We have a rooster problem.
It's nothing new around here. I've chronicled our rooster troubles many times. There was Hedgie, the original rooster at Thomas Run, who helped me overcome some childhood fears and bad blood that already existed between me and the rooster-kind. He was my favorite. But we lost him on the night we lost almost everyone.
But now, there's a new problem. This Spring when I purchased half a dozen chicks from the feed mill, that were supposed to all be hens, it turned out that two of those six were not. And so we now have two large Rhode Island Red roosters courting the ladies and fighting for their affections.
Unfortunately, these roosters are a little too full of themselves. One of them has a strong dislike for one of my favorite hens and has her quarantined to the far side of the farm. If she dares cross the stream with the rest of the hens, he attacks.
Though that alone is enough for removal from Thomas Run, it is the latest offense that is even more inexcusable.
The roosters have set their sites on Birdy.
The first time it happened the scene was pretty confusing. There was some commotion. Birdy was on the ground crying. The rooster was near but I didn't put it all together.
The second time, I was standing right there–as he came up behind her, head bowed, feathers splayed, doing his little dance. He jumped up, pecking her on the back of the head and knocking her onto the ground. I was too far away to do anything but shout. And it didn't deter him.
He must think she's one of his hens.
And yesterday, he did it again.
The funny thing is, I don't think Birdy has any idea who or what is randomly coming up behind her and knocking her to the ground. She still happily wanders around behind the chickens, hands outstretched, calling them kitty. (We're working on it. Kitty. Chicky. She'll get there eventually.)
It makes time outside a little nerve-wracking. Always on the watch for the courting rooster who has a crush on Birdy. Maybe I should start referring to her as Catherine around the hens, to keep the confusion to a minimum.
But, alas, I sent my husband another one of those emails yesterday:
The roosters must go.