For five years, Tran Thi Nhai and her family members in Giao Thinh Commune, Giao Thuy District (northern Nam Dinh Province) has raised and trained peacocks know how to dance beautifully.
|A local resident is feeding his peacocks. — Photo danviet.vn|
The job of nurturing and training peacocks how to dance beautifully has helped Nhai’s family have a huge income compared to the average income of local people in the commune, 150km from Hanoi’s centre.
Peacocks were sold to potential customers during Tet holiday at a cost of more than US$1,800 for a pair of adult peacocks that looks eye-catching and know how to dance well, Nhai, 27, told danviet.vn online newspaper.
Around the time of Tet, people who want to watch peacocks dancing at home, have rushed to bird farm for buying peacocks, that was classified as beautiful and rare bird listed in Vietnam’s Red Book.
Buying peacocks for indoor display or Tet gift is a choice of a lot of people with high-income because peacock is considered a symbol of wealth, and peacock raising at home brings a lot of luck to home owners.
Nhai said that it is a special thing that the time around the Lunar New Year is also the reproductive period of peacocks.
The male peacock will often lure the female peacock by spreading its beautiful long tail feathers to flirt and attract a mate.
And people will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the silky plumage along with the peacock's magnificent long tail as they dance.
The peacock is one of the rare and precious species, named in the Vietnam’s Red Book. However, this bird being raised and bred on farms that registered under the law was still allowed to legally trade. The peacock has a large body and colorful feathers.
High income for peacock breeders
“On average, I sell hundreds of pairs of baby peacocks to breeders all over the country, with the price of from VND2 million to VND3 million each pair.”
“A pair of adult peacocks cost about VND15-40 million ($650-1,800).”
About two weeks before Tet, all eight pairs of peacock nurtured at Nhai’s farm were sold out to customers.
Explaining why the cost of a pair of peacocks was expensive, Nhai said “to nurture a pair of peacocks is quite elaborate.”
“Because the time of raising a peacock lasts up to three years and letting them get acquainted with humans is a process of hard training for breeders,” she said.
“The more skillful and beautiful peacocks can dance, the more the price is higher.”
In particular, if the peacock's tail is naturally, shaped like a coin, in the Vietnamese people's opinion, the symbol of money symbolises for fortune and luck, that peacock is very favoured with businessmen so they are ready to pay a high price to buy a pair of peacocks during Tet, according to Nhai’s father, Nguyen Huu Vinh, 60, who also took care peacocks every day.
Vinh said that at the time before Tet, the number of people ordered peacocks has increased sharply.
Peacock has three colours for customers to choose: green peacock, white peacock (also known as “Duke” peacock), and iridescent peacock.
Of which, the price of iridescent peacock was the most expensive because of the genetic mutation, this peacock has set of feather in five colours.
A flock of peacocks Nhai nurtured at her family’s farm only has three five-coloured birds, and the rest is green ones.
She shared about the experience of raising birds: peacock is wild-origin bird so raising it is not too difficult. The advantage of peacock is good resistance and high survival rate.
Peacock is omnivores, and the food for it is simple and easy to find, mainly rice, corn and green vegetables, grass.
The amount of food for peacock is only one third for chicken so the cost of raising this kind of bird is not high.
One day the breeder only fed it twice, cereal in the morning and vegetables in the afternoon.
In addition, it is essential to support food for peacocks by insects such as worms, crickets, locusts, in order to provide more nutrition so the bird will have sleek fur.
Talking about peacock nurturing techniques, Nhai revealed that the young peacock will have a diet other than the adult peacock.
“Because newly-hatched birds are baby, they must be regularly monitored and cared for.”
Cages for these birds are also very simple, can make use of chicken coop, pigsty, that surrounded by steel wire.
Peacock cages are chosen in a cool and dry place, that ensuring warm in winter, cool in summer and have their own playground.
After two years of raising, a peacock reaches adulthood and begins to have reproductive potential. The peacock lays in late spring until the end of summer. Each year a female bird lays about 25 to 35 eggs.
Nhai remembered in first years of raising peacocks, when the peacock laid eggs, the breeder gave the chickens to hatch the eggs but the hatching rate was not high.
In recent two year, she has used an electric furnace to incubate and find a method to maintain the right temperature for hatching eggs to a successful hatching rate of 90 per cent. — VNS
Vietnam became a member of the Ramsar Convention in 1989. So far, nine wetlands in the country have been recognised as Ramsar sites – wetlands of international importance.