Yesterday was difficult. My chicken coop was full beyond capacity with nine hens and four roosters. I can tolerate the crowing but the little hens couldn't handle all the extra male attention they were receiving. Five month old roosters are still young enough to to be tender so I had some decisions to make and work to do. Because nobody needs four roosters.
Who was a keeper and who was going in the pot? Three of the four were Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, beautiful birds with lavender feathers and red hackles and tail feathers. Keeping one of these made genetic sense as three of the hens were the same color. The final rooster had red-laced black feathers with iridescent black hackles and tail feathers that glowed green when the sun hit them. Any of them could have served as the father of the flock; all were good, sturdy birds. But I don't always do the logical thing.
You see, one morning when the chicks were tiny, I walked in to check on them and found their Mason Jar waterer on its side on the soaked sawdust. One chick was pinned under it in the space between edge of the drinker lid and the shoulder of the jar. Who knows how long he'd been there cold, wet, and helpless.The little guy was looking up at me through the glass, still alive. I dried him off, warmed him up, and celebrated when he survived. I named him Gregory Peck and he grew up into that shiny black rooster that I chose to rule the roost.
He's a tough little bird.
But it may have been because he had the best story.