Troubling Times

Double Dots, my three year old Golden Comet rooster

A couple of weeks ago, a troubling thing happened.

I was standing in the barnyard observing my flock, as I am prone to do. Pavelle had her babies outside and I wanted to get pictures. Also, as I am prone to do.

The chickens were milling around about me, as they are prone to do.

I was holding my phone, paying more attention to Pavelle and her babies than anything else, when sudden my I heard flapping of wings and felt bird feet on the back of my head. A couple of seconds later, my head rooster, Dots, goes flying over top my head and lands on the ground next to me.

He flew at my head.

It was puzzling, to say the least. Was he attacking me? Trying to perch on my shoulder or head?

Needless to say I’ve been a little (a lot) more mindful of where he is in the barnyard when I am down there now.

And then… Yesterday it happened again. I was in the barnyard with my daughter, watching the chickens. She was holding her favorite hen. Dots was behind us on the barn stairs and suddenly starts flapping his wings and launches himself at me. He did not connect this time or get as high off the ground. But my Girl witnessed it and needless to say, we were both shocked.

This is a rooster I have raised from a baby. He usuallyets me pick him up, cuddle him, let him. He comes to the sound of his name. If I sit on the steps, he has been known to come and sit on my lap.

So, I ask myself, “what is going on with my handsome man?” Have I done something? Is he jealous of my attention paid to the younger roosters? Is he confused because I have lost 96 lbs and no longer look like the Mom who raised him?

Or is this a change in hormones or temperament?

He’s three years old, though and in that time, he has never been a bad rooster. He still is letting me pick him up and carrying him. Still likes pets, neck rubs and water massages.

I just don’t know what to make of this. I hope I don’t have to make a hard decision.

Chicken Tunnels, Part 2

Our chicken tunnels became a reality this weekend.

DH spent most of the day on Saturday measuring and building the last of the enclosure and new ramp.

We put the access door on the inside of the ‘grow up coop,’ as a slide up door.  It slides out, and then little ones can go outside at will now.

The first day was difficult for them, because they couldn’t figure out how to go up the ramp and I think they spent a good 4 hours outdoors with no access to water or their food because they wouldn’t go up the ramp.

Little Dude actually squeezed himself into the small chicken door and into the enclosure to “help” them learn the ramp.

Yesterday, we just opened it and let them go on their own. They all did fine.

 

They really do seem to like it and the new found freedom it allow.

And I’m enjoying the chance to see how this change in venue brings out their personalities.  The 6 little boys spent the first day having ‘rooster races’ from one end of the tunnel system to the next.   The girls explored and scratched in the dirt.

Black Jack and Dots got to “face off” on opposite sides of the fence.  Jack in definitely an alpha rooster, and Dots definitely sees him as a tiny little nemesis.  They pace, crow at each other… and there is lots of bluster back and forth.

A part of me would love to keep Black Jack.  He’s a beautiful boy and very friendly otherwise.

But a part of me thinks he and Dots will have an all out war once integration happens.  And let’s face it… integration is going to happen.  I’m aiming for sometime in the 14-17  week range, so that’s really only about a month and a half away.

Does anyone want a beautiful Australorp rooster?  10 weeks old, very friendly and handsome?