Have you always dreamed of sharing your life and home with an annoying, uncivilized rooster? Are you tired of sleeping in past the crack of dawn? Do you want all the fun of poultry without the hassle of fresh eggs? Then a rooster is the pet for you! We have two you can choose from!
I’m actually a little sad to see them go. I like the crowing of a rooster, and they’re pretty birds with their tail fluff and red combs. But Kerry is tired of their barbaric ways. He believes any rooster worth its scratch ought to get to know a hen, court her and win her heart, ask her Farmer for permission to marry her, and then settle down to raise a family of chicks. Instead the roosters act like Vikings who just rowed in on a dragon ship to plunder and demoralize the village. (Or perhaps that isn’t fair to the Vikings?)
We did try to move the roosters into the orchard today, thinking they could earn their keep as monks among the apple trees by eating down the weeds and ants, but unfortunately Kerry was right that the fence squares were big enough for them to escape through. (I didn’t think a chicken would squeeze its body through something that much smaller than its fluff. I stand corrected.) It required the combined efforts of everyone in the family to catch them again and return them to their disappointed harem. I’m pretty sure I heard the hens giggling when I brought Fred in hanging upside-down in my fist. Chickens calm way down if you let all the blood rush into their head.
Anyway, look how cute these guys are. (And yes, Grandma Karen, we’d be happy to ship to Florida.)
DeVito (yes, we mercilessly exploit the features of famous people when we name our chickens)
DeVito is actually our family favorite. We gave her a “small” name because she stayed miniature for a long time, and is still smaller than all the other hens. Her cuteness makes her the target of more picking up, and as a result she’s actually quite happy to be held and petted. She’s all-around fuzzy and sweet.
The hens were very pleased with their new nesting boxes, built by Kerry last weekend. They’ve just started laying eggs, and kept hiding them behind the feed bin. Now they have plenty of safe little cubbies to use instead. (The nesting bins are completely washable and $1.97 each at Walmart — a great idea Kerry found online.)
Really though, Mingo is such a good dog so far when it comes to chickens. He’s never eaten one even though he’s had opportunity. I’m still not completely sure he won’t, so I scolded him tonight when he joined the rooster chase, but I actually think he may have been trying to help, not snack.
[Update: The roosters may get to stay and be apple orchard monks after all. Kerry thinks it might be pretty easy and inexpensive to line the fence with smaller chicken netting.]