Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

The Neighborhood Rooster Visits the Homestead


Jon, Paul, and I were ecstatic last Sunday when we woke up to a rooster crowing in our front yard!  We were all jumping for joy and I ran to the barn as quick as I could to let the chickens out of the coop.  As you may remember in a recent January post, our golden comets had become very aggressive with the barred rocks and were jumping on their backs, pulling out neck feathers.  Their necks became so raw, red, and unsightly that we worried if blood were drawn, that we would find dead chickens in the coop.  So for three months we have kept the two chicken breeds in separate areas of the barn with separate free-range time because even when they forage together, the golden comets would hunt down the barred rocks and bully them.  For months Jon and I have dealt with the frustrations of isolation which quite honestly is a hassle, and if we had a larger homestead with more animals, all 6 would be processed and put into jars right now.  I have been given advice from other chicken owners on how to deal with the pecking.  Aside from putting some nasty goop like pine tar on their heads to discourage pecking, I have been told that a rooster would solve the problem.  So when this beautiful rooster just happened to be strutting around our front yard, we had a burst of hope that all of the hens could happily live together without isolation.


The rooster's first day here was quite the ruckus and the hens were doing everything they could to evade this fast running rooster!  After all, these girls have been without a dominant male and didn't have the civilized manners a rooster demanded.  He was continuously gathering them up and chasing down the hen that got away.  He was flying and running from one end of the homestead to the other.  It was quite a fiasco, but within two days, order was established and he was taking the hens out foraging in twos or threes while the others remained in the barn or grazed by themselves.  With this change in routine, the hens had their minds occupied and left each other alone.  A few times they would lunge at each other, but no pecking occurred that I saw. 


On the first day, we knew this was the neighbor's rooster, not only by its specific crow but also because there was no crowing next door. (Did I ever mention that when I saw this house for the first time, I heard this rooster crow while waiting for the Realtor to unlock the door?  Hearing the crow was one small reason why we purchased this house.)  One could only guess how this rooster landed on our lawn.  After all, the neighbors aren't within sight of our house so it's not like the rooster had seen our chickens before.

These were my guesses on how this stud of a rooster landed at our homestead: 
1. The rooster was aggressive and the neighbors wanted to get rid of him so they dropped him at our house.
2. The neighbors didn't want a rooster anymore and they thought we wanted and/or needed one.
3. It was funny joke by someone...not everyone wants to listen to a rooster crow at all hours of the day.
4. The rooster's hens were taken away from him at his old home and he wandered the woods with a broken heart and happened to find our homestead.

After talking to one of the neighbor's down the road, the rooster has been around for years and apparently goes wherever he pleases and has even been found a half mile down the road.  There is some confusion on who the rooster actually belongs to so for now it's fine for him to be at our house!!  This fella does "walk the road" so he may just disappear one of these days!

Since we have a free-running rooster who has survived on his own for years without the safety of a coop at night, this guy perches high in a tree to sleep...like 30 feet!  He has good manners though and waits until all 6 ladies are safe in the barn before he climbs the tree.


If you look closely, you can see one of the barred rocks inside the nest box.  She was in there forever...but Mr. Rooster waited patiently for 2 hours.  He has developed a certain fondness for one of the barred rocks.  


This hen was trying so hard to conceal herself from the rooster, but her big orange butt didn't camouflage too well with the bush!

Overall, we've had a week of excitement around here with this rooster and hope he sticks around for awhile!


2 comments :

Mike @ Gentleman Homestead May 13, 2014 at 12:12 PM  

That's funny! A true "King of the Road".

We've never kept a rooster with our seven layers, but our broody just hatched five little chickies, and I'm hoping one of them is a mannerly rooster we can keep. I've always been nervous since we have kiddos running about.

Holly May 14, 2014 at 9:34 AM  

Yes, having a rooster with a good demeanor is really important, especially with young children. We are thankful this rooster is very nice to us. My 5.5 year old son absolutely loves the spurs but I keep reminding him that they can take out an eye. I think handling the baby chicks and being around them a lot when they are young can help socialize them too, but some breeds are instinctively aggressive. Good luck!

About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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