REALLY Rowdy Roosters!

April 20, 2009

One of the biggest problems on the farm is having too many boys.  My apologies to the guys reading this, but I’m afraid it’s true.  Too much testosterone on the farm leads to trouble.

Take for instance our chickens.  Last year I let a couple of broody hens raise some chicks, and what did I end up with?  A whole lot of roosters, that’s what.  More roosters than hens, that’s what.  TOO MANY ROOSTERS, that’s what!

They seemed to get along all right until this spring.  Ahhh yes, spring, when love (lust?) is in the air, and all of a sudden, it’s every rooster for himself!  Every single rooster wanted his own harem, and that meant ALL the hens, no sharing.

The hens got rather tired of never being left alone and would hide under things to keep the roosters, quite literally, off their backs.

Chickens with two roosters.
Look close: see how ragged the poor hens backs look because most of the feathers have been torn off!

The young roosters were far too aggressive, bothering the hens constantly, fighting each other, and as the final straw, exiling the patriarch rooster to wander around alone.  Even at feeding time, they wouldn’t let him near.

Never mind these chickens have about 12 acres to roam over during the day.  Never mind that they have no less than 4 different roosting places to settle in at night.  Oh no, that wasn’t enough, they each one wanted it ALL to themselves. 

I figured enough was enough.  I was steamed.  If the roosters wouldn’t behave, the roosters were gone.  So one night while the roosters were roosting, The Farmer and I went out and while I shone a light in their eyes, he grabbed them.  One by one we captured those rotten roosters and chunked them in a pen by themselves.

Roosters in pen.
You won’t behave? So there! Let’s see how you like being cooped up!

These are the five I selected for exile.  I put an ad in the local Freecycle and on Craigs List for FREE ROOSTERS.

Roosters ready for pick-up.

The first to go were the Sicilian Buttercup roosters.  The 4 white ones left the farm soon after.

I kept one Sicilian Buttercup that had been low man on the totem pole, constantly being chased and his tail feathers picked out.   And I kept the patriarch of the clan, cause I figured he deserved to have his girls back.

Rooster with no tail feathers.
Look Ma, NO tail feathers!

Now, you would think since the thugs were gone that these two lowly roosters would be happy to share the farm space and the hens, right?  Of course not.  Things are never that easy.  One morning I looked out and they were having a huge FIGHT.

Roosters fighting in pasture.

Now most of the time the roosters fuss a little, but it’s quickly over.  Not this time!  They were in rooster-to-rooster combat, determined to have ONE winner, one rooster to rule the roost!

I went out to do the morning chores and break up the fight.  I thought maybe a little cracked corn would take their mind off fighting.  Ha! 

Roosters fighting by feed room.

They got into it again. 

I’d break it up, and it wouldn’t be but a minute or two until they were having another showdown.

Rooster Showdown!

They were determined that ONE of them was going to be King of the Roost.

More rooster fighting!

It didn’t matter how many times I interfered, they were going to FINISH that fight!

It seemed like the young upstart would win, but the old boy hung in there, determined he was going to be at the TOP of the pecking order again!

The Winning Rooster!

In the end, he got to crow in victory.  Age, treachery and experience won out.  The patriarch is once again King.

Rooster HeadIt was a hard fight.

The combat was lengthy.

But!
He is once again King of The Roost,
bloody but unbowed.
..

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