Peacocks are not for everyone. They're definitely only suited to people who live in relatively rural areas with plenty of space, appropriate trees and warm weather or adequate winter shelter. Daily care is simple. "Peacock" technically means males -- females are "peahens," while both are "peafowl." Care of white peacocks is the same as for other colors.
Place your new friend into the chicken coop upon arrival. He'll need to stay in these temporary quarters for a minimum of three weeks to familiarize himself with you and his new home.
Keep several inches of clean hay or straw bedding on the floor at all times. Rake out and replace as needed. As long as it's deep enough, washing the floor is unnecessary.
Wash feces off the roosts by hosing and scrubbing. If they're removable you can also sponge them with 10 percent bleach-to-water solution and allow to air dry in direct sunlight, but this isn't essential. Do not allow your bird to come in contact with bleach.
Mix 4 parts turkey feed to 1 part sunflower seeds. Feed at least once daily in the morning. Read feed package instructions for general guidelines of how much to feed for eventual adult weight. Most peacocks stop eating when they're full, and it's acceptable to feed them free-choice, but don't add extra seeds. You can feed off the ground -- fowl usually dump feeders onto the ground anyway. Peacocks enjoy variety and can eat most human food and kitchen scraps. They'll spend most of their waking hours foraging for additional foods.
Provide fresh, clean water at all times. The dish should be shallow enough that the bird cannot drown or become trapped and contain no more than a couple inches of water. A clean, new kitty litter pan works well.
Allow your peafowl to leave the coop after three or more weeks. Ideal peacock habitat is wide open, free of aggressive dogs, excitable children, cars and predators. They need tall trees and will enjoy roosting on any high surface, including roofs. Many spend all their time outdoors, but a few will return to their coop at night. If you have cold winters, you'll have to build an adequate shelter, which may need additional heat depending on your area. Consult your local university agricultural extension for advice if you live in such an area.
- Peafowl reach sexual maturity at around three years of age. Since white peacocks don't exhibit sexual color variation like other breeds, you may not be able to tell whether you have hens or cocks until this age, when cocks develop a train of tell-tale peacock "tail feathers." Adult peacock roosts must be at least 5 feet high to keep their trains off the ground, but all prefer high roosts.
- Peafowl are extremely loud. You may not mind, but your neighbors will. Be sure you have enough space. They need to wander and forage and will fail to thrive if kept cooped. Few peafowl are handleable, so forget about bathing your grungy white peacock. Most manage to groom themselves back to their original color sooner or later.
Angela Libal began writing professionally in 2005. She has published several books, specializing in zoology and animal husbandry. Libal holds a degree in behavioral science: animal science from Moorpark College, a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and is a graduate student in cryptozoology.