Here at The Roost we seem to be going through roosters faster than John Boehner rips through a box of Kleenex. I started with three baby Rhode Island Red cockerels in my initial chick order in April of 2014. They made it to adulthood - barely - before being killed by predators in the fall. My neighbor gave me two full-grown Aracona roosters last winter, and they ruled The Roost until their sudden demise at the paws and jaw of the same neighbor's dog a week ago last Wednesday.
Saturday, a week ago, I bought a pair of young adult Rhode Island Red roosters at a local poultry swap. They were beautiful birds, but possessed a few issues. Their crows had not fully developed and the new guys screeched much like like human boys whose voices are changing. They also did not have hens fully figured out and tended to hang by themselves during the day. They isolated to such an extent that they were reluctant to sleep in the hen house at night and preferred instead to roost in a large bush near the hen house. I did expend quite a bit of effort and patience getting them into the coop a couple of nights, but last Wednesday while I was at pinochle, the neighbor lad locked the hens up at dusk without securing the roosters. An owl killed one during the night (he was cleanly decapitated - a sure sign of an owl assault) - and the other disappeared.
So today I headed back out to the Saturday morning poultry swap hoping to find more roosters. The first vendor that I approached had five beautiful Rhode Island Red roosters in a big cage. One of the orange toughs gave a good, manly crow as I approached. I knew instantly that he would be leaving with me. I also selected one other and paid the guy the total purchase price of two dollars.
The two new boarders at The Roost climbed out of their cage when we got home. Both were famished and managed to focus on eating for a few minutes. Then, when a hen approached, one started strutting his stuff and doing his happy dance. My son witnessed the courting ritual and remarked, "You won't have any trouble getting him to go into the hen house at night!"
Both roosters have been making the rounds introducing themselves to the girls for a couple of hours now - and they appear to be very well suited for a happy life at Rock's Roost! My little green slice of paradise is once again sounding like a farm!
The next order of business is to find an outdoor dog - a puppy that can grow up around the chickens and peacocks and be their protector. A Great Pyrenees would be ideal.