When we look at different birds, especially when they are grouped together in the same subcategory, you might think that they are capable of mating or breeding with one another because they are closely related. Such is the case when people look at a turkey and a peacock and how both birds are fowls that have certain similarities. Of course, because there are also photos about a colorful turkey circulating, people are led to believe that turkeys and peacocks can interbreed. So, can a turkey and peacock mix or a turkey actually mate with a peacock?
Physically, yes, turkeys and peacocks can mix and mate with one another especially if the turkey is the only choice that the peacock has because there are no peahens around. However, because they are both from different species, it is unlikely that offspring can result when turkeys and peacocks mate with one another.
That said, the fact that turkeys and peacocks are both fowls gives them the capability to physically mate with one another. But mating, no matter what animal you are talking about, is not a guarantee for offspring to come out of the mating between two different animals coming from entirely different species. That’s why it is unlikely that a new species of bird will result from the mating between a turkey and a peacock.
Can turkeys and peacocks mate with one another?
One of the things that may lead people to wonder when it comes to animals that are basically related to one another but still come from different species is whether or not they can mate with one another. After all, lions and tigers can mate and successfully breed in the same way that horses and donkeys can also mate and successfully breed.
This is a question that some bird owners and enthusiasts may wonder about because of how there are birds that basically belong to the same family or subcategory but are nonetheless from different species. Good examples that we can talk about here are turkeys and peacocks, which are both classified as fowls. So, these are birds that can be found on farms because of how turkeys and peacocks can be raised for meat or for eggs.
Going back to our question, is it actually possible for a turkey and a peacock to mix or mate with one another if ever they are both on the same farm and are allowed to interact with one another?
To answer that question, yes, it is possible for turkeys and peacocks to mate especially when there are no peahens available. So, if there are no peahens for the peacocks to try to breed with, there is a chance that it will try to go after the next best available options for them, which are the turkeys if you are keeping female turkeys on your farm together with your peacocks. In fact, plenty of people who own peacocks and turkeys have actually noticed how peacocks try to mate with turkeys while the turkeys just simply allow the peacocks to do what they want.
That said, even though turkeys and peacocks belong to different species of birds but are still considered fowls, there is a chance that mating can happen between these two birds especially if the peacock has no choice but to try to mate with a turkey when there is no available peahen in the same feeding group.
Will offspring result from a peacock mating with a turkey?
We did establish that turkeys and peacocks can mate with one another. However, mating does not and will not always mean that offspring can result from mating. In fact, several species of animals can physically mate with one another without producing offspring. As such, can offspring result from a peacock mating with a turkey?
Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that offspring can result when a peacock mates with a turkey. Mating here refers to the physical act of performing sexual intercourse. In that sense, even though these birds can physically mate in the sense that the peacock can try to perform reproductive actions with a turkey willing enough to comply, there is no guarantee that the mating will actually result in offspring.
The reason here can be tied back to the fact that turkeys and peacocks are entirely different species of birds that have their own genetics. Even if the peacock can physically mate with the turkey, the genetic code in its sperm might not match with the genetic code of that of the turkey. As such, it is highly unlikely that offspring can result when you mate a turkey with a peacock.
What is the ocellated turkey?
So, now that we know that it is unlikely for a new breed of fowl to come out of the mating between a peacock and a turkey, why are there photos of a colorful turkey circulating all over the internet? Is it not possible that this turkey is actually a hybrid animal that resulted from the union between a turkey and a peacock?
For starters, the bird that we are referring to here is the ocellated turkey. This turkey comes with the common appearance of most turkeys but it has feathers that are so colorful that they greatly resemble a peacock. So, is the ocellated turkey actually a hybrid of your ordinary turkey and a peacock?
Well, no, the ocellated turkey is actually the same as the common turkey that can be found in many American farms and is raised as poultry. However, even though this turkey is the same, it’s actually a different species. But that doesn’t mean that it came about as a result of the union between a turkey and a peacock.
Found in the Yucatan Peninsula of South American countries, the ocellated turkey is a rare species of bird that looks like a turkey but lacks the beard that you often see in wild turkeys. It also comes with a gobble that has a higher pitch than the usual turkey. However, the biggest difference between it and the common turkey is, as we mentioned, its striking colorations.
The ocellated turkey’s feathers are so vibrant that they seem iridescent and are actually more beautiful than that of the peacock’s. They even have tail feathers that they can spread out in a manner that is similar to that of a peacock’s. However, it is not an offspring of a peacock and a turkey although it is closely related to these birds.
That said, the ocellated turkey is its own species and is even endangered. That’s why these birds are quite rare and are seemingly very odd for those who are haven’t seen them. And, of course, we would like to stress the fact that they are not hybrids of turkeys and peacocks because, in the first place, it is highly unlikely that turkeys and peacocks can produce offspring.