Dietary Habits of Peacocks - How do peafowl eat?

What do tame peafowl eat?

When peacocks live in captivity, their diet should be as similar to their original food as possible. However, these is usually not so; most captive peafowl are fed feed for cattle, which is rich in concentrated cereals, or food for pets, which offers minerals and plenty of additional nutrients.

Besides these ready-made feeds, the diet of a pet peacock should include a wide variety of fresh and dried fruit, as well as various cereal and vegetables.

Dietary Habits of Peacocks - What do tame peafowl eat?

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Dietary Habits of Peacocks