Green-necked Peafowl, Burmese Peafowl, Java Peafowl
Scientific Name: Pavo muticus
Java Green Peafowl are strikingly colored, and there is little sexual dimorphism. The males have iridescent green feathers edged in black, which have the appearance of scales. Their crests are erect and their heads are covered in iridescent blue-green feathers. There is a bare patch of yellow and blue beneath each eye. The flight feathers of the Java Green Peafowl are chestnut in color, but the wing coverts are blue and green. Their tails take the shape of a huge fan, which stands upright behind the bird. It may also be carried closed in a trailing fashion. The feathers are brilliantly colored with the pattern of an eye shape, and have a golden sheen throughout. Female Green Peafowl have coloration that is not as iridescent as the male, and their tails are shorter and less impressively colored. Males and some females have spurs.
Java Green Peafowl will usually need to be wormed twice yearly with a commercial wormer in order to ensure they are in prime health.
Java Green Peafowl select mates by displaying their tails and choosing the bird with the loveliest feathers. In late summer when the breeding season is over, males will molt their tails. By three years of age, a male Java Green Peafowl has reached sexual maturity and can service up to five hens. Some hens may lay eggs as early as one year of age, but usually are not bred until they are three years old. Beginning in April, Java Green Peahens will lay seven to ten eggs in nesting boxes. If the eggs are removed, they may lay up to 30 eggs. Generally, they scrape out depressions in the ground, lining them with grass, though in an aviary, a nesting box filled with hay will usually be utilized if provided. The eggs should be incubated at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit and will hatch in 27 to 30 days. They may also be incubated by the mother, or they may be incubated by a chicken or duck! After the eggs have hatched, the baby Java Green Peafowl should be kept warm. Begin at 95 degrees Fahrenheit and decrease the temperature by five degrees for each week that the young birds age. After the 4th week, the peachicks should be living in a daily temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and if this is the normal daily temperature in the location they are living, they should no longer need the heat lamps. Wire bottomed nursery aviaries work well, and they should be lidded. Teach the baby peafowl to eat or drink by placing a chick into the enclosure that already knows how. This may be another Java Green Peafowl or a young chicken or duck. Also, a marble placed in the food or water bowl may be helpful, as the young birds will peck at it and thus the items in the bowl as well. Medicated starter feed is generally used, mixed in with a bit of lettuce or grass in order to interest the chicks.
Many people are familiar with the lovely sight of a peacock's brilliant tail gracing the grounds of their local zoo or animal park. It is possible to keep your own peafowl in many areas; the Java Green Peafowl is one variety of these lovely birds which may flourish in captivity.
Although they are exquisitely beautiful, Java Green Peafowl may not be the correct bird for everyone. The lovely males may be aggressive toward their keepers, and these animals require a lot of space because of their large size. Also, they will live for about 45 years so you must be prepared for a long-term commitment to them. You will need a large enclosure in which to keep your Java Green Peafowl, so that they may spread their tails sufficiently, about six feet in height and eight feet square. They are fairly hardy, although in colder climates they will need to be protected from extremely cold weather. In colder climates, flat perches are a good idea for these birds and may aid in keeping their toes from becoming frostbitten! Java Green Peafowl will do well with perches all around their enclosure, and the aviary should have a sturdy mesh top since these birds are such strong fliers. In the winter, the amount of shelled corn may be increased in order to help the birds stay warm. Dog chow from time to time is a good source of protein and makes a fine treat for the Java Green Peafowl. In the wild, Java Green Peafowl perch in low trees and call loudly in the morning and evening hours.
There are three subspecies of Java Green Peafowl whose ranges vary slightly. There are not many of these animals left in the wild. In the representative subspecies, it is believed that there are as few as 1,000 birds remaining in their native habitat. These birds are also commonly called Green Necked Peafowl, Green Peafowl or Burmese Peafowl. They are native to Malaysia and Java, but subspecies range through Burma and other areas of Indo-China as well. If you wish to purchase a Java Green Peafowl, be sure it is taken from a reliable breeder. In some areas of the world, for example the United States, Java Green bloodlines have been extensively mixed. It may be difficult to find a pure bird. Some are intentionally crossbred. A cross between a Java Green Peafowl and an India Blue Peafowl is known as a Spaulding Peafowl. The gall bladders of Java Green Peafowl contain a poison, which was used in ancient China as a toxin for self-immolation!
Generally, cracked corn, shelled corn, oats, rabbit chow, trout food, grass, seed mixes and insects are offered.