Understanding how the genetic characteristics of parents influence reproductive output is central to predicting the dynamics of small, endangered populations. We conducted a breeding experiment to look at the paternal genetic effects on offspring sex, fertility and growth in the peafowl (Pavo cristatus). Microsatellite loci were developed to allow maternity assignment and thus to allow us to separate maternal from paternal effects. We found 19 polymorphic loci in our inbred, captive population, six of which were only slightly polymorphic (HE range: 0.04–0.70). The remaining 13 loci were polymorphic enough to determine maternity by exclusion in approximately 85% of offspring.