Sunday, October 23, 2011

Photos of the roosters

My husband and I often think of the same thing at the same time- we just don't often communicate this! As I was hitting "Publish Post", he sent me some of his wonderful images of the chickens.  I thought I'd share them with you as an homage to our beautiful roosters.  It is amazing to see how gorgeous these birds have become. Gorgeous, you might say? A chicken? Yes, they are so pleasing to the eye and relaxing to watch.  Although, it has been difficult to explain the mating process to our children...
"Oh, they are just playing hopscotch, sweetie."
"But they aren't jumping over," points our our 7 year old."
"Yes, they just haven't quite learned how to play yet," was my quick quip.
Let's see how long he buys that story! 
Fuzzball, one of our Mille Fleur D'Uccles
Butterscotch, our Easter Egger. The Flock
Cinnamon posing.
Cinnamon in his full glory!
Butterscotch with his magnificent plumage.

Our roosters move tomorrow

I haven't posted in a while -it's a busy time of year, but it's also been kind of sad with the chickens.  We lost another chicken last week.  Holly was one of our favorites and it was very upsetting to find her headless in our new run extension. Our best guess is she got too close to the fencing and a raccoon/possum/fox snagged her through the fence and chased her inside.  It was the morning and we hadn't staked down the fencing yet- that was our afternoon project but we were too late.

Tomorrow, we are taking 4 of our favorite chickens to live with Mr. Tony who has 30 acres and lots of room for 4 roosters.  We love our roosters but we are happy they have another place to go with reassurances from Mr. Tony that he won't eat them (our 7 year old's main question).  Incredibly, out of the 7 chicks that were hatched in the kindergarten, FIVE have turned into roosters!  What are the odds?  Clearly I didn't do a good job trying to figure out the girls from the boys.  In fact, I just need to do the OPPOSITE of whatever I did last May!  But that is fodder for another posting.

We are fortunate that this past spring Mr. Tony offered to take the roosters. They have been our most personable birds but as their testosterone has kicked in, their personalities have changed.  Our 2 boys have been very gentle with the chickens but they are boys. They love to pick them up and pet them, but the chickens don't understand the love in their little hearts. Typically, the boys back the chickens into a corner to pick them up. This was all good and fine until the rooster-instinct kicked in a few weeks ago and the roosters decided they had to protect their little flock. Cinnamon (to the left),the Bantam Mille Fleur D'Uccle (a miniature chicken) has been chasing our middle son (5 years old) around for weeks.  We found this rather humorous because our son would just bend down, scoop him up, and pet him for a while.  Cinnamon was trying to be so ferocious but a miniature chicken can't help but being cute.  They are less than a foot tall reared up to crow.

But when Midnight became protective, that was a different story. In one of those rare moment "I told you so", Midnight decided he had had enough of our older son picking up his hens. I was in the house and heard screams as this chicken chased my son around and around and around our driveway. Midnight is probably 2 feet tall and terrified our poor son. While it was a good lesson to be gentle with the chickens, our 7 year old was now too afraid to go in the backyard. As he is in charge of opening the run in the mornings, this wasn't a good development.

So it is with a heavy heart tomorrow that we are taking our 4 roosters to live somewhere else.  Our boys are at least reassured that they can visit Mr. Tony and the roosters in the future.  As I explained, it is better than them being on our dinner table...