Bird Families

Malay Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron Malacense


  • Class: Aves = Birds
  • Order: Galliformes = Chicken, chickens
  • Family: Phasianidae, or Pavonidae = Pheasants, or peacocks
  • Subfamily: Phasianinae = Pheasants, pheasants
  • Genus: Polyplectron Temminck, 1813 = Peacock Pheasants
  • Species: Polyplectron bicalcaratum (Linnaeus, 1758) = Gray peacock pheasant
  • Species: Polyplectron chalcurum Lesson, 1831 = Sumatran Peacock Pheasant
  • Species: Polyplectron emphanum = Napoleon's peacock pheasant
  • Species: Polyplectron inopinatum (Rothschild, 1903) = Rothschild pheasant
  • Species: Polyplectron malacense (Scopoli, 1786) =

Genus: Polyplectron Temminck, 1813 = Peacock Pheasants

Peacock pheasants are birds with nondescript plumage, which only on wing coverts and tail feathers has shiny rounded spots. The tail contains 16 tail feathers, at the ends with a widened fan, the upper tail feathers are elongated and have the same shape as the tail feathers. The legs are long and armed with 2-3 spurs.

The bronze-tailed pheasant (Polyplectron chalcurum) has an earthy brown head and neck with off-white markings on the throat. The upper side of the body is chestnut brown with irregular black stripes, on the tail feathers there are black transverse stripes on a chestnut brown background, the ends of the feathers with a violet-purple metallic shade and a shiny large rounded spot. The underside of the body is dark brown with blackish strokes. The beak is thin, straight, laterally compressed, the beak is slightly bent at the end, grayish-black in color. The female has dull plumage. Tail length 18-22 cm.Distributed (2 subspecies) in the mountains of Sumatra at an altitude of 450 to 1200 m above sea level.

Burmese pheasant, or chingiz (Polyplectron bicalcaratum), has brown plumage, speckled with whitish dots on the upper side of the body. On the wings and front of the back there are dark green shiny spots, shimmering with purple, purple and blue metallic sheen. Along the edges, each large rounded spot is outlined in succession with black, brown and whitish rings. The throat is white, the plumage of the underside is brown with irregular spots, dots, and transverse stripes of off-white color. The bare parts of the head are pale pink. Male length 65-75, tail 23-25 ​​cm. This pheasant (5 subspecies) is distributed from Bhutan to Myanmar in the west, Thailand in the east and south to Kolkata.

HaveRothschild pheasant (Polyplectron inopinatum)the head, neck and throat are dark gray with a light gray line pattern, white spots and stripes. The plumage of the wings and back is chestnut-brown with a black wavy pattern, at the end of the feathers - with small shiny blue rounded spots, the flight feathers are black, the uppertail is chestnut-brown with large chestnut-brown and black specks, Tail of 20 tail feathers with rounded tips, black and with light brown spots, medium tail feathers without spots, with a metallic sheen, some individuals may have indistinct spots on the outer tail feathers, the undertail with a brown tint. The beak and legs are gray. Male length 65, female 46 cm. Distributed on the Malacca Peninsula.

In captivity, peacock pheasants, despite their tropical origin, acclimatize relatively quickly, but they must be kept in spacious enclosures with a warmed barn.They get along well with other birds (pigeons, geese, ducks), but not with their own kind or other types of chickens. They live especially unfriendly with argus, with which they are similar in color of plumage, the latter harshly pursue them, haunt them. According to their habits, peacock pheasants are more like domestic chickens than peacocks. They are strict monogamous, so they need to be kept in pairs. The males are very graceful and graceful in movements, especially during the current: they spread their tail and wings, and follow the females with an important look.

In nature, these pheasants feed mainly on small invertebrates, so in captivity they need to be fed soft food with a large amount of animal protein: mealworms, fly larvae, finely chopped or minced meat, boiled chicken eggs. This food is mixed with crushed white bread crumbs and grated carrots. Peacock pheasants, as a rule, do not touch greenery, therefore aviaries where birds are kept can be landscaped.

Breeding peacock pheasants in captivity is difficult. The female lays no more than 2 eggs. However, if you take them from her several times in a row, you can bring more pheasants under the chickens or in the incubator than usual.

Eggs can be stored for no more than a week, and therefore they must be laid in the incubator immediately after the female has laid the eggs. The eggs are small, with a thin shell, therefore, only dwarf breeds of chickens - bentams are suitable for hatching pheasants under the hen. The last clutch is left to the female, which incubates it herself and further leads the chicks.If the incubation of eggs was carried out under a chicken or in an incubator, then raising pheasants presents certain difficulties. The chicks of peacock pheasants, unlike other birds of this subfamily, do not look for food on the ground, and in the first week of life they take it only from the beak of the female. The chicken, when it finds food, does not feed the chickens from its beak, but lures them to it, but the pheasants do not take the food lying on the ground. They hide under the hen's feathers and come out when they get hungry, so at this moment they need to be fed from tweezers or by hand. In the first week, 6 mealworms are enough for 1 chick. The food must be live and stir to arouse interest in food. During this period, it is better to give white, just molted worms, since they are easier to digest due to the lack of solid chitin. At the age of 1.5 - 2 weeks, pheasants begin to take worms, as well as finely chopped egg yolk, mixed with soft food, and peck it off the floor, like other pheasants.

To facilitate the rearing of peacock pheasant chicks, the joint incubation of peacock and golden pheasant eggs is recommended. From the very first days of life, the chicks of golden pheasants take food from the ground themselves, and peacock pheasants, adopting the way of eating from them, also begin to take it in the same way. With this rearing method, it is best to feed no more than 4 peacock chicks and 2 golden pheasant chicks together.

When hatching peacock pheasants in an incubator, the air temperature should be maintained at 33.5 'C, humidity 60-70%, the hatching process lasts 24 hours.At the age of 3 weeks, the young become independent, and as soon as the chicks develop wings, they are already able to take off on the roost to a height of 1.8 m.

Pheasants: keeping and breeding. A.I. Rakhmanov, B.F.Bessapabov