Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Roosters and Springtime

Today is a nice warm day with a temperature of about 80 degrees F and a calming warm breeze.  Absolutely perfect.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, spring is in the air, life is good.  I celebrated spring by putting on a pair of shorts and decided to take some of the hens out of the enclosed chicken pen.  On nice days when I am going to be outside with the birds, I take some hens out and let them free-range.  I can't have them free-ranging all the time because of the fox and hawks, they get picked off one-by-one.

And so, I took out Lucy, who loves earthworms.  She was digging up earthworms by the dozen and was having a great time.  I brought out Lucy's grown daughter, Lilly, and she joined her mama in the earthworm-fest.  I went to get another bird.  Ethel came to me first and squatted down, being submissive.  Most of my hens are very tame and enjoy being around me.  I reached down and picked up Ethel with my right hand and turned to walk out of the chicken pen.  As I walked out of the fence, before I could close the gate...

Wham! 
I was attacked from behind on my legs!  
I didn't even realize what happened!  I stumbled forward, still holding Ethel with my right hand (I am right- handed).
Wham! Wham! Wham from behind!  My legs were scratched and sore.  What the heck???



I turned and faced lead rooster Muffin.   He is so fast, there is no pause between his attacks.  His neck feathers were all up, making it look like a feather bowl around his head.  He attacks with his feet, his spurs and his toenails.  Luckily for me, just recently we de-spurred both roosters!  Smart decision!!!  But his nails are long and need a Dremel tool taken to them to make them shorter.  And he attacks with the force of a speeding bullet.  I don't know how a rooster is so strong.  It must be the good Amish chicken feed we give the birds...



I clung to poor Ethel, who I'm sure was scared.  I don't know why I just didn't drop her and free up my right hand.  



Muffin jumps waist-high - Wham! 


I blocked him with my left hand.  Wham! Wham! Wham!  Muffin is now outside the chicken pen, outside the gate.  I stumbled to my knees with the first attack, just like a girl in the movies always stumbles when being attacked.  I'm trying to keep Muffin away from my face and head.  He has hurt my left wrist, and boy, does it hurt like the dickens.


All the other birds are gathered at the fence watching the fight.  Just like a school yard fight.  I think I hear one of the hens yelling "Fight! Fight! Fight!" and everyone is clucking their excitement. 

  
I get one foot up, and block the attacks with the bottom of my sneaker.  Luckily I wasn't wearing sandles!  Finally I grab the old straw broom, which was sitting right there the whole time, and Muffin runs from the broom. Muffin and the broom are arch enemies, and he knows the broom is dominant to him.  As soon as he re-enters the chicken pen, Muffin and Leggy, the second rooster, start a huge cock fight.  Muffin wins, and Leggy runs away in shame.


This happens every spring.  The roosters are feeling their oats.  I should have been expecting it, Muffin and Leggy both have been on the attack recently, that's why I had the broom handy.  And I was taking one of Muffin's hens, and she was being submissive to me.  Muffin was defending his flock.  I wont let my guard down again, that's for sure!




17 comments:

Terry said...

Holy cow! Bad Muffin! But I'm sure he thought he was doing his job.

Kessie said...

Oh man, I hope you're not too banged up! Otherwise they'll be asking you at work if you were in a car wreck or something.

My roosters always got real aggressive in the spring, too, and they were sweethearts the rest of the time. I just made sure to still hold them and pet them, and that kept their aggression under control. Of course, that hasn't worked for all my roosters. :-(

Chai Chai said...

What a story, that had to be a bit scary when you were on the ground. I now always bring my shepherds crook into the coop area with me - just in case.

That must be so nice that your chickens let you pick them up.

Genny said...

Wow, I'm never going to have a rooster. Never, ever. I'm glad you didn't get really hurt. Just reading this was scary!

Farm Girl said...

I don't have roosters for what you just described. Oh my gosh, and he is a big rooster. I hope you weren't beat up to bad. I just got so creeped out reading that, I could see it all in my head. It really got to me when you fell down. So glad you had the broom. I am glad Leggy beat Muffin up.
I hope it doesn't happen again.

Niece said...

Oh wow! I only have one rooster (Floyd), he is pretty docile....but in the mornings when I first let them out of their coop he is in rare form and I do not trust him so I always have a rake with me.......I never turn my back to him either. I know they are only doing their job, but it can be pretty scary! So glad your ok.... just a bit beaten up :(

Gail said...

That can be very dangerous. Glad you're okay.

Had a rooster like that once, he didn't live long.

Some breeds are more aggressive than others.

Keep that broom handy!

Micah said...

Hi Razzberry Corner! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I can't believe we haven't met before now. We have a lot in common.

Great story-- Yikes! Our first rooster, Archie, got like that. We tried to give him away on craigslist but had no takers so we left him alone. Then he attacked our two year old and that was our last straw. We ate him. I hope Muffin returns to his mellow self; aggressive roos are SCARY!

CeeCee said...

There's a link http://shilala.homestead.com/roosters.html, to tame roosters--even in their springtime fits of rage.
My roo always challenged me in the spring, but I made it a habit to always be dominant. This technique worked wonders.
I'm glad you're okay and didn't need stitches!

AutumnSkyRanch said...

Our rooster did the same thing about 3 weeks ago. We hadn't removed his spurs yet and he got me once. I wear boots and just kicked him a couple times when he tried to come at me again. His spurs are gone now and I am keeping a closer eye on him. But it's disappointing because I love hanging out with my girls.

Nancy said...

Oh wow! You will have to carry that broom with you eh?

John Gray said...

I am so lucky my old stanley wont batter me an eye!!!

look after your feet!
x

Ott, A. said...

Beautiful pictures. I decorated my kitchen in roosters so I'm kind of drawn to them right now. Thanks for sharing!

LindaG said...

Wow. I suppose that makes him a good rooster, but I think I'd be tempted to broil him or something.
Hope you're going to be okay!

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

lord lord...what a bad rooster but i guess that is their nature~

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hee hee hee hee a rooster named "Muffin" hee hee hee. hope you arent too scratched up! we dont put up with that kind of foolishness around here. any roo who acts like that goes to glory in a pot of noodles. altho our first - and best - rooster, Fred and I had a love hate relationship.
:-)

Knatolee said...

Oh dear, is that what I have to look forward to down in the coop?! Anyway, I'm glad you're okay. Naughty Muffin!!!