Finding Mr. Right (Rooster)

We’re looking for the full, complete package in Mr. Right. We’re picky, but we deserve no less.  He must be handsome, willing to protect his ladies from trouble and be selflessly devoted to them.  He can be proud, but not a bully, and he must never pick a fight with humans.  He must grace the farm with old-fashioned charm.  Does such a guy exist?  Should we just give up on our search now?  We will not compromise.  We’d rather be lacking a rooster than merely tolerating Mr. Wrong.

When our first batch of chicks arrived from the hatchery, we had six cockerels. Over the past 20 weeks, all but one has been eliminated.  One was terrorizing the hens, another was bullying our baby chicks, a third was crowing non-stop beginning at 4am, and yet another was destroyed during a mink raid.  These Mr. Wrongs, with the exception of the mink victim, have all taken a one-way trip to the kill cones, and our farm has been more peaceful as a result.  This left us with two promising candidates for Mr. Right.  Of these two, we thought the Speckled Sussex was going to work famously.  WP_20160808_09_37_22_ProWe were so in love.  He seemed to satisfy the qualities of the complete package.  He defended the hens against attacks from other roosters, sometimes stepping in front of them mid-pursuit or chasing them far away from his harem, he calls over to his hens when he finds a tasty morsel, giving the treat to them rather than consuming it himself.  He is handsome and we felt he would improve our flock with his genetics, hopefully producing meaty cockerels and above average layers.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. WP_20160808_10_35_54_ProThe Speckled rooster has begun chasing the kids, jumping up on them and even stalking me when my back is turned.  As much as we wish it could be otherwise, the Speckled rooster will, too, be taking a trip to the kill cones.  Although he is just trying to protect his hens, we simply won’t tolerate aggression on our farm from any species.

We have whittled the competition down to just one. The Dominique rooster, who has now been awarded a name (Roy), is also handsome and we have never witnessed him bothering the hens.  WP_20160808_10_01_52_ProHe seems to leave the new chicks alone for the most part and has never challenged nor given a sideways glance to the humans on the farm.  For the moment, he has been granted residency.  The Dominique hens have long been our favored breed.  WP_20160808_10_01_18_ProThey quickly captured our hearts with their personality.  They remain the only birds that are friendly enough to be held and, if sitting quietly in a chair, the hens will jump into our laps and settle in for a snooze.  The Dominique breed is not common, and most birds with this barred appearance belong to a different breed, the Barred Rock.  We possess interest in preserving this thrifty breed developed during rough colonial times and maintaining purebred stock on our farm.

However, we have not put all our eggs in Roy’s basket. We have been burned before by whom we considered Mr. Right, and we may forever be circumspect.  When we ordered our second batch of chicks, we decided to throw in a Buff Orpington cockerel. WP_20160722_09_49_46_Pro.jpg Buff Orpingtons are known for being friendly and docile, including the roosters.  They are acceptable layers with a heavy carcass.  If, for whatever reason, Roy can no longer stay on our farm, our search for Mr. Right will recommence with the Buff Orpington rooster.

I know good roosters are out there.  I’ve talked to farm folk who have snagged themselves a good one.  I guess you just have to kiss a few frogs before you find a prince.

Becca

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2 thoughts on “Finding Mr. Right (Rooster)

  1. My Mr. Right (a rhode Island red I have had for 3 years) is now related to all my new chicks and if you happen up this way any time, I’ll happily give him to you. He is respectful (okay, a bit afraid of us LOL), is kind to the hens, avoids us, but sadly is destined for a soup pot as I need a new rooster for next year’s hens – my crazy hens hatched over 200 chicks this year!! In fact, one of my buff orpington came out of the hay shed with 20 – YES 20!! – newly hatched chicks!!! I also have a silver laced wyandotte who is a perfect gentleman who needs a new home! 🙂 A long ways to come for a rooster, but if you do, let me know 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is not the first time I wished we were neighbors! I would love your rooster. A nice RIR is my dream roo. They have such a bad reputation so I was afraid of even trying them. Maybe I should have. Wow, I can’t believe you got 200 new chicks this year! You’ll have lots of cockerels for the freezer! We tasted some Welsummer and Buckeye cockerels and were surprised by how good they were. Not as meaty as a broiler, for sure, but the taste and tenderness were great!

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