Peacocks are ground-dwelling birds well-known for the male bird’s colorful train of feathers. The three peacock species, or peafowl, are native to Asia and Africa. The name peacock refers to male peafowl specifically but has become the common name for the birds of these species.
The Indian Peafowl was introduced worldwide and is easily recognizable everywhere for its striking plumage, while the Congo Peafowl from Africa and Green Peafowl from Southeast Asia are not. Green Peafowl are considered an endangered species.
Wild peacocks are only found in their native lands, but peacocks often escape the farms and gardens where they live in other parts of the world, becoming feral. Peacocks living in the wild can live for at least ten years, while domesticated peacocks live for at least 20 years.
How Long Do Domesticated Peacocks Live?
Domesticated peacocks live on farms, in parks, gardens, and zoos worldwide. They offer a stunning beauty that draws the eye wherever they are kept. These domestic birds have few predators, especially once they reach adult size.
Peacocks kept as pets or livestock typically lead long, sedate lives. Most people do not eat them as they do other domesticated birds, and if they are kept safe from potential predators with access to plentiful, nutritious foods, peacocks live an average of 15 to 20 years.
Like other domesticated birds, peacocks prefer living within groups, and caretakers of these birds often recommend having three or four peacocks instead of only one. Additionally, peacocks thrive in communities with other birds, such as chickens and turkeys.
How Long Do Wild Peacocks Live?
Wild peacocks in their native ranges live in forested areas where they can forage for food on the ground and roost in trees to sleep and escape predation. They eat an omnivorous diet that consists of plants, seeds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians that live in the leaf litter layer.
Feral peacocks live worldwide in areas where once domesticated peacocks escaped their enclosures or were released by their owners. These birds sometimes live in suburban and urban neighborhoods where they survive because people feed them.
Peacocks that live wild in their native range can live an average of 15 years, depending on the species. Unfortunately, two peafowl species are listed as either endangered or near threatened due to habitat destruction. As a result, their average lifespan is decreasing.
Feral peacocks can live longer than 15 years if they roam around areas that are friendly to these loud, often aggressive, birds. In some parts of the United States, however, homeowners do not enjoy these animals and may hunt or poison them to decrease their population size.
What Kills Peacocks?
Peacocks in their native range are susceptible to predation from large mammals and raptors such as leopards, tigers, mongooses, feral dogs, eagles, and hawks. In these regions, people also hunt them for food.
In parts of the world where peafowl have become feral or are domesticated, stray dogs, foxes, raccoons, coyotes, hawks, eagles, and large cats prey on them. Peacocks that live in suburban or urban areas also die from car collisions.
Diseases in domesticated peafowl are common, especially when they are kept in flocks with other birds. Some of the deadliest illnesses include Avian Cholera, Fowl Pox, Marek’s Disease, and Blackhead Disease.
What is the Oldest Peacock?
Peacocks in the wild do not live as long as domesticated peacocks because they have too many natural predators. As peacocks age, they become less able to evade predation. Male peafowl are likely more susceptible to predation than females because of their long train of feathers.
In the wild, peafowl can reach 25 years of age but are unlikely to survive longer. A maximum age record for any of the peafowl species in the wild is unavailable, so anecdotal evidence is all that researchers have to estimate the maximum longevity of wild peafowl.
Domesticated peafowl can live for more than 30 years based on anecdotal evidence from people who keep these birds as pets. The oldest domestic peafowl on record, however, lived to be 23.2 years old.