a love letter to roosters!
roosters. do you love them or do you hate them? i personally love roosters, but i realize i am probably in the minority. well, i love a rooster. one at a time is all i (and my neighbors) can take. at this rare, and probably short-lived moment in time, we are lucky enough to have just one glorious, well-behaved rooster who crows so beautifully at the break of dawn. one rooster, that is our ideal, but not our norm.
in 10+ years of raising chickens, i have accidentally had more than one rooster on far too many occasions. four was our max. okay, well, actually 16 was our max. 16 roosters. how did this happen? and a better question yet, what would i do about it?
up until recently, it has been quite a quandary for me to deal with my extra roosters. (if you read my last blog below, you will realize why it is not such a quandary for me any longer). since they arrived early morning at my post office in an overnight box from iowa, i have been their stand-in mommy in this world, the person here to care for them, to nurture them, to help them grown and thrive. so, i do feel responsible to help ensure that they have a fair opportunity for a happy little chicken life. but since i really only want one rooster, the others will have to go lead their happy little chicken lives elsewhere. but where? how about your house?
at first i tried to sell my extra roosters to nice people offering good homes. it is not an easy endeavor to sell a rooster, probably because there are so many people out there who are trying to give them away, and fewer people out there who are looking for a good, healthy rooster, except for the cock fighters, they always call. hens, people want hens. hens are fairly quite, they don't require much work, and they give fresh eggs. they are a better gig than dogs in many ways, and certainly a better gig than roosters. why would anyone want a rooster? well, let me tell you some of the reasons why i love my rooster(s).
roosters are actually interesting and useful creatures. in the useful column, 1. they do a great job of protecting their flock from all types of predators. 2. a hen doesn't need a rooster to lay an egg, but a hen does need a rooster to help fertilize a little clutch of eggs into a bunch of fluffy chicks. 3. although chicken lovin' does look more like rape to me than not, i know it isn't and the hens are actually happier when they have a rooster around. 4. roosters crow. this one goes in the pros list for some, and in the cons list for others. i love to ease out of sleep and into my morning with the sound of a rooster in the background, even if that sound does start at 3am some mornings, or any hour of the day or night for that matter. if you are not use to having a rooster crowing as part of your early morning element, it can be quite shocking at first. because i am familiar with hearing our rooster crow in the morning, i really only hear it on some far away level that seeps in slowly. house guests and new neighbors often report a different experience though.
on to the interesting column...1. roosters dance. when they find food for their hens, they dance around it to call the hens over. sometimes this is just a guise to get lovin', but the hens always fall for it. 2. when a "teenage" rooster first starts to discover his crow, it counts for at least a couple of weeks of entertainment for me. we sit in our kitchen and giggle while listening to our roosters, out back in the coop, trying on their new manly voices. it takes practice to perfect a sturdy crow.
are you feeling the love for roosters yet? i do have an underlying motive in pointing out to you how wonderful having a rooster can be. i know at some point in the not-so-distant future, i will place my order for a bunch of hens, and one day not long after, while sitting in my kitchen, i will hear one of those teenage "hens" start to try on their crow, and i will realize that someone, somewhere in iowa has made a mistake on my order, and once again i will find myself with more than my one, ideal rooster. he said he wants to come and live at your house. my neighbors think that sounds like an excellent plan. call me, he's free to a good home.