Last year we had 2 roosters, Leggy and Muffin. Leg and Muff, as we came to call them, work well together. They defended the flock of 13 hens from hawks, vultures flying over, deer looking in, and the pesky little songbirds that love to steal their food from the pen. After the chicken pen was roofed, the roosters continued their watch, not understanding they were safe from aerial assault. The boys continually searched and scratched for food, clucking to tell the ladies when they were successful and then stepping aside so the ladies could eat. They didn't fight, as they both knew their place in the rooster pecking order. The hens didn't take a beating from the roosters, as the roos didn't compete to show who was "the man" by trying to get frisky continually with the poor hens. In fact, sex was almost non-existent in the chicken pen. The hens loved not having bald backs and necks caused by rough roosters. All was peaceful in our chicken world.
Then, everything changed when we raised 13 chicks last summer. It was all good til autumn, when 7 young roosters grew out of those cute little fluffy chicks. Of course, over half of our chicks turned into roosters, when we didn't need any more roos on the farm. Such is our luck.
It's fun to review the genetics on our young roos. We named them as follows:
Muffin Jr - son of Muffin
Brownie Jr - son of the rooster Brownie
Brownie Jr II - another son of Brownie
Leggy Jr - son of Leg
Ginger - my fav cockerel who loves to be held! Believed to be son of our former roos Fred or Ricky
Blackie - son of the hen Black Betty and unknown rooster
Big Red Jr- son of the rooster Big Red
We don't want to give them unique names, as we are not going to keep them! I don't need to personalize birds that I'm not keeping, it makes it too hard for me to get rid of them. Unfortunately, I made that mistake when I first started raising chicks and named all the young fluffy cutie-pie chicks, and so they were stuck with cutesie names like Muffin and Leggy even after they grew into big boy roosters.
And now the young cockerels are fighting for their place in the rooster pecking order. Since Leg is the second rooster, with Muff being the lead rooster, it seems that everyone fights with Leg first to push him out of his status.
So we are going to get rid of some roosters. The first to go are Muff Jr and Ginger. We really liked both these birds, so they found a home with a family who wanted chickens for eggs and as pets. They have young kids and wanted friendly but hard working roosters, and these cockerels were a good choice for them. Chickens are new to them, so we are assisting them to build their flock.
|Muff Jr and Ginger in a cage in the car|
|Roosters in their new home: Ginger on Left, Muffin Jr on right|
The boys spent a night int heir new coop alone, adjusting to their new home. Then, the next day, some new pullets were introduced to our boys. The cockerels were so excited to have ladies to take care of!
|3 white pullets were added to the new flock|
We got 6 pullets for the new flock from the local farmer's market. We weren't sure all their birds would get along, but hoped for the best. And to our surprise, everyone got along perfectly!
|3 Rhode Island Red pullets were also added to the flock|
The cockerels immediately started clucking, telling the new hens where the food was located, within minutes of the hens' arrival. And Ginger immediately started feeling very frisky. The hens wanted nothing to do with that!
|Ginger attempts to dance for a lady while balancing on the roost bar. She thinks he's out of his mind and runs away!|
|Gathering at the waterer|
The first full day the 6 pullets were in the coop, they laid 3 eggs between them. One of the white ones is an Araucana and laid a green egg! The other 2 eggs were brown eggs from the Rhode Island Reds.
And so, 2 of our boys have a new home. Good luck, Ginger and Jr.!