What Do Peacocks Eat? Everything You Need To Know

What Do Peacocks Eat

What Do Peacocks Eat? 

Peacock is a member of a three bird species genera Afropavo and pavo within the Pavonini tribe of the family Phasianidae ( pheasants). All these species are omnivorous and have a similar diet but they differ in other important sects. 

Note- The male is referred to as a peacock. The female on the other hand is referred to as a peahen. The group collectively is known as the peafowl. But in this article, the term peacock will be referred to both male and female peafowl.

What do Peafowl/Peacocks eat? 

Peacocks are considered to be opportunistic omnivorous birds. They enjoy eating all kinds of various foods such as grains, seeds, insects, worms, leaves, figs, berries, small reptiles, and mammals. They also barge into farms with tomato or pepper cultivation. 

Peacocks’ diet usually depends on the season, location, and the availability of the type of food. For example, the diet of the Congo peacocks mostly consists of African breadfruit and oil palms.

In India, peacocks in Gujrat eat berries of some particular buckthorn plants. Peacocks living in different areas and ranges would inevitably have different dietary patterns. 

Peacocks’ diet, like most birds, is heavily plant-based. They have a specialized organ that helps them grind tough foods and grains. This organ is known as the gizzard, it is located near the digestive system. Sometimes peacocks swallow small pebbles and they are stored in the gizzard, this aids the grinding process. 

Peacocks’ Foraging Pattern 

Peacocks living in wild habitats forage during the daytime. At night, they sleep in huge groups among tall and open trees. Then, in the morning they forage for food in smaller groups.

Generally, peacocks take a break in the middle of the day to preen their feathers in the shade and return to forage one last time before the night falls. 

Peacock forage in groups and the group consists of both males and females peafowl in equal numbers usually in the non-breeding season.

In the breeding season, the foraging group consists of a harem with a single male peafowl and many breeding females and the other males forage in groups. 

What is the role of a peacock in the ecosystem? 

Peacocks are omnivorous birds that play an important role in the ecosystem. They help in regulating the number of insects, lizards, snakes, worms, and other small common animals. This facilitates, checks, and prevents the domination of any animal in the ecosystem. 

What do Peacocks eat in wild habitats? 

Peacocks in wild habitats have a typical omnivorous diet. They eat and enjoy berries, grains, leaves, snakes, worms, insects, etc. Wild peacocks constantly move in search of food. 

What is the life expectancy of a peacock? 

In wild habitats, a peafowl’s life expectancy is about 10-25 years. On the other hand, Captive peacocks can live quite long, from about 30-40 years. This is because they are well-fed and have fewer chances of starvation, predation, and other diseases. Wild peacocks can develop kidney or gout problems which may further shorten their life spans. 

Why do Baby Peacocks/ Peafowls eat? 

Baby peacocks are very mobile, unlike other baby birds. They usually feed themselves from the moment they are born. It just takes them a week or so to fly.

Baby peacocks usually just follow their mothers for the first few weeks and eat adult food most of the time. Once they learn how to forage food properly, they almost become adults. 

A general list of food that Peacocks eat

Peacocks have different diets and eat a wide variety of foods. So let us see a general list of food that all the species eat: 

  • Grasses 
  • Grains 
  • Berries 
  • Leaves
  • Insects 
  • Different parts of flowers
  • Worms 
  • Snakes 
  • Lizards 
  • Small mammals 

Also, know What is a group of ravens called?

How often do Peacocks eat? 

Peacocks usually eat very often. The availability of food and the food they forage makes it easier for them to eat readily. Peacocks require protein in a high amount every day to remain healthy. 

Do Peacocks eat snakes? 

Peacocks do eat snakes. They are a part of their omnivorous diet. They usually prey on small reptiles such as small snakes. Peacocks usually grab these snakes by their neck and roughly shake them until they are dead. Peacocks don’t like any small reptiles near their area. 

Do Peacocks eat rats? 

Peacocks living in wild habitats eat small animals. So yea they do eat rats. In addition, they eat millipedes, centipedes, mice, termites, frogs, etc. Captivated peacocks are given their food, and usually do not eat rats. They are not given rats in their diets but if they do find one in the field they might eat it.

Who preys on Peacocks? 

Peacocks are said to be almost defenseless, which makes them receptive to predators. Some animals that prey on peacocks are tigers, leopards, Jaguars, civets, dholes, raccoons, mongooses, jackals, etc. 

Humans also hunt peacocks for their meat, and eggs and to keep them captive. According to a lot of sightings and reports, peacocks have been seen eating their eggs. They break the eggshell with their beaks and eat the yolk. 

What do different types of peafowls/peacocks eat? 

Let us talk about three species of peacocks namely the Indian peacock, green peacock, and Congo peacock, and their diet patterns.

Indian peacock

Indian peacocks are predominantly blue. They are endemic to places such as India and Sri Lanka. But they are also found in Pakistan, Malaya, Java, Burma, and Ceylon. Their habitats are savanna, mountains, grasslands, and rainforests. They usually eat terrestrial worms, insects, amphibians, and reptiles. In plants, they eat roots, tubers, nuts, flowers, grains, and fruits. 

Green peacock 

Green peacocks are found in the areas of Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Over the past few years, green peacocks have become an endangered species. Their habitats include forests, savanna, grassland, terrestrial lands, and shrublands. They usually eat a variety of insects, plants, seeds, shoots, seeds, reptiles, amphibians, and worms.

Congo peacock

Congo peacocks are native to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. They are found in regions between Lomami and Congo River. Their habitats include terrestrial land and forests near watersheds and slopes. They usually eat insects and other vertebrates. 


In the above article we discussed what Peacocks eat, their foraging patterns, their role in the ecosystem, what wild peacocks eat, their life expectancy, baby peacocks’ diet, some particular foods, and who prey on peacocks, and what do Indian, green and Congo peacocks eat. 

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