Martha Stewart: I have 21 peacocks, they do not smell and they are friendly


Martha Stewart is setting the record straight! After the New York Post published scurrilous accusations that the Domestic Diva housed a scant 16 peacocks on her massive New York farm, Martha took to Twitter to correct those fowl (snicker) claims as soon as she read them. While she was at it, she puffed up the colorful birds and all their avian glory

Obviously, Martha (and I) are having a little fun at the expense of the New York Post. The author, Eric Spitznagel, quickly amended his error and most of those on Twitter who saw Martha’s tweet took it in the good natured way it was intended:

I know Martha is not some of your cup of tea, but her devotion to being Martha is my cinema. Very few people are impenitent enough to demand the record be set straight on the amount of peacocks they have. In Martha’s defense (I know, I know) she does care for her peacocks and peahens with state-of-the-art accommodations that keep them safe from predators and environmental forces. She’s written about them and her farm’s Pea Palace (I called it that, not Martha. I’m fairly certain I’ll be next on her Twitter chopping block).

Oddly, I can kind of back Martha up on her peafowl facts. I live next door to a very fancy set of neighborhoods. In the town right next door to mine live several peacocks and peahens who wander the roads and cry as if they haven’t a care in the world. Often, we’ll be driving and stop for a line of cars unable to move due to a peacock standing in the road, preening. Nobody honks. Nobody’s snapping pics. We’re all just doing our thing as if this is a perfectly natural delay in anyone’s commute. So I can say they are friendly. And I think they must be clean, or else the Nextdoor app would be lit up about it. I don’t know about the smell. But the cry? Yes, it’s fun. I actually do love it. But I live in the town next door so I only hear them when I pass through. Not sure how “fun” that would be at all hours because it is certainly loud. Still, they are so beautiful. I feel lucky when I see them out, strutting around their neighborhood as if we are they ones they’ve allowed to visit.

As for Martha, her name appears twice in the NY Post article mentioned. Once under her photo, where the erroneous peacock count was first given, and a second time in a line about famous people who have owned peacocks. The article is about peacock owner Sean Flynn, who wrote a book about his journey to owning six. I’m sure Mr. Flynn would have enjoyed some success with his book, Why Peacocks? An Unlikely Search for Meaning in the World’s Most Magnificent Bird. Certainly a few people would have read the article in the New York Post. But the amount of publicity Martha just bought him is priceless. And just in case people weren’t clear, she followed up with this:

Photo credit: Avalon, Twitter and Instagram

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25 Responses to “Martha Stewart: I have 21 peacocks, they do not smell and they are friendly”

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  1. faithmobile says:

    They are as loud as they are beautiful. Go Martha! I would have loads of animals too if I had the staff and space to manage them.

    • Escondista says:

      Me too! My total dream is a country house with echinacea everywhere, a pond for ducks, a paddock for babydoll sheep, some peacocks amongst the worn bird baths and my current crew of urban backyard chickens. OH and one of those big libraries with a rolly ladder.

    • lucy2 says:

      They are! There’s a museum/garden in my area that has them. The last time I was there (pre pandemic) one of them got up in a tree and was screaming!

  2. Willow says:

    People call the police about dogs barking. French people who move to the country sue roosters crowing (the rooster won). But no one says a peep about trumpeting peacocks? Interesting…

  3. LightPurple says:

    “Peacocks are great if you like playing ‘local peacock or violent murder’ at 3 am”

    I’m dying!

    • Noodle says:

      One of my mentors used to live in Arcadia, a suburb of Pasadena, CA, next to the Arboretum. It’s home to many peacocks and peahens, and they would live in their trees and “talk”. So, so loud, and if you aren’t used to them, really discomforting at first. I guess you get used to them, or so I’m told, but I never did. They were beautiful, though.

  4. manda says:

    I used to be the attorney advisor to our local animal control board. we had a case once where a neighbor filed a complaint against another neighbor bc neighbor 2 had peacocks that would hang out on neighbor 1’s deck, and they would poop, and their poops are really big. so, I once spent an entire night hearing testimony on peacock poop. I think they are neat and would probably enjoy them if a neighbor had them, but the poop thing prob would be annoying. I wonder if they are supposed to be kept in enclosures? This person did not do that

    • Brittany says:

      How do you have expensive exotic animals and just let them roam free? Man, that is a recipe for disaster.

    • SurelyNot says:

      Peacocks do not live in enclosures — my Granny had them on the farm and I’ve never seen one enclosed. I’ve been to over a dozen different tropical resorts and they just roam — even the zoo doesn’t keep them enclosed.

    • manda says:

      We recently saw some in an enclosure and it looked sad, like they barely had room to open up their plumes

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    As much as I roll my eyes at Martha, I smile when I do it. She’s the best at what she does. She’s the standard. I can’t think of anyone else who comes close to her omnipresence with such certainty and grace and even a smidge of restraint lol. She’s owns 21 peacocks. I bet it bugs her she can’t say two dozen. Yet.

  6. sa says:

    I grew up down the street from an estate that had several peacocks (I’m not sure how many) and several horses. One of my favorite memories is when my mom & I would take walks and always stop to look at the pretty birds and the horses. It was always such a thrill when one of the peacocks would spread its feathers.

  7. Lemon says:

    This story is hilarious and I’m a total Debbie downer here. I’m 100% against exotics animal ownership (gotta admit peafowl are pretty sassy though). We have so many environmental calamities from non-native flora and fauna. Usually the animals start out as pets and get dumped, breed, wreak havoc. Florida has python, hog, iguana problems. Starlings were brought over from England and they are invasive.

    Then there’s the issue of what happens to the other exotics like big cats, primates, etc? It’s euthanasia, or some financially strained animal sanctuary. I’ve definitely seen peacocks at sanctuaries.

    While I’m sure Martha Stewart takes impeccable care of her peafowl, it’s just the while luxury status appeal of exotics and the 101 dalmatians effect that is frustrating, so many animals end up in inadequate places and suffer.

    • Ann says:

      I live in Houston and we just recently had a tiger loose roaming a neighborhood. He was caught and is being sent to a wild animal sanctuary in North Texas, one with a good reputation. They named him India. And he belonged to someone, who apparently let him escape or just lost him. Anyway, happy ending, but I am definitely against people keeping tigers, for many reasons. Peacocks on the other hand, I don’t know. Like you said I am sure Martha keeps excellent care of hers, but exotic pets can get out of hand.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        I was just thinking about that tiger. I’m 100% against exotic animal ownership unless there’s ample liquid funds to properly care for all aspects of the animals’ safety and quality care. I’ve never liked zoos. SeaWorld. If an animal has to pace or swim in circles and squares…shameful. Dangerous exotics should roam free. Dangerous exotics in populated areas should be caught and relocated where they can roam free. Emus, Llamas, goats, peacocks?… Basically farm’ish animals should have a full focus on their quality of life and healthcare. I have no doubts about Martha’s ability to care, expertly, for her animals. But the owner who lost his tiger should face some consequences.

  8. Zan says:

    I grew up on a farm, and on the edge of our farm was a eucalyptus grove. Some neighbor down the grove had a peacock that would cry around dusk and it would echo down the grove, sounding a lot like distraught child pleading, “Help! Help! Help!”

  9. Jules says:

    Lol, I love animals and I have no shade for any of this.

  10. Amelie says:

    Forget the peacocks, have you ever seen pictures of Martha’s horse stable??? A few years ago I was doing research on rich people who own horses/into equestrian culture for an event I was working when I briefly was in fundraising. And I randomly googled Martha because she seemed to be someone who would be into horses. Fell down a rabbit hole of reading articles about her horses and their daily routine and all the animals she owns. She’s got 5 beautiful black Friesian horses she rides and uses for carriage riding. The stable looks like its own mansion from the outside and is of course the fanciest looking stable inside you’ve ever seen.

  11. Bean says:

    Honestly – we have wild turkeys where I live and we have the same reactions to them 😄

  12. jferber says:

    All love to Martha. She is a queen. I know she’s super-friendly with Snoop Dogg and that just kills me. Seemingly so unlike, yet buddies just the same.

  13. Dierski says:

    That pic of her and the dogs is cracking me up for some reason – maybe because the dogs look so serious and adorable? I wish I had the space and resources for a zillion animals at home too – they all look like fun.

  14. Kristen says:

    I love her. I would have 21 peacocks if I had the money and property.

  15. detritus says:

    That’s a really pretty peacock tbh. I’ve never seen one w that colouring

  16. Deering24 says:

    IIRC, peacocks are excellent at taking out rattlesnakes and the like. It’s why many southern plantations had them.

  17. Monica says:

    Apropos of nothing, I really envy how well she’s aging. Not just appearance-wise but her DGAF energy.