Steve Agbota [email protected] 08033302331
Peacocks and peahens are birds known as peafowl, members of the pheasant family. The birds can be lucrative business due to the uniqueness of its feathers, which have a huge demand around the world, especially in the European countries.
Apart from the huge demand for the bird’s feathers, peacocks meat is also very tasty, nutritious and healthy. Presently, peacock’s meat is not highly available in the local market. And the price of peacock meat is very high, even as the commercial peacock farming business is not so popular yet.
Peafowl production does not require much to start. With about N100, 000, one can start with one male and one female. They are reared in a pen or free-range system. It is advisable for the new entrants to undergo training from an expert in order to learn the nitty-gritty of managing the bird.
Peacock farming is wide spread all over the world and it is considered a very lucrative business. Most of the peacock farmers raise the birds for the purpose of producing their colorful feathers.
Peacock feathers have a variety of decorative uses. Placed in a vase for home decor, they stand out on their own or in combination with long dried reeds. The beautiful feathers can be incorporated into costumes, mask, headdresses, feather fans, and unique and colorful jewelry like earring, pendants, or full necklace wear.
At the international market, a price of a single feather ranges between $2 to 7 and the price depend on the size. Peafowl change their plumage once a year and you can get about 150 to 200 feathers from an adult bird every year.
However, there are many peafowl breeds available around the world such as Blue Indian, Black Shoulder, Charcoal, Cameo, Spalding, among others. Most people are familiar with the Indian peafowl because of its popularity in many zoos and parks.
The peacock has some of the brightest feathers and one of the most impressive courting displays of any bird in the world. The Indian peacock has very flashy plumage, with a bright blue head and neck, but the Indian peahen is a drab, mottled brown in comparison. The male needs his bright feathers to attract a mate, and the female needs to be able to blend in with the bushes so that predators cannot see her while she is incubating her eggs. Their legs are reddish, both peacocks and peahens have crest atop the head.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Jovana Integrated Farms, Prinze Arinze Onebunne, said peafowl can be raised commercially and it can play an important role for reducing unemployment problem and help to create a new way of earnings and develop the socioeconomic condition of a country. He also said that the meat of peacock is also very tasty, nutritious and healthy.
Onebunne said: “My advice to new entrants is to buy peacocks at the breeding stock stage of 3 years old. If you buy at this stage and rear them for 1 year, they will start breeding and you can start making profit. In the free range system, peahens lay about 4 to 5 eggs by making a small hole in the ground. The eggs are off white colored. And it takes about 27 to 30 days for their eggs to hatch. Average life expectancy of peafowl is around 35 years. They reach sexual maturity at their 3 to 4 years of age.
“In the wild, they feed mainly on grains, insects, leaves, small snakes, berries, frogs, to mention but a few. But in domestication, they are fed wide range of vegetables, corn mill waste and well-formulated poultry feed. Use hanging dishes inside the shed for providing foods, and keep the water elevated so that you do not get droppings in it. You will need to cover their pen, because peafowl are great flyers,” he said.
According to him, peafowl is a bird of unique features and this makes the ornamental bird tradable for tourist uses, recreation centres, zoos, research institutes, game reserves, holiday resorts, children amusement parks and royal households.
However, he said the birds are highly prized and valued. Many luxurious shops sell peacock feathers, due to its high demand for decoration.
Onebunne added: “Today, apart from breeding, at Jovanna farms, we also provide training services through our nationwide seminars. We are ready to work with interested farmers and provide them with more information on how to breed peafowl profitably. We have for sale peafowl breeding pairs of one male and one female to intending farmers.”