24 March 2012

New Kid on the Block

An unexpected phone-call from Deborah next door a few mornings ago. "Do you want a Rooster?" A bit of discussion needed, there...

On the one hand our flock really does need a Rooster to look after them after the Tragedy On Honey-Badger Hill that resulted in the loss of our trusty knights. On the other, we've really been enjoying the peaceful mornings undisturbed by the crowing!

In the end we decided to go for it.

He's a really handsome fellow, this new Rooster, despite his youth and a certain Shortage in the Tailfeather department. We are pretty sure that his shortage of tailfeathers is just a characteristic of the breed, though, as he was the only Rooster in the flock he formerly led.

His owner was forced to get rid of him after complaints from neighbours about the early morning crowing, and, since he lives in an urban neighbourhood, he didn't really have much choice. I have to say, though, that the complaining neighbours really have no clue what real crowing is about. This chappie likes to sleep really late -- he doesn't begin crowing until about 5:30 -- and even then his voice is quite deep and mellow. He gives a token crow or three, then Back To Bed Again.

He is quite young. You can tell by the length of their leg spurs, and his are barely bumps on his legs, yet.

The flock he came from were clearly all of a meat breed. Great big ladies, thick as two planks sideways. Their owner complained that he's not getting many eggs from them either, quite a common thing among meat breeds. If anyone knows what the breed is (short tail, remember!) please let us know in a comment - we have no idea!

But we're quite happy with him. It took him a day or two to settle in, but he's now shepherding The Ladies very nicely. He has a nice, calm, chilled-out disposition that we really like. Indeed, it plays right into one of the main reasons we decided to take him in: To bring some genetic diversity into the flock. I've been concerned for some time about our flock becoming in-bred. Additionally our Roosters seem to have a predisposition to a fair degree of aggression and cock-fights have not been unknown, though never really serious to date. So getting in such a mellow fellow is -- hopefully -- a solution to that. I'll still be on the lookout for some hens who are Good Mommies, since ours mostly descend from a flock of seriously Air-Headed Buff Orpingtons who are, for the most part, pretty bad at mothering chicks.

So Welcome! to the New Lad.

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