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cline01 (1K)

Malayan Peacock-Pheasant
(Polyplectron malacense)

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cline01 (1K)

Polyplectron malacense

Polyplectron malacense
Photo by John Corder

Additional Information

Breeding Season:

Breeding Age:

Clutch Size: Usually just one egg.

Incubation Period:: 22-23 days

Description - Male: The male can be distingiushed from other polyplectron species in having an orange face, a longer (forward) crest and buff surrounding each ocelli on the mantle and wings.

Description - Female: The hen lacks the crest; smaller than males, ocelli dark also with buff borders.

Status in Captivity: Rare

Misc Notes: The following provided by John Corder.

The peacock pheasant is the Malaysian species (Polyplectron malacense). We have them on breeding loan from the Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks. We have been fortunate to parent-rear these for each of the last three seasons - as far as we know, this has not been recorded previously outside Malaysia. We will be presenting a paper on their breeding behaviour at the World Pheasant Association International Symposium in Malaysia in September. This species is highly unusual in that they lay just one egg. It has become more usual to call this species the Malaysian Peacock Pheasant rather than the Malay PP as Jean Delacour called it.
Our experience in the UK has been that MPP would seem to be much harder to breed than Greys, Palawans, Germains or Bronze Tails. Because of their laying pattern, it is always going to be a long job to raise numbers in captivity, particularly since males have a habit of dying quite easily when in prime breeding condition. They need protection from frost and snow and ours always begin laying at the end of December or early January - a good time in Malaysia but not in the middle of our winter. The single egg is very large, often weighing between 42 and 44g.
We keep all our peacock pheasants in quite large aviaries - 250 / 300 sq.ft. They have fully insulated shelters with heating which comes on at 0 Centigrade (Mountains) and 2 C (Malaysians) The aviaries are heavily planted to provide plenty of cover. The Malaysian male maintains a display area, similar to the Great Argus, into which the female comes when she wishes to mate. They have an extremely complicated and ritualised display, which involves the female and male both displaying to each other, quite unlike any other peacock pheasants that we have seen.

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Bibliography and Further Reading

  • Delacour, J. 1977. The Pheasants of the World. 2nd ed., World Pheasant Association and Spur Publications, Hindhead, U.K.
  • Delacour, J. 1978. Pheasants: Their Care and Breeding. T.F.H. Publishing, Neptune, NJ.
  • Howman, K. 1991. Pheasants of the World: Their Breeding and Management. Hancock House Publishers, Surrey, B.C. Canada.
  • Johnsgard, P.A. 1999. The Pheasants of the World: Biology and Natural History. 2nd ed., Smithsonian Press, Washington D.C.
  • Madge, S., McGowan, P. 2002. Pheasants, Partridges, and Grouse. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

cline01 (1K)

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