Meet the Chickens

I was reminded earlier that some people have never actually been around a real, live chicken before. So I thought I’d introduce y’all to our chickens in case you haven’t ever seen one up close and personal.

This pretty boy, whom we call Pretty Boy for lack of anything better, needs a new home, stat. He’s pretty but we have too many roosters.

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Bad things happen when you have too many roosters. This is one of them:

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See that bald spot? Mating basically involves a rooster jumping on the hen’s back and treading on her for a minute while holding tight to a beak full of her feathers and doing his thing. It looks remarkably unpleasant, and roosters that are too rough — or fight with each other while one of them is mounting or trying to mount a hen (sigh) — can actually kill the hen. Fortunately that doesn’t happen too often, but once is too much, so if you have no more than 10-12 hens, you are risking infighting and overbreeding with more than one rooster.

(We had been letting our broody hens hatch chicks, but we aren’t doing that anymore, because we can’t have any more roosters, and your chances of roosters are 50/50 when those eggs hatch.)

And even though we have two fewer roosters now than we did two months ago, the hens’ backs are looking worse than ever this week. Springtime – the boys are getting frisky.

This is one of them. His name is Glenn and he’s a frizzle bantam.

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He’s named after Glenn Danzig, and if you don’t know who that is, all you really need to know is one, he looks like this:

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Two, he takes himself Very Seriously.

Three, he’s like 5’1″, but he doesn’t appear to know that.

I don’t know how well the schtick is working out for Danzig these days, but Glenn here is on top of the world. If he’d been hatched just a little earlier or was just a little bigger, I suspect he’d be head rooster.

He has his pick of the ladies. It takes him a while and he falls off sometimes, but he never lets that deter him.

This is our black bantam hen, Raven, and when all the feathers are done flying, they’re pretty sweet on each other, I think.

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I took a little video so you could see them scratching around and having a dirt bath and making noise, but WordPress wants money to let me upload a video. I’ll see if Facebook will let me upload it.

ETA: It did. You can see it here at Facebook.


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Meanwhile, here are some of the others scratching around the perimeter of one of the garden beds:

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