Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rooster Tales

I do not understand why all my little hens are being killed and not a single stinking rooster is sacrificing himself for the good of the flock! Slowly the rooster numbers are increasing. It is a sad situation for everyone involved. Somebody will have to go. Maybe more than one somebody will have to go.

First there is the Evil Roo, who ruggedly survived 24 hours alone in the coldest Kansas weather on record for some years. He is easily the kindest rooster to his wives and children. The trouble with him is the tireless war of vengeance he wages against me. Evil has been biding his time, waiting until I let my guard down. His chance came last week as I foolishly paused before getting into the truck. He attacked the back of my legs this time and made a deep puncture wound. It actually hurt and bled a lot. I was so angry at that hateful little bird! I considered chopping his head off right then and there, but I felt so bad about losing Annie that I could not do it. Evil is alive right now thanks to Annie's memory, but he has no way to know it.

Junior is a rooster that hatched from a Mrs. Peckins egg. The matronly little Mrs. Peckins, one of my favorite chickens, was murdered this summer, leaving only a scattering of her soft feathers as evidence. I can not bring myself to give away her only son. He has never, ever even considered attacking me and he is the alpha rooster now so he at least has a job to do.

Cherokee is the Japanese rooster I bought as a peep at the farm store this spring. Almost all of his royal feathers are in now, and he is beautiful. His crowing attempts are so funny. I believe he is crowing in Japanese, or is that Cherokee? He is still cute and as yet, has not done a single aggressive thing.

Cherokee's pal is Bella, a Mille Fluer D'Uccle rooster. He is still a baby, but if he acts like Evil Roo' when he grows up, there will be serious trouble. Bella is going to a new home as soon as I can find one. Cherokee will miss his best bud, but he will get over it.

That leaves the two baby peeps I brought into the house to care for since all of the other peeps that hatched this spring have died, one by one. All the babies started out healthy and vital, but after a few days they died no matter what I tried. I called the KState Extension Office for advice, but their best guess was something in the environment. No way I can tell if those babies are hens or roosters except for the fact that they act stupid, a good indication of rooster peeps. I take care of them several times a day, and of course love them, but I have not named them. It is more sad when something happens to them if they have names.

Three little hens are sitting on eggs now, so there will soon be another round of peeps. I want to build my flock of hens back up in numbers because those eggs are delicious! But there will be even more roosters, if any of the new babies survive. I do not know what is different from last year. All of the babies lived unless they met with a predator or fell in the water bowl. None of them died from apparent disease or distress. Such is life with chickens.

No comments: