Sunday, June 18, 2006

Farm Report 06/18/06

Cecil The Rooster Loses His Head

Here is a photo of Cecil in his younger days. Here he is with his two wives, Alfie and Bettie:

He was our first rooster, and a magnificent specimen of his breed. He was a lion of the bird world, brave, strong and aggressive. Qualities that are very much an asset in the wild... but unfortunately, a liability in a farm chicken coop.

You can read Pat's post about the event HERE.

The day after Cecil lost his head, his wife Bettie died. But it wasn't from a broken heart... the autopsey showed that it was from a broken egg, that had ruptured inside of her and damaged her internally. It was most likely caused by Cecil jumping on top of her; he was considerably larger than the two leghorn hens. She died before we realised she how sick she was.

We had to keep the leghorns with Cecil, because they were vicious towards the other birds. Perhaps we should have chopped Cecil sooner, but we had no room in the Freezer. Live and learn.

Alfie, without team mates to help her bully, has calmed down and changed her ways, and is re-intergrating with the rest of the flock:

Little Bertie the Bantam Rooster watches her closely, and corrects her if she gets too upitty with the other females. The little bantam hens are also quite fierce, and hold there own with her. The pullets are more easily intimidated, but Bertie considers them part of his flock now, and is protective of them.

Meanwhile, the first set of fledglings from the bantam chicks have been moved into a partitioned section of the coop:

They share it with a new young chicken, Maria Callas. Maria is a small black hen, a replacement offering from the local farm store, when we told them that two of the chicks we bought were roosters, even though we had paid the higher price to get hens.

Maria is smaller than our pullets, yet bigger than the Bantam fledglings, so she is staying with them until she gets bigger.

We call her Maria Callas because she has an unusual talent; she sings! And trills, too. Her songs are almost as good as the canaries we keep in the house. The trills are very endearing:

"Bunty", the buff colored runt, has been keeping Maria company evenings and nights. In the morning she likes to go back with the flock, to maintain her presence in the pecking order. In the evening she usually joins Maria.

Today we added more fledglings, and Bunty didn't like them so it looks like it's just the fledglings and Maria for tonight:

The smallest, newest fledglings were huddling together on the ground, so Pat put them in a nesting box for the night:

Aren't they cute? But for how long? Some of them are roosters!

The two pullet roosters, Dumb and Dumber, have been separated out for now. Dumb is trying to learn to crow, but it sounds more like a baby elephant:

Dare we keep one of these barred rock roosters, and hope it won't be as brutal as the Rhode Island Red? All I can say for sure is, the chicken coop is much more peaceful without big roosters mixed in. Note the fierce faces:

It looks like the subject of roosters and their fate will continue to be a topic on the Farm Report for a while yet.

I'm going to end the report with this picture I found on the internet, of a rooster and his hareem:

I think it's great, I love that strut. Can anyone think of a good caption?


1 comment:

Walker said...

I don't know but I've been told
chicken feet ain't got no soul!

Count off... one, two, three, four