This is first bit of parsiptation I can remember that isn’t frozen, I had almost forgot what rain sounded like. It is amazing to watch it melt the last bits of snow and hard to believe that spring could really be taking hold.
Our preparation for this eventuality has been in full swing the last week. Our dog run has shifted so that we have our front yard back.
Greenhouses and bee hives have been assembled, hay spread, seeds started, potted plants put outside and so much more. No matter how much we get done other things stand out impatiently.
The next immediate project is a new chicken coop in the front of the yard, to keep them out of the gardens and off the deck.
I swear, sometimes it seemed they only did it to taunt Isis through the sliding glass door, it drove her nuts!
After a whole winter of four over-amourious roosters running the hens ragged we had to make a choice about the future of the flock.
Originally we thought we would keep all four roosters as they are all very good, well-handled, pretty birds that I have been raising for a whole year.
As tends to happen with roosters in tight quarters, fights started breaking out. First between the two brothers but quickly it seemed that only Trouble and Turbo could share space without conflict. They are total buddies.
Since we are both very stubborn people we thought we could just keep them apart during the day and until the ground thawed and we could set up four different runs and coops.
Then each rooster could have his own heram and all would be right in chicken land again.
After a month of rooster juggling- one or two in the green house, one in the coop, one in the coup in the ‘diplomatic immunity cell’ (a pet crate,) one outside… and other such combinations)
I decided it would be far simpler to just keep one rooster. Trouble, Turbo and Pretty Boy all optimize the meaning of the word “cocky.” They are beautiful, showy, horny boys who show more interest in mounting the hens than keeping them safe.
They are really sweet and well handled. I could pick all of them up and hold all three at once, just an arm load of roosters.
They all stated fighting with Dude mostly because Dude would stick up for the hens when they got too overzealous, because he is a gentleman!
I also think since he was always the low man in the peck in order he was closest in rank to the hens and has more empathy for them. It sucks to get pecked in the head!
Dude and Pretty Boy are brothers. Dude’s pattern is not as striking as Pretty Boy’s but he is sturdy and strong, by far the heaviest of the boys- but the least showy.
Giving the boys away was a tough choice, made simple by the willingness of the farmer who bred them to take them back. His farm supplies the feed store in town with hundreds of chicks every year.
He was able to take on the tres amigos. Now they live down the road and have over a hundred hens to court. Pretty Boy is even set up in his own pen with his own personal hen for breeding, cause he is that pretty.
Meanwhile back in our coop a calm descended…
It was so weird and quite to go from four crowing, mating, fighting roosters to one. It was also nice to get a break from doctoring the constant minor injuries that resulted from too much… mounting.
Dude looks out for the girls. He is the perfect rooster.
He may not be the prettiest or the cuddliest but he is what is best for the flock. He calls to them constantly all day moving, gathering and warning the flock as they journey across the yard.
He responds to their calls of distress and is very attentive and they are happier for it. I don’t have to juggle chickens, worry about frostbite or boil water every morning to de-ice their water.
This I could get used to!
Welcome to Maine, Spring! Feel free to stay as long as you want!