Saturday, May 7, 2011

How Roosters Roll...

The current vice-rooster of my little flock of bantam chickens is Cherokee, the Japanese rooster. He is quite beautiful with a spectacular tail. If his legs were regular length, he might be the president, but Japanese bantams have very short legs. He is no taller than the little hens. He must work harder to impress the ladies.

He is always the first chicken waiting for food so I assumed he was merely ensuring his share. I realized the other day he is making sure to get his share - but not of food. If he is the first guy at the food, then he is the first rooster to make the pleasant, popping cluck that calls the hens to any food he may have found. I laughed at his strutting and calling the hens in his suave "food is served" voice. I scoffed at him, telling him he had not found any food on his own so he should not expect the girls to be impressed. That is when it dawned on me why he was always the first chicken at the feeding site.

This is the same successful behavior that has fueled the evolution of all species. It exists in the male of the human species to this day. It sells very expensive sports cars to middle aged men. It is directly responsible for Donald Trump's abominable comb-over, though with all of his money he does not need good hair to attract a certain type of woman.

Once again there are as many roosters as there are hens in my flock, so at least a couple of the boys will have to go, or I will have to get more hens. I have given away and sold roosters before, but I hate to do that. I never know what circumstance they will go into. When I sold the little porcelaine d'uccle roosters, they may have gone to feed snakes. I know snakes have to eat too - just not my chicks.

I gave away Big Man, the smallest, most magnificent rooster I have ever known - the funniest chicken. He was the tiniest peep and grew into the tiniest, most handsome roo', ever. I still feel bad about it. He taught me about roosters. I did not know anything about them before Big Man. He was a Cochin and demonstrated the epitome of bantam rooster behavior. He was pecking me and attacking me before he was even an adolescent, so if he had stayed, I eventually may not have liked him as much.

Who knew chickens could teach me so much about human beings?

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