Friday, September 11, 2009
Early Morning Rooster
Our rooster has learned to crow. I missed his first attempts, partly because I'm a great sleeper. But now he crows all the time. He crows in the morning while it's still dark. He crows around the time the sun comes up. And randomly throughout the day he crows. Sometimes he does it while he's standing right outside our open living room window, and that's a little startling. But it's cute.
I'm not much for getting up and outside early, but whenever I do on a beautiful morning, I'm glad I did.
Before school started I needed to get outside before it was too late, to let the chickens out. Now I just let them out as we're walking down the driveway to catch the bus.
Mr. Rooster used to be the nicest chicken of the bunch. He'd come up to us and coo like a dove and let us pet him and even pick him up. Then he got less sociable. Then he started flapping his wings at us when we'd approach. Okay, no big deal. He wants to show he's big and tough, but he knows we're the boss. We've always given the chickens a tap on the head or back if they tried to peck us to let them know we're higher up in the pecking order.
Well, now Mr. Rooster's mature enough to breed, and he's just started acting like he's thinking about a coup. He acted funny with my husband just yesterday. Then today he bit me hard on the foot for no reason; the chickens do peck if you have something interesting on your body, like a ring or a paint splatter, but they don't normally otherwise. I have a red mark on the top of my foot now. Usually their pecks don't really hurt, they just surprise me. This was different. So I ran at him and tried to give him a kick, but he is fast. I think the most important thing is to chase him and make him run away, because he does that to the hens. So the current plan is to be prepared that he could be agressive and do something each time to show that we are still, in fact, at the top of the pecking order. Carry a big stick, perhaps. These chickens are afraid of big sticks despite the fact they've never been hit by one.
Mr. Rooster is so beautiful; my photos don't do him justice. And he is too much of an individual for us to want to eat him. So we want to keep him. It would be neat to have a hen actually hatch chicks (although I know getting that to happen can be highly challenging). And someone I know has a barred rock rooster with a nice temperament. It is possible. I hope we can keep him in line.