Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Earning his keep

My rooster was acquired at the same time as my chickens. They are all just 8 months old.

I do not care about eating fertilized eggs. I do not currently want little chicks.

I allow him to pleasure the ladies. That is his reward, along with food and shelter, for doing his job. My rooster has one job and I have been waiting patiently for him to do it.

I expect my rooster to keep the flock alive. He can fight predators, intimidate predators, warn me about predators, or be a target for predators. I am not too picky, so long as the girls keep laying delicious eggs.

Today I was out in the chicken run when I heard a hawk overhead. I saw it land in a tree right over my chickens. I ran over and hassled the hawk away while the ignorant fowl continued to chow down. One more check in the "useless" box for the roo....

Later that day, the rooster got up on the fence and started crowing. I was out in the yard and about as far from the chickens as I can be on my land. As I watched, he strutted up and down the fence line and crowed every few yards while the hens kept under cover. Next, he hopped down and took cover with them. Then I saw the hawk as it gave a cry and flew off.

I was so proud of the cockerel that I gave him black oil sunflower seed for a treat. He graciously shared it with the girls.

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