Two of my Rhode Island Red ladies were not tucked up happily clucking in their nest boxes last night, they were hunched up in the hospital pen feeling more than a little sorry for themselves and happy to have been saved from the rape and pillage which has recently been the order of the day in the hen pen. Our two resident and much loved Rhodie roosters Adolf and Adolfs brother Adolf ( well, they look the same so we can’t tell the difference!) have been usurped by the younger, apparently more virile and less hen pecked roosters. The hens have been noticeably ravaged as the boys ranged in groups looking for lust and the ladies weren’t happy. Small clutches of ladies, denuded of feathers and backs lacerated by enthusiastic rooster spurs were hiding in corners, lingering in nest boxes or making themselves inconspicuous on the top roost. The decision had been made to tone down the male population and the recent inappropriate and very distasteful activity just confirmed our decision…the roosters had to go!!! The next decision was …how/when do we remove the offending birds, enforce celibacy and transform hormones into chicken burgers? After dinner the band of three, Greg, (resigned to a rooster round up) and our two woofer interns enthusiastic for another round of new experiences headed back down to the barn. That’s when the entertainment started…(.with respect Derek)…..Have you ever heard the story of the old ram and the young ram? (sorry, I’ll save that for another time!!). Derek zinged round the hen house…Dereks arms waved, reportedly his legs were going in five directions at once and his eyes were glazed. Derek was on a mission but the roosters weren’t co operating. Greg and Lesley stood quietly and observed, Lesley watched and the roosters continued to give our young intern his work out. Then Greg moved. Greg calls it the “preying mantis” move, effortless and very effective, look left, pretend the object of your intention is in your line of sight then grab the rooster "roostering" on the right! Works every time. From the house I watched the rooster eviction and then shared the fun when the guys returned. We should have happy secure hens today and the boys wont have long to consider their celibate state. Our rooster buyer comes on Saturday.
Timed out again, we are having too much fun with our Californian friends…time for another day. Take care, keep safe, M