Friday, March 20, 2009
The Meanest Person in the World
I gave away my three Cochin roosters. I miss those characters. They were the life of the chicken pen. But, the little hens do NOT miss them. Their feathers are growing back. They are gaining weight. They can move freely about their day without the constant sexual assaults. I owe them a big, big apology for waiting so long to get rid of the roosters. I was mean to keep so many roosters with so few hens - one to one ratio.
Elvis is the remaining rooster. He is a different breed. The Cochin roosters were gentlemen, not fighting with one another, calling the hens with their rolling cluck and ritual pecking of food. They also performed a little dance, warning everyone and everything of an impending attack. I always thought they acted like English butlers, "Beg your pardon, Madame. Look here, I will soon be flying at your legs if you do not back away."
The three of them formed a defensive V, with Big Man at the apex and his two seconds on either side. They were so brave until it was clear they would lose the war, then they turned and ran squawking in great alarm and panic, warning, "Run, run for your bloody lives!"
Elvis has none of that English butler polish about him. He is down right mean. He has three times attacked the back of my head, flying at me when I turn my back - for no reason, I might add! That may be very smart strategy for a rooster that weighs only one pound, but it is not very sporting of him.
He and I do not like one another at all. The thrill is off for both of us. He does not have a warning dance like the Cochins. He faces me directly, lowers his head, spreads his wings, fluffs his neck feathers and prepares for mortal combat. The third time he jumped on my head, I sent him flying across the pen at the end of my foot. I did not kick him but lifted him with the toe of my boot and launched him across the pen. I still felt like the meanest person in the world. After all, I outweigh him by.... well, by a LOT.
At one time, I could maintain my dominance over the roosters by throwing the plastic feed cup at them, or chasing them around the pen. The older they got, the less that worked. All four of the roosters began attacking me at the same time. They never hurt me, but who needs that complication at home when I am surrounded by a multitude of chicken heads at work?!
Now, before I go into the pen, I take a long stick and force Elvis off the roof of the coop so he can not so easily fly at my head. That does nothing for the peace process. When I lean down to fill the feeder, he threatens me. I always have to be on my guard against a little bird just a bit larger than a pigeon! It does nothing for my already flagging self-esteem.
I think I am going to have to be really mean and evict Elvis to another chicken yard. He was utterly dominated by the Cochins and I think he still believes they are going to suddenly reappear to put him in his place. The hens do not seem to pay him any mind yet. In fact, the only creature he scares at all is me, the meanest person in the world.