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Diet Preferences and General Behavior of Peafowls in Captive Environment

Diet Preferences and General Behavior of Peafowls in Captive Environment

Zahida Parveen1, Safdar Sidra1*, Bushra Nisar Khan2

1Department of Wildlife and Ecology, University of Veterinary andAnimal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan
2Centre for Undergraduate Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore-Pakistan.

*Corresponding author: Safdar Sidra,



Animals kept in captivity tend to behave differently than are kept free range mainly due to confinement. It is the responsibility of the animal keepers to provide enrichment including adequate space and food to animals for highest possible standards of welfare. At Unversity of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS), Ravi Campus, Pakistan, a total of eighteen peafowls are housed in different enclosures including Indian, Java green and white peafowls. Additionally, there are different cross breeds of Java and Indian peafowls in these houses. The present study was conducted to observe the diet preferences and general behavior of these peafowls under captive conditions. Three different diets, based upon the availability of food items, were selected and fed to the birds over duration of one week each. During the fourth week, all three diets were combined and offered to the peafowls. The feed was pre-weighed and the leftover feed was collected and weighed the next day before offering the new feed. According to previous reports at site, the peafowls were preferred to poultry feed but in present research, the diet preference was in order of maize >millet >poultryfeed. During feeding, the behavioral patterns of the captive peafowls were monitored on daily basis. Time spent in different behavioral activities was noted in seconds using the stopwatch. On average, most time spent by all species and varieties of peafowls was in walking around within the enclosure (20.6%), followed by litter pecking (13.8%), feather pecking (13.0%) and standing (12.7%). Feeding and drinking consumed approximately 4.6% and 2.1% of time, respectively. 

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Punjab University Journal of Zoology


Vol.38, Iss. 2, Pages 137-236


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