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Peacock sighted in Rexburg

A peacock in Rexburg in the winter sounds bizarre. However, one was sighted Feb. 22 near Mountain Shores Apartments around 6:20 p.m. according to a post on the I <3 Life in Rexburg Facebook page.

Screenshot taken by Mikayla Smith of a Facebook post from I <3 Life in Rexburg
Screenshot taken by Mikayla Smith of a Facebook post from I <3 Life in Rexburg

According to Max Norton, a BYU-Idaho alumnus who farmed peafowl in Washington, they can be raised on farms like chicken, kept as pets or for other reasons.

“The benefits vary for different people,” Norton said. “Some do it for pest control, others do it to collect their feathers, and many will make money off their feathers and eggs. So it’s whatever someone wants to keep them for.”

According to the World Animal Foundation, peafowl are omnivores and eat anything from plants to reptiles and even small mammals.

“Many farmers will have peacocks because they are very territorial and they are good at getting pests and snakes,” Norton said. “Many will use peacocks to keep their livestock and farm safe. They aren’t too good for vegetation because they will get into flowers and veggies.”

They can be helpful — or harmful if not kept properly.

“The reason why you will see peacocks is because they will get out and roam if they are not caged properly,” Norton said.

Peafowl need a lot of space and are considered bad to have in neighborhoods due to their aggressive behavior.

According to PetHelpful, “They need a lot of space, can get over walls (despite the myth that they can’t fly), and are very capable of causing damage to neighbors’ property. Peacocks also issue loud, shrill calls that increase during mating season.”

According to the World Animal Foundation, peacocks are one of the loudest animals on earth and make noise when it is about to rain, when they sense danger{{,}} and to attract a female.

It is important to check city and county bylaws regarding and local zoning regarding owning peafowl.

According to Hello Homestead, “Just because chickens and other poultry may be permitted in your neighborhood doesn’t mean peafowl are. Often this bird is considered separately by law{{ }}makers because of its tendency to cause a nuisance to neighbors by wandering, making loud noises and damaging property.”

Brody Skeens, a freshman studying elementary education, owned a peacock as a pet in Nebraska. He said his peacock had a temper but was nice once he warmed up to people.

“Treat your peacock the same as you would treat any of your other pets,” Skeens said. “They do feel left out, but they are independent pets so don’t spoil them or show too much love. They can get crazy.”

According to the World Animal Foundation, peacocks are social birds and usually travel in groups of 10. They can be very aggressive and territorial.

“It depends on how they are raised,” Norton said. “I mean, you can always get the mean peacocks that will peck you or hit you with their back ends, but if you raise them young, they are generally fine. For the most part they will be 100% more scared of you, and you probably won’t be able to go up to it before it runs off.”

What happens when one is walking around town?

“If someone comes across one on the street, realize it’s a bird,” Norton said. “Stare at it but don’t do anything, just call or message someone that a peacock is roaming around. They are birds, they will be skittish.”

If one is spotted, leave them be, as they often return home on their own.

Peacocks are just one more option for a pet, a guard animal or as pest control — even in Rexburg, Idaho.

Image credit: https://giphy.com/gifs/peacock-xCFCSlzF0sURa
Peacock gif

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