My peaman is behaving funny(around me)- need behavioral specialist/peacock psychologist.

doudini2

Songster
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
111
2
126
Hello all, happy spring, it's been a while


So, in december, we went for a longish trip and Henri the 3 year old peacock was in for boarding. When we came back, he was a changed man. Before we left, he did not care for being petted(even after years of living with us), and we could only touch his head. Since January, he has puffy neck, dances a lot(10 am to 2 pm), slimmed down a lot, and basically is horny all the time.
It is now almost May and he is same(4 months). His feathers grew back in winter, and I assume it is still season because he has not changed back to his touchy self. At first I thought he came back from boarding weird, because he missed us a lot, and I was worried that someone might have hit him and that is why he is so mellow, but it never passed. But basically he is sweet boy now, letting us pet him, hug him, kiss him, etc...most of the time he looks like he is in trance and honestly not sure if he loves my hugs, but he definitely tolerates them. Is it only because he is in season? Is he going to change to his normal self once his feathers fall out? Is it normal for season to start in Winter because he lives with us? We are in Northern NJ.

Funny thing: when my bf feeds him bread pieces, Henri will eat from his hand. When I come close to them, or try to feed him, Henri bows his head right into the food, and shakes his head and refuses to eat. It is ridiculous...sometimes my bf puts the bread piece into my hand, and then Henri eats. Sometimes he will eat from me but rarely and that only the best treats. Also, when I get up from couch(as we watch TV), Henri walks over to my bf, when I am gone, and he stays for a while if I come back and let's us play with his head. But if I am sitting on the couch, he never comes to us/me, only when i leave the room for few minutes...It is really funny...especially the bit when he shakes his head NO, when i try to feed him. Every morning, I whip up eggs for me and him...and he always shakes his head NO...but when I put it down, in an hour or so...he goes over to eat the eggs. Few weeks ago we were watching TV and Henri was standing about a 2 feet from us, and whenever I pointed my finger at his head, he would bow and shake his head...I did it about 20 times, and without fail he would submit to the finger.

So what is it? Does he love my bf because he comes over to him for petting and lets him feed him bread? Does he submit to be because I am female(how does he know that..), or is he scared of me? I am able to do quite a bit with him, but i would love for him to come over for petting when I watch TV...but instead he only dances and shakes his head NO....

 

doudini2

Songster
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
111
2
126
Also, here are few new photos...I have a lot but they are huge and it takes me days to edit them...sooo...I will try to ad some in coming weeks









 

DylansMom

RIP 1969-2017
6 Years
Jan 10, 2014
3,742
582
248
PA
Hello all, happy spring, it's been a while


So, in december, we went for a longish trip and Henri the 3 year old peacock was in for boarding. When we came back, he was a changed man. Before we left, he did not care for being petted(even after years of living with us), and we could only touch his head. Since January, he has puffy neck, dances a lot(10 am to 2 pm), slimmed down a lot, and basically is horny all the time.
It is now almost May and he is same(4 months). His feathers grew back in winter, and I assume it is still season because he has not changed back to his touchy self. At first I thought he came back from boarding weird, because he missed us a lot, and I was worried that someone might have hit him and that is why he is so mellow, but it never passed. But basically he is sweet boy now, letting us pet him, hug him, kiss him, etc...most of the time he looks like he is in trance and honestly not sure if he loves my hugs, but he definitely tolerates them. Is it only because he is in season? Is he going to change to his normal self once his feathers fall out? Is it normal for season to start in Winter because he lives with us? We are in Northern NJ.

Funny thing: when my bf feeds him bread pieces, Henri will eat from his hand. When I come close to them, or try to feed him, Henri bows his head right into the food, and shakes his head and refuses to eat. It is ridiculous...sometimes my bf puts the bread piece into my hand, and then Henri eats. Sometimes he will eat from me but rarely and that only the best treats. Also, when I get up from couch(as we watch TV), Henri walks over to my bf, when I am gone, and he stays for a while if I come back and let's us play with his head. But if I am sitting on the couch, he never comes to us/me, only when i leave the room for few minutes...It is really funny...especially the bit when he shakes his head NO, when i try to feed him. Every morning, I whip up eggs for me and him...and he always shakes his head NO...but when I put it down, in an hour or so...he goes over to eat the eggs. Few weeks ago we were watching TV and Henri was standing about a 2 feet from us, and whenever I pointed my finger at his head, he would bow and shake his head...I did it about 20 times, and without fail he would submit to the finger.

So what is it? Does he love my bf because he comes over to him for petting and lets him feed him bread? Does he submit to be because I am female(how does he know that..), or is he scared of me? I am able to do quite a bit with him, but i would love for him to come over for petting when I watch TV...but instead he only dances and shakes his head NO....

Wow! Okay, so he lives in the house with you full time? You've got to tell me how you do that, does he have a really big bird diaper he wears or do you just clean up after him? I am amazed!
As for the behaviors he is a mature breeding age male for the first time this year, being in the artificial light and heat of your house could have caused him to start his breeding season behaviors early. The head bowing is a very common behavior among the boys during the breeding season. Mine often ignore treats at first and will possibly have some later if the hens haven't eaten them all, most males slim down noticeably at this time. I think he is trying to work out his position in the family unit here, and I fear you may have some problems if he continues to be a house pet. The urge to mate is going to get very strong, he may consider one of you a rival and one a potential mate, both could be very problematic. He appears to def. be an imprinted Peacock and these are the ones we usually hear about attacking their owners during breeding season. I can't wait to hear more details here, very interesting.
 

doudini2

Songster
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
111
2
126
Hi DylansMom

Yes, he lives at home, and goes out into large dog cage when it is nice weather- he is funny that way- he nay enjoys truly sunny and warm weather. If it is sunny but chilly, he hates it outside and cries to go home and paces....but if it is truly warm, he immediately spreads his wings and lays down on the grass to tan his shoulders.
He stays at home and yes, the living room is a mess- we use easy to wash sturdy blankets on couches which we change every 3 days or so...he has his favorite spots to poop and he has his chair and table to perch on by the windows as well as he lounges on the couch and sleeps.
I hear about imprinting of animals, and I am sure he thinks we are peacocks, he definitely seems to be more friendlier with my bf, because since the start he left him alone, while I was the one to chase him and pet and hug him. My bf waits for the peacock to come while I am coming to the peacock and kiss his cheeks, so i think since the start he used to avoid me because HUGS are coming
.
Regarding the attacks- he basically never attacked/targeted us or anyone who came to our home- he loves visitors, even more so, handymen...with their toolboxes Henri cannot leave them alone.
HOWEVER- he did injure each of us a few times, me, my mom, my bf, his mom- BUT that was technically him attacking the objects we would carry:
He hates: LAUNDRY BASKETS, SUITCASES, LAPTOPS, BACKPACKS, LARGE BAGS, PLASTIC BAGS, FULL GARBAGE BAGS, CURTAINS, OPEN NEWSPAPERS, BROOMS, VACUUMS, CARDBOARD BOXES, AND ANY LARGE OBJECTS THAT INVADE HIS BEDROOM/LAUNDRY ROOM.
So, we have to carry laundry quickly and often while one of use covers his eyes/blocks him...he will chase me to the end of the world if I am holding a basket...once, I had to evacuate and chucked the basket outside the door, and he managed to swiftly jump after it, and into it and attack it.
When he is in attack mode, he is like ninja, and the only way is to get rid of the item, and run...and then we have to calm him by petting his head with soft materials...

So basically while handling above tasks, he did manage to jump on my legs/chest...but it was more of me being in the way of his path...

He does peck my feet and squeal when he displays, but I laugh when he does that...it is solo funny!
He has a toy/female replacement- it is a animatronic christmas tree of about hen's size, that Henri tips over and humps....


So I am not sure if he will start attacking us directly, but for now we manage while learning what objects he hates...only problem is my mom...I think she does not like him very much(on account of him being a wild animal and making a mess), and so although I told her list of tasks not to do in front of him, she will use broom or vacuum and he gets mad and jumps the gate and attacks the object while she is in the way...

Anyway....
 

DylansMom

RIP 1969-2017
6 Years
Jan 10, 2014
3,742
582
248
PA
Hi DylansMom

Yes, he lives at home, and goes out into large dog cage when it is nice weather- he is funny that way- he nay enjoys truly sunny and warm weather. If it is sunny but chilly, he hates it outside and cries to go home and paces....but if it is truly warm, he immediately spreads his wings and lays down on the grass to tan his shoulders.
He stays at home and yes, the living room is a mess- we use easy to wash sturdy blankets on couches which we change every 3 days or so...he has his favorite spots to poop and he has his chair and table to perch on by the windows as well as he lounges on the couch and sleeps.
I hear about imprinting of animals, and I am sure he thinks we are peacocks, he definitely seems to be more friendlier with my bf, because since the start he left him alone, while I was the one to chase him and pet and hug him. My bf waits for the peacock to come while I am coming to the peacock and kiss his cheeks, so i think since the start he used to avoid me because HUGS are coming
.
Regarding the attacks- he basically never attacked/targeted us or anyone who came to our home- he loves visitors, even more so, handymen...with their toolboxes Henri cannot leave them alone.
HOWEVER- he did injure each of us a few times, me, my mom, my bf, his mom- BUT that was technically him attacking the objects we would carry:
He hates: LAUNDRY BASKETS, SUITCASES, LAPTOPS, BACKPACKS, LARGE BAGS, PLASTIC BAGS, FULL GARBAGE BAGS, CURTAINS, OPEN NEWSPAPERS, BROOMS, VACUUMS, CARDBOARD BOXES, AND ANY LARGE OBJECTS THAT INVADE HIS BEDROOM/LAUNDRY ROOM.
So, we have to carry laundry quickly and often while one of use covers his eyes/blocks him...he will chase me to the end of the world if I am holding a basket...once, I had to evacuate and chucked the basket outside the door, and he managed to swiftly jump after it, and into it and attack it.
When he is in attack mode, he is like ninja, and the only way is to get rid of the item, and run...and then we have to calm him by petting his head with soft materials...

So basically while handling above tasks, he did manage to jump on my legs/chest...but it was more of me being in the way of his path...

He does peck my feet and squeal when he displays, but I laugh when he does that...it is solo funny!
He has a toy/female replacement- it is a animatronic christmas tree of about hen's size, that Henri tips over and humps....


So I am not sure if he will start attacking us directly, but for now we manage while learning what objects he hates...only problem is my mom...I think she does not like him very much(on account of him being a wild animal and making a mess), and so although I told her list of tasks not to do in front of him, she will use broom or vacuum and he gets mad and jumps the gate and attacks the object while she is in the way...

Anyway....
Hi there, what a story. But.......people live with bears and tigers and ponies and all sorts of other animals in their homes, so compared to them a Peacock is probably not too difficult. It sounds like he views laundry baskets and brooms and vacuums as invaders in his territory. Peas will take offense at any invasion on their turf and try to scare off said intruder, he is probably just trying to keep his home and family safe. I am glad to hear he has the animatronic tree to help keep him from becoming too frustrated, the squealing while pecking at your feet sounds like a mating behavior as well, as long as it doesn't get any more violent it probably won't be a problem. Have you thought about possibly getting him a real mate at some time in the future? Perhaps if there were a hen out in the dog pen he would want to spend some more time there, although mine hate cold and wet weather as well, they seldom leave the barn on those days. They are very curious creatures and that is why the workmen's tool boxes are so irresistible. Everything I've heard just sounds like normal behaviors for a coming-of-age Peacock, who is trying to figure out how he fits into an unconventional family.
All you can really do is see how it goes, perhaps it will continue to be fine. The attacks seem more common in green and spalding peacocks, but I have heard of some cases of it in the blue varieties. This is my "Chirpy" he is an imprinted spalding I hatched last July. I love him to death, but I fully expect that I will be attacked by him someday.


 

doudini2

Songster
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
111
2
126
Oh he is a cutie!!!
Chirpy is a cute name.

When you say imprinted- what does it mean exactly- and how can you tell which ones imprinted on you and which ones did not? Is it more common for males?
Me too...expect to be attacked one day...I am very careful and hope that it is not my eyes...I don't mind occasional scratch on the arm or leg...
So, mate for him is my dream, but my family would not allow it...I secretly hope we will move somewhere else, where he can have proper pen and at least one hen.
For now, he seems happy just dancing for us and jumping on top of his christmas tree.
But- I did put an ad on Craigslist hoping to find someone in NJ with peahens...one guys replied, but we actually never met.
I wish I could find someone from BYC that lives in NJ, that could meet me and we could have them(our peacocks and hens) meet and mate once a month..
Is it possible to just present a hen and Henri would mate? Or do they have to actually live together to mate?
 

DylansMom

RIP 1969-2017
6 Years
Jan 10, 2014
3,742
582
248
PA
Oh he is a cutie!!!
Chirpy is a cute name.

When you say imprinted- what does it mean exactly- and how can you tell which ones imprinted on you and which ones did not? Is it more common for males?
Me too...expect to be attacked one day...I am very careful and hope that it is not my eyes...I don't mind occasional scratch on the arm or leg...
So, mate for him is my dream, but my family would not allow it...I secretly hope we will move somewhere else, where he can have proper pen and at least one hen.
For now, he seems happy just dancing for us and jumping on top of his christmas tree.
But- I did put an ad on Craigslist hoping to find someone in NJ with peahens...one guys replied, but we actually never met.
I wish I could find someone from BYC that lives in NJ, that could meet me and we could have them(our peacocks and hens) meet and mate once a month..
Is it possible to just present a hen and Henri would mate? Or do they have to actually live together to mate?
Birds, at least, will imprint on the first living creature they see and interact with after hatching. It just means they think you are their mommy. I didn't want to let any of mine imprint, but Chirpy hatched hours before any of the other chicks he was incubated with. He cried and cried and I was a big softy and got him out and held him much of the time. The next to hatch was an opal and he and chirpy are best buddies, but I am definitely mom. You could try posting an "In search of" ad on BYC, maybe someone with a hen would be willing to allow their hen to visit. I've never really heard of anyone doing it, and I think the hen would have to come and stay a little while just to get to know Henri a little before she would allow breeding. It is hard to tell though, I have a hen who will only breed with the male of her choosing, so far it is my older IB male. When she was younger she was penned with a black shouldered like herself and they mated the first 2 or 3 years, after that she would no longer mate with him, but if I let her loose she will go straight to the IB's pen and lay down on the ground in front of it so he can mate her. I will open the door and she will go in and they will mate and then she wants back out. She is a mature lady who knows what she wants.
Perhaps a hen that has a fair amount of breeding experience would be a good idea. Please keep me posted and let me know about Henri's future exploits, I will keep my fingers crossed that neither of us gets attacked by our baby boys.
Mindy
 

MinxFox

Crowing
9 Years
Sep 16, 2010
4,117
323
326
Pensacola, FL
Henri is a beautiful pied! I have an imprinted peacock named Peep. Previously I couldn't get any of my peafowl eggs to hatch. One year I put two eggs in the incubator and only one developed. This one ended up being Peep. I didn't have any other peachicks for him to befriend so he imprinted to me. He really imprinted to me too because he was hatching the wrong way so we had to help him out. Then once he was out I held him for at least an hour massaging his feet because they were curled up from being in the egg for so long they needed straightening. That same day we had to go on a vacation for a few days, so unfortunately I had to say goodbye to my first peachick and hope for the best. We took him to my grandmas and kept him in a baby playpen and while we were gone some friends came by every day to feed him and play with him since my grandma couldn't do that. By the time I got back, I was amazed that he still saw me as his mommy and he still wanted the attention of people. As a chick he would cry so loudly when I would leave the room. When I came back and looked at him, he would say "PeeeWEEP!?" in a funny questioning way. It was soo cute. I suspected he was a male, but I still was waiting to name him. Everyone was calling him Peep because of the noise he made and the name stuck. He stayed in the playpen and once he learned to fly we would clip a bed sheet over the top of it. Peep quickly became a messy birdy and then we decided to make him an outside elevated pen. We got lucky and found a great chicken coop at a local feed store. It was the perfect size for a peachick with a few little elevated nest boxes that were great for a chick to sleep in. We added some more wire to it to make it safer, and we added a bottom to it. We put it up on saw horses too. At night we left the chick light on outside and I had fun watching Peep run back and forth catching and eating the bugs that were attracted to the light. Around the time he first was moved outside, my dad's friend said he knew a lady who raises peafowl and he could get me a free white peachick. I was excited but didn't expect him to instead get me 3 white peachicks. I wasn't expecting that many and they were much smaller than I had expected. Peep was a bit harsh to these new birds. He picked on them since he was at least twice their size. They all normally avoided each other. Just about every day I would let Peep out of his outdoor pen to walk around eating plants and he would also take a nice dust bath. The whites were too wild to let out - but I still let them out once or twice. I had to chase them all over to get them back in too. Peep was always a good boy though and was very easy to get back in. When the whites got bigger and got to join him he kind of just ignored them. Eventually they all got moved to my small black pen attached to my big peafowl aviary. I closed it off so they could see the adults and get right up to them, but only behind the fence. The adult peafowl (and a few of their chicks) were always at the door looking at Peep and the three whites. Finally I let them all out with the adults and they got bullied. Peep was especially bullied because he didn't understand dominance. He was always the dominant chick, but in with the adults even the peahens were above him so he had to learn to move out of the way quickly.

Currently Peep is three years old. He is still very partial to people, but he has learned to be a peacock too. He begs for petting every time I go to the pen. This time of year though, he tries to mate with my foot EVERY day. I have to be careful because now that it is hot outside I wear shorts and low socks, and he will scratch up my ankles if I am not careful. He doesn't mean to, but when he runs up trying to grab my foot to mate with it, those nails really get me. Peep isn't aggressive though. He is a good boy. He shows no interest in matting with peahens. If he starts displaying, he might face a peahen, but when I walk up he shakes his tail a bunch making a lot of noise. In fact if I shake my foot he will shake his train. If I move my foot left, he moves left, etc. I don't know if he will ever have eyes for a peahen, but Shyanne, one of the whites he grew up with, is a very friendly, beautiful peahen that I have planned to be his mate once Peep gets his own pen. Peep does the same thing as your male as far as food goes. I get so annoyed when Peep doesn't eat around me because I come to feed the peafowl and I have good treats in my hand and he will eat just a few and then pick at my fingers asking to be pet. I know the other birds will eat up all the treats, so I don't want him to not get any treats or get his fill of food because he is too distracted by me, but that is just the way he is. When I drive up to the pen he paces the fence wanting to see me and if I sit outside the pen or walk around the pen he paces or runs to see me. I feel bad that I don't see him more (I keep my peafowl at my Grandma's 2 miles from my house) but I know he hangs out with the whites he grew up with a little at least. The other peafowl haven't really caught on that getting to be pet on the head and neck by a person is enjoyable, but once my boyfriend was able to pet my dominant peacock Alto. Then I got to pet him too, but that turned out to be a once in a lifetime event evidently. Now Alto acts like that never happened. Peep lets me and my boyfriend pet him. He follows me around a lot. I like tapping on a wooden stump and he flies up there for petting.
Here is the outside peachick pen - This is before we added smaller chicken fencing on it to make it even more secure.

Peep pecking a piece of dirt off of me. Sometimes he does that for me.


Peep when he was super tiny!


Peep at my Aunt's Birthday Party. Eventually went over and pecked at that blue guitar and got some laughs. He also jumped up into my Aunt's lap, which I thought was funny since it was her birthday and he didn't do that to anyone else.

Here is a recent photo of my big mature boy! He is still a sweetie.




 

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