My cockerel Zebedee

by Derek

Zebedee has the run of the house and sleeps on the back of my computer chair. During the day when I am on the computer he perches there. If I move to another room he is never more than a couple of feet behind me.

We get on very well. In the mornings he wakes up early and starts to crow. I bought blackout curtains in the hope that he would wake later but that didn't work.

However if it is too dark he won't jump down so I either have to go and pull the curtains or leave them slightly open and then he will follow me back to the bedroom, jump on the bed and I get into bed and he perches either on my shoulder or hip until the alarms goes off at seven.

However at odd times, often when I am standing at the basin shaving or at any other time he feels like it he will attack the back of my legs. Even when I am wearing trousers he draws enough blood to make my trousers and leg wet.

I can understand that he pecks my leg when he wants something like a digestive biscuit, but it doesn't seem like he wants anything when he fluffs up his feathers and attacks my legs.

I don't think he is being spiteful as when we go into the garden and I sit in my chair, he sits by my feet or spreads his wings and lays in the sun. I feel I am missing something and he is trying to tell me something.

Any ideas please.

Comments for My cockerel Zebedee

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by: Cath

Hi there Derek,

I remember you writing to me a while ago about your friend Zebedee - welcome back! You tell your story in such an engaging way and it's good to hear an update about Zebedee.

For anyone who wants to read Derek's previous story, you can find it here.

Well, I have never heard of a cockerel (US rooster) being this well house-trained before! He really is quite a character, your buddy Zebedee!

He's obviously very well imprinted on you - in other words he sees you as his family, I think.

The attacks may be something to do with you standing, as opposed to lying or sitting - you're more of a threat when you tower over him.

And when you're not upright, he's using either you or your chair as a perch, so he's above you and feels safe.

Not being a chicken behaviourist, I'm just taking a guess here, but it certainly seems to me to be something to do with dominance - that's generally the reason why roosters attack. Fluffing up his feathers is certainly a sign that he's about to go for it.

As I've said to others, the way I deal with a cockerel (roo) who attacks is with water. They don't like it and they'll usually back off. Perhaps keep a plant spray filled with water by your side and, at the first signs of an attack - shaking the head, fluffing feathers and stamping are all clear signs that a roo is about to go for it - give him a spray in the face.

It doesn't hurt or harm them, but they do learn pretty quickly that the spray is not to be tangled with!

The other option is to give him more digestive biscuits! - except mealworms would probably be healthier for him - bikkies have too much sugar for chickens.

It'a an interesting question - I'll ask for views from others in my next newsletter as well!

Thanks for telling us yours and Zebedee's story.


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