Meet the Roos

May 16th, 2010

The chickens have enjoyed a little freedom these days. They’re growing bigger each day and love flying a few feet at a time around the garden area. Just enough to scare themselves while they run back to the shed! Or when the roosters fly after them. So lets introduce the six-week old boys:

Meet Captain Jack… He’s a sprightly fellow, hard to catch, a rascal clothed in dark attire… a hybrid black rooster of dubious heritage, and a scoundrel in the making. Savvy!?

He’s named, of course, after Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean.

I picked Captain Jack out as a straight run chick… unknown breed or sex, guessing he was a rooster from a couple days old. I had no idea what he really was, but he just strutted around with his head held high above dozens of other chicks with a cocky look all his own, and I’m pretty sure I guessed right. He’s wary, but seems decent enough for now and already looks after the hens, chasing them back to the shed when they get too far away. One of the barred rock hens loves to perch on my arm, and Jack usually jumps up on the roost to watch and look after her until I set her back down.

Not to be outdone, here’s Little Red… maybe he’ll be Big Red one day, or maybe just Red or Reddie Roo? He’s a New Hampshire Red rooster and was supposed to be a pullet. The hatchery farms don’t get them all right however, so I ended up with one less hen and an extra roo. He should be a beautiful rooster though. He struts his stuff too, but Captain Jack is more assertive at this point.

So with only eight hens I’m going to have to choose between these two at some point. How am I going to get rid of one?! I guess if we kept them long enough and one became too aggressive, I could find a good stewpot for him. That might be a family faux pas however… And I believe a family friend has offered to take one, so that’s probably for the best. But which one?! Decisions, decisions…

8 Responses to “Meet the Roos”

  1. naming them was a bad move (but not for the chicks, it keeps them out of the stew pot!)

  2. Ditto Sage on the naming bit.

    I wouldn’t wait too long on the decision of which one will give his life for the greater glory of Chickendom.

    BTW, my paternal Aunt Wanda (RIP) had the best chicken and dumplings recipe known to mankind. It called for a “young rooster.”

    Just sayin’


  3. An extra rooster can be much-appreciated by someone wanting to raise chicks. If you don’t have a home for it, and don’t really want to eat it, you could run an ad on Craigslist or freecycle for it. We were fortunate (?) that our rooster sired four more before meeting his demise out in the woods….
    Enjoyed your coop-building story… heh… yeah, it’s harder than it looks! It will be great when it’s done though.

  4. Ed

    We call the local cult here in town “rus” pronounced just the same as the name of this post. But in our case, it is short for guru and not rooster.

    Back in the day, which I have blogged about, our only named rooster was Rufus. I was spared the agony of such a decision when he met his demise at the teeth of my dog Ted. Funny how things work out in the end.

  5. having roosters is certainly a bold move. i had more to say but decided against it. :) sometimes, less is more.

  6. Sage- Yeah, couldn’t resist. They’ll be okay, unless they turn mean… then all bets are off! :)
    Randall- Well God Bless your Aunt Wanda… and can I borrow that recipe?! A lot of things taste like a young rooster…
    Ron- Good point about running the ad. We’ll see how it goes in a couple months. Yes, I am learning so much about the “simplest” things. Sometimes it’s learning things I used to know 20 years ago… :)
    Ed- Didn’t know that! Funny. I’ll have to read your Rufus post. I do know how much you loved your dog Ted. I hope your words aren’t too prophetic…
    Chook- Well, yes sometimes less is more, but you can always share your thoughts here! Bold… in terms of noise? Aggression? More chicks? I hope it’s not too bold of a move! :)

  7. i grew up with roosters. they seem to be hard-wired for aggression, and two will definitely be fighting with each other. when i was much shorter, i got flogged in the stomach by charlie the rooster, who had great spurs. he later committed suicide under my mom’s car, so clearly he had issues. ;)

    i didn’t get all that attached to the roos. perhaps because of the flogging, or the fact that they were destined for the chopping block. while i never could do the deed, i helped my dad do it. it’s a good farm lesson for a kid, especially if you are the grow-your-own type. i much prefer happy free range meat of all sorts than the cello-wrapped protein of despair found at the store.

    and they are noisy. sometimes in a good way, sometimes at exactly the wrong time. but having hens doesn’t mean you won’t have crowing. my hen margo crows for some reason, maybe because she’s blind, maybe because she has a gripe, who knows? she doesn’t do it all the time, and it’s not a full-blown crow (usually). kinda makes me laugh.

    and last, roosters will harass your hens. unless you want peeps, they aren’t really necessary (sorry guys) for egg production.

    i’m not saying that i definitely wouldn’t have a rooster if i had the space. i’m not even all that anti-roo. with the good comes the bad. i’ve heard they help protect the flock. they sure are handsome.

  8. Chook- Wonderful insights… and I really appreciate it. I figured it would be a heck of a learning experience for sure. I would like to see a hen raise chicks at some point, but yeah I can see the rooster’s aren’t needed generally. I don’t know how the crowing will be… but I’ve always enjoyed hearing them. One of our neighbors has a rooster that we hear at times, but the closest are around 900+ feet/300m away. And I didn’t know hens would crow sometimes too; see I learned something new :)

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