History of Animals

Author: Aristotle  | Date: 350 BC


Peafowl live for about twenty-five years, breed about the third year, and at the same time take on their spangled plumage. They hatch their eggs within thirty days or rather more. The peahen lays but once a year, and lays twelve eggs, or may be a slightly lesser number: she does not lay all the eggs there and then one after the other, but at intervals of two or three days. Such as lay for the first time lay about eight eggs. The peahen lays wind-eggs. They pair in the spring; and laying begins immediately after pairing. The bird moults when the earliest trees are shedding their leaves, and recovers its plumage when the same trees are recovering their foliage. People that rear peafowl put the eggs under the barn-door hen, owing to the fact that when the peahen is brooding over them the peacock attacks her and tries to trample on them; owing to this circumstance some birds of wild varieties run away from the males and lay their eggs and brood in solitude. Only two eggs are put under a barn-door hen, for she could not brood over and hatch a large number. They take every precaution, by supplying her with food, to prevent her going off the eggs and discontinuing the brooding.

With male birds about pairing time the testicles are obviously larger than at other times, and this is conspicuously the case with the more salacious birds, such as the barn-door cock and the cock partridge; the peculiarity is less conspicuous in such birds as are intermittent in regard to pairing.


Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options

Title: History of Animals

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options

Title: History of Animals

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: Aristotle, "9," History of Animals, trans. D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson Original Sources, accessed June 3, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4VHP19R4Z3YHR4I.

MLA: Aristotle. "9." History of Animals, translted by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, Original Sources. 3 Jun. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4VHP19R4Z3YHR4I.

Harvard: Aristotle, '9' in History of Animals, trans. . Original Sources, retrieved 3 June 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4VHP19R4Z3YHR4I.