During the summer months the peahens start to lay eggs. A peahen will lay one or sometimes two clutches of eggs during the peafowl breeding season. Each clutch can have up to six eggs in it. But how can you tell if a peahen is laying an egg? If the hen sits on the first clutch of eggs, she will then not lay another clutch of eggs during that breeding season. If you want to incubate the eggs they should be taken away from the peahen. The peahen will lay an egg every other day. During this period it s so important to protect the hens from foxes.

Every year I sadly get at least twenty phone calls from peahen owners that have lost their peahen to a fox while they were sitting on eggs. As an owner I believe it is our responsibility to protect the peahens during this time. It is easy to see when a peahen is going to lay eggs. This is an opportunity to tempt or manoeuvre her into a safe place. This space can be quite small. As the peahen will not move around much at this time, other than to leave the nest to eat and drink. If you find a peahen sitting on a nest then the kindest thing to do is to put up some protective fencing around the peahen. This will protect her.

It is important to protect the peahen

If you find eggs in the garden and a peahen is not sitting on them then pick them up and these can be put into a cool dry storage place. If you can get the peahen into a safe place then wait for her to lay another egg in her new situation. Once she has done this you can put the previously collected eggs down in a group with the freshly laid egg. The hen will then sit on the group of eggs when she has finished laying.

Peahen laying an egg
An Indian Blue Peahen preparing to lay an egg

The peahen will look quite different on the days that she is going to lay an egg. Her back will straighten and her tail will come up creating a straight line. The peahens body will look noticeably wider than normal.  Her wings will also droop downwards towards the ground. The peahen will stand about a lot with her tail up. All these symptons tell you that a peahen is lying an egg.

If the peahen has laid the egg in a safe place then the egg can be left where it is laid, until she is ready to start sitting on the eggs.