I am often asked when do peacocks lay eggs? Do peacocks lay eggs?
The short answer is that they do not, peahens lay eggs, as the peacock is the mae of the peafowl species. After breeding peahens will start laying eggs in early spring. The exact timing will depend very much on the weather! When the weather is warmer the breeding season will start earlier. This year we had our first egg laid on the 3rd of March, very early! However usually the peahens will start laying around mid April.
Peahens reach maturity at two years old, although some will start laying eggs as yearlings towards the end of their first summer, when they are over one year old.
Peacocks on the other hand do not reach full maturity until they are three years old. It is at this time that they have developed a full tail or train This is a symbol for fertility. The peacocks tail will continue to develop until they are five or six years old. After this time; as long as the peacock is healthy the tail length will be constant. Peacocks can be fertile towards the end of their second summer. For this reason I always put a two year old peacock into each of the breeding pens with the older peacocks.
Towards the end of the breeding season the mature peacocks, aged three years or older will moult and loose their tails. After this time they are infertile and no more breeding will occur during this season.
When are peahens eggs laid?
The peahen will lay an egg every other day usually during the evening. It is easy to see which peahens are going to lay as their wings look droopy and point downwards. If the eggs are left in the nest a peahen will lay a clutch of four to eight eggs. If the eggs are removed for incubation the peahen will continue to lay eggs every other day. Up to thirty eggs have been recorded as laid by a single peahen.
The peafowl eggs are light brown in colour and a similar size to turkey eggs. The eggs from the Spalding peahens are larger in size. The White Peahens eggs are lighter in colour than the Indian Blue Peahens eggs or the Black Shouldered Peahens eggs.
During the breeding season the peahen may stop laying, however after a break she will lay a second clutch. Some peahens will go on to lay a third clutch of eggs. So to clarify do peacocks lay eggs, no just peahens!
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