I’ve heard a lot about having chickens and roosters and most of it’s been good.
Healthy, fresh eggs. Authentic farm-like sounds coming from the backyard. How the birds eat insects and chew on brush areas.
To me it all sounded delightful and I could hardly wait to get some.
I didn’t even want to raise chicks — I wanted the real thing, now! So, after much searching, we scrounged up a few birds, and the seller threw in a rooster for good measure.
(He said the male bird would motivate his female coup-mates to lay more.)
Sounds good to me.
It was great! The Oehlschlager brothers came over a few nights and were able to transform an old outbuilding in our backyard into a chicken coup.
Everything seemed to be perfect. The hens were laying and I was diligently checking their nests, feeding and watering them with tender, loving care.
And I seemed to be adapting nicely to the foul odor (no pun intended!) every time the coup door was opened.
Then one lazy Wednesday afternoon when Matt was at work and the kids were all nestled into their beds for naps, I decided to check for eggs.
So I casually, not cocky at all (no pun again!), traipsed out to the chickens’ abode and walked inside.
The birds clucking and pecking away in their own yard seemed to be busy so I went about my business. I found two eggs in the corner of the nesting area all the way at the back of the house and the visit seemed to be a success.
But as I turned around something was awry. I could feel eyes on me.
My rooster! (My heart’s beating just thinking about it!)
He noticed I was in his territory and apparently didn’t appreciate the intrusion.
So in a panic (I guess my instincts told me an attack was pending — that I was being challenged to a cock fight of sorts) — I grabbed the first thing I saw. A paint roller thing.
That didn’t scare him. He preceded to charge me. Flapping and pecking simultaneously with his feet, claws drawn, aiming for my flip-flop clad feet. (And my decision to wear capris was just perfect!)
Something inside shouted, “Swing the weapon in your hand!” So I did! But it didn’t phase him. He only paused long enough to walk to a new position — between me and the door (the only exit, of course).
When the next attack came, I lost all control. Screams and flailing ensued. Eggs were flying.
I finally made my great escape, but my ego was shattered and the rooster had won. And he knows it.
Matt keeps saying I need to go show him who’s boss. But if I even go near the coup (which I only do now to feed them through the fence — I know, I’m chicken) he’s flogging the fence or standing at the door with his head cocked, giving me the eyes.
So I give up. He can have the eggs. Or at least until Matt comes home to retrieve them.
But I’ve been “Googling” the problem and it seems my fellow bird owners don’t put up with roosters with attitudes. One blogger simply stated, “Mean roosters make good soup!”
He better watch out.
Categories: Food and gardening on the farm Life on the farm
My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.
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