When you’re talking about survival, real survival, the only thing you can count on is that you’ll have to do a lot of things that you don’t want to do, including some things that you would ordinarily think you can’t do.
This includes eating things that you don’t want to eat, and potentially animals that you would never, ever eat otherwise. Including some very pretty ones!
How about peacocks, among the most magnificent of all wild birds? Can you eat peacocks in a survival situation?
Yes, you can eat peacock. Peacocks are large birds that can supply you with plenty of meat, and the meat is packed with protein and other nutrients you’ll need.
You won’t find peacocks just anywhere, as these exotic beauties are confined mostly to Asia and the Middle East, but it isn’t out of the question that you could encounter one running loose if it escaped captivity in a zoo or private ownership.
Whatever the case, despite their beauty these birds are very good eating. Keep reading to learn more.
Peacock Range and Habitat
Native to India and Sri Lanka, peacocks can now be found in many parts of the world, including Africa, Southeast Asia, and even the United States in the form of an increasing number of escapees and “feral” populations.
In their natural habitat, peacocks prefer open woodlands and grasslands where they can find plenty of insects, plants, small amphibians, and reptiles to eat.
They are also drawn to areas with large bodies of water, as they often bathe and drink throughout the day.
Whether in their native range or in a new and novel location, peacocks are sure to add a lot of color to any landscape and they can also supply the savvy survivor with a large meal.
Nutritional Facts about Peacock Meat
Peacock meat is surprisingly nutritious, with approximately half of the weight of any given serving being made up of fat and the other half protein. It compares favorably with other large, wild birds like turkeys and some geese.
Aside from the excellent macronutrient profile, which can supply you with quick, short-term energy and long-lasting energy alike, you’ll also get a great load of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin B12, vitamin B6, lots of iron and zinc, and a ton of potassium.
I know many of our readers would be remiss to kill a peacock under any circumstances, even a desperate one, but you can do a lot worse than one of these majestic birds when you need a meal in a survival situation.
Is it Legal to Eat Peacocks?
It depends on where you are. In their native range, peacocks usually enjoy full legal protection, but in many other countries they are considered an invasive or non-native species and there are no restrictions on hunting, killing, or eating them.
Now, keep in mind that most people in these places that have peacocks are either keeping them as pets, or else are keeping them as a specimen in the case of a zoo or avian sanctuary.
Don’t shoot a peacock unless you are damn sure it does not belong to someone!
In the United States, there are no federal laws regarding peacocks, but some states, like California, do have laws that may make it illegal to kill or eat them. In other states, like Texas, there are no such laws.
Remember, if you are in a survival situation and you need to eat, the last thing you want to do is break the law.
But if it’s a choice between breaking the law and starving to death, well, I think we know which is the lesser of two evils.
What Does Peacock Taste Like Anyway?
Peacock tastes much like other wild birds like turkey or even geese. It has also been compared to “true” chicken or junglefowl.
Peacock is sometimes described as gamey, but with just a little bit of preparation and skilled cooking, it is often considered a superb meat and has long figured in the feasts of royalty and in certain religious holidays.
As always, consider that the diet of the peacock will greatly influence the taste of its meat; a bird that has been eating a lot of insects will taste different than one that has been eating seed all its life.
If you have the opportunity to select your bird, try to go for one that has been eating a varied diet.
Can You Safely Eat Peacock Raw?
No! Like all poultry, eating raw peacock is a great way to wind up with a foodborne illness in the form of a bacterial infection, virus or even some kind of nasty parasite.
Among these potential diseases are salmonella and E.coli, two gribblies known for inflicting serious pain and major discomfort.
You cannot afford to get food poisoning when you are already in the middle of a survival situation, as the resulting weakness and dehydration could easily finish you off if you are already wounded, sick, or just wind up unable to walk and work.
To avoid this issue, only eat peacock that has been cooked all the way through to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Said another way, cook it well done, even a little crispy if you are unsure.
Don’t hesitate to cut the meat into smaller portions to make cooking easier and more controllable, and also to ensure doneness.
Should You Eat Peacock Skin?
You can if it is plucked. Peacock skin, like the skin of most birds, is tasty and crispy when properly prepared, and you can even get a big boost of certain nutrients like vitamins A and selenium from it. Of course you will get some calories, too.
Can You Eat Peacock Eggs?
Yes! Peacocks lay large eggs that make for great eating, and they are packed with calories, protein, and lots and lots of nutrients.
Do keep in mind, though, that the eggs might have developing embryos inside unless you happen to snag them when they are very newly laid. Be prepared for this eventuality before you take them!
Is it Safe to Eat the Bones of a Peacock?
No. Although the bones of most birds are lighter and more brittle than those of mammals, you still shouldn’t eat them.
Humans aren’t supposed to eat bones as they are a major choking hazard, and can cause injury in the form of cracked teeth and perforated intestines.
However, the bones of the peacock can still provide good nutrition if you can get the marrow out of them.
The bone marrow is a great source of calories and fat, as well as minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium.
To get at the marrow, you need to first crack the bone open; this can be done with a rock or a tool.
Once the bone is open, use a small stick or sharp piece of metal to scoop out the marrow and then add it to whatever you are cooking, or cook it gently and then eat it as is.
You could also boil the whole bones to leach the marrow out and make a nutritious broth.
Don’t skip on the bones just because you have the meat; every little bit counts in a survival situation!
Is it Safe to Eat the Organs of a Peacock?
Yes, so long as they are prepared properly. Organs are a great source of nutrients like protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals, and you should make every effort to eat them.
That said, some organs can be pretty unpalatable at best, so it is best to know what you are doing- both prepping and cooking- before you try them.
The heart is, as always, just more muscle and so can be cooked and eaten like regular meat. The liver is also good to eat if the peacock was healthy. The gizzard is another organ that can be eaten, although it is quite tough.
This is the part of the bird that helps them grind up their food, so it is basically one big muscle. You can either cook it for a long time or pound it thin and then fry or grill it.
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.