A friend of the staff at Blue Acre got Bertie / Egbert (as he was known back then), as a fathers day present when he was just an egg. They hatched and cared for him in his early years but Bertie is a a character and was a bit of a handful for his previous owners crowing a lot and disappearing in to neighbours gardens.
Here you can see a photo taken in the old days of him standing on the shed roof crowing and annoying his neighbours. The owners felt he’d be better off at the sanctuary having free roam of the site and some other feathered friends to play with so brought him down.
He fits right in with all of the other animals but runs around like a nutter attacking people that he doesn’t know and occasionally people he does.
He doesn’t attack Caron any more however when she comes down in the winter with her long trousers and different boots on he sometimes goes for her. She just leans down towards his eye level and shouts “Bertie No” and when he looks up and realises its her he stops what he’s doing and walks away.
People that know me know that i’m pretty good with animals and I pride myself on being able to get on with all sorts but I find it very frustrating when I come across one that doesn’t like me.
I thought Caron was winding me up when she told me that as soon as he attacks me that I needed to grab him and pin him down on his back gently to assert my dominance so that he learns not to go for me.
This worked pretty well at first and it even got to the point where I could hand feed him grapes and strawberries however as soon as I run out of fruit the little bugger attacked me again. We clearly need to do a bit more bonding.
A little while ago he hurt his leg and got an infection in the joint and it got to the point where he couldn’t walk and was sat quietly in the corner.
One day I went back down to the farm and he attacked me again. In a strange way I was happy about this as I knew he was back to his old self!
He’s a beautiful cockerel and a joy to photograph. I was quite surprised when we put him in my little make shift studio area and he didn’t attack me at all and just stood there posing for his portrait.