It is that time of the year to start breeding peacocks. We have been so busy moving the peafowl into their breeding groups for the season. At the beginning of each peacock breeding season we identify which peacocks and peahens we are breeding with.
These will be the breeding groups for the whole season unless a male proves to be infertile. In which case we will move in an additional peacock part of the way through the peafowl breeding season. The peafowl need to have time to get used to each other, so we move the birds into their breeding groups by the end of February. Breeding peacocks is exciting and rewarding!
The Java peafowl are more highly strung than other breeds of peafowl. So we move the peahens in with the peacocks at the end of the year as they seem to take longer to get into an established group.
As we move the peafowl at night to minimise their stress! Late at night working with head torches we move peafowl between the different peacock pens. Moving the peafowl at night also means that the birds do not fight in the new groups.
Hygiene is important when breeding peacocks
The next job is to clean and disinfect the incubators. We use two cabinet style incubators for hatching the peachicks. At the height of the peafowl breeding season both incubators will be full. So maybe it is time to get another incubator!!!
Cleaning and disinfecting the incubator is really important. You can buy specialist incubator disinfectant for this purpose. Clean all egg trays and water trays thoroughly to ensure that there is no bacteria within the incubator environment. This could damage the peafowl eggs and affect fertility.
Breeding peacocks groups established, incubators cleaned, spreadsheets updated ready to record the peafowl eggs laid, peafowl eggs incubated and the number of peafowl eggs hatched. We wait with eager anticipation for the first peacock egg of the season to be laid.
Often the results of incubation from the first peacock eggs are disappointing with low fertility. The eggs incubated during the second week usually show better results. Consequently by the third week of egg laying, the fertility rate has improved dramatically.
The anticipation is growing and I am excited about the start of the peafowl breeding season.