We’re on our third summer of chickens, and second batch of chicks. This time one of the hens is not. We wanted an all-hen flock to stay on the good side of the neighbors (and our weekend sleep). But sexual politics among chickens turns out to be not so simple. A hen in the first batch developed spurs and made teenage-voice-cracking attempts of crows at random hours. Most of the hens hopped on top of each other in some imitation of sex, but now we have the real deal. The surprised squawk of mounted chickens exclaims the day. Supposedly, the presence of a rooster will tame the viciousness of the pecking order, which I’m sure the two balding hens appreciate. Though his spurs are only just starting to emerge as little wart-like growths on his legs, his neck and tail feathers have grown long and luxurious, which I imagine him flaunting Fabio-style. His comb is bigger and redder than the rest. And this week he began to crow. It sounds like a young girls’ giggle, a double-syllabled coo, still unsure and timid. But he is taller than the rest and always in the forefront. Maybe his song will strengthen when his flock sisters begin to lay and thus provide evidence of his prowess. The old ladies’ egg production is down to a trickle while the young ones are just figuring out what the boxes are for ( seems we should have gotten a new batch of chicks EACH spring rather than skipping one).
For our 13-year anniversary, we bought ourselves a painting of a glorious rooster by Trumbly. On it is written, “He dreamt of a land where roosters ruled and magnolias never ceased to bloom”.
I hope our rooster has such notions….