Monday, July 27, 2009

All Roosters But One...

Saturday morning I hauled all the boy chickens, except Evil Rooster, off to a swap meet in Topeka. I was really sad, I have to say. All the little roosters that Mrs. Peckins patiently hatched this summer were so cute. Once they lost all their baby fuzz, they were just like little boys on the playground, pushing one another around, bumping chests, and messing around instead of paying attention.

Of the ten surviving chicks, six were roosters, so I had to do something. The Silver Sebright rooster also went. He was the meanest of the babies, even whipping up on everyone else in the cage, so he had to go in his own cage.

I did not think anyone would want any of the boys except maybe the Sebright, but I was wrong. There was a lot of interest immediately. Several men asked me what I wanted for the roosters. I had no idea what to ask, so I said, "Make me an offer."

Men are strange about wheeling and dealing. It is some form of ritual and there are rules my XX genes simply are not coded to unravel. No one would make me an offer immediately.

Within ten minutes a woman and two girls purchased the Silver Sebright rooster. I think he went to a good home. The woman sells chickens and her young daughters are a big part of caring for the chickens. She gave me her card. I felt alright letting the rooster go off in the arms of a young girl. I held him one last time in farewell, but he is not the sentimental type whatsoever.

Several more men came by and asked what I wanted for the Porcelain D'Uccle roosters, who are about the size of robins now. Finally, one young man offered me fifty cents apiece for all of them. I am sure I am totally ignorant, and innocent, but I did ask him if he had fighting roosters. If he did, I assured him, it was none of my business and I was not judging, only that I could not allow my chicks to go to such an end. He assured me he did not fight roosters but sold many chickens to 4-H kids. I hope that is true.

He scooped up four of the babies, remarking how tame they were. I took the other two in my hands and we walked to his vehicle where he was selling a variety of poultry and fowl. When we got there, there was an aquarium of SNAKES for sale! The guy quickly assured me the snakes were not his. Oh great - another bad end I had not considered!

Sold out, I was packing up a mere 20 minutes after I had arrived when a couple came by, disappointed that all the little roo's were gone. We chatted for a few minutes and they seemed like nice people. I said they could surely get some of my roosters from the guy who had bought them all from me. After they walked away, it dawned on me that I could give Evil (formerly known as Elvis) to them! It was too late by the time I caught up with them. They had already bought one of my little guys - for $1, I might add.

Even though they had already purchased one of the little roosters, we talked for some time and I felt that they would give Evil a good chicken home on a farm belonging to the man's parents. He was sure his parents would greatly enjoy having a rooster named Elvis. As they walked away, I couldn't resist, and in my best Elvis voice, I said, "Thank you. Thank you very much!"

It was agreed that I would bring Evil to them the next day. But when I got home, I spent a lot of time watching the chickens. Even though Evil and I do not get along, I admire his roosterly bravery, especially in such a tiny little body. He is a gentleman with all of his ladies, and does not peck his children. He struts around crowing all day in the short grass and the gravel of the driveway, keeping an eye on things, while his wives and children scatter in the tall grass to feast on worms, grubs, seeds and insects. If he and a hen or a peep go for the same bug or morsel of food, Evil always defers to the hen or the chick. He is a real father, a warrior.

He is not as flamboyant as the little red cochin roosters were, nor as vocal. There is nothing comical about him the way there was with Big Man. I have never felt much affection for him as an adult rooster, but ultimately I could not take Evil away from his home and his flock. It will not be hard to impose birth control now - just gather the eggs daily (and eat them) and there will be no more problem of too many roosters.

The swap meet was fun, but I drove about fifty miles round trip. I sold a $13 rooster for $5, and had to hand that $5 over as a vendor fee. I sold the six peeps for $3 and bought three day-old guineas for $7.50. $17.50 in the red, not counting gas. I am such a wheeler dealer!

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