We have too many damned roosters.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I hatched most of our chicks. About a third of them turned into roosters, or as I have dubbed them… roosturds.
The ideal hen to rooster ratio is 1:10, so we are extremely lopsided. At first it wasn’t a problem… but after about four months the coop turned into a madhouse as the first set of hatchlings reached “maturity”… I have never used that term more loosely.
Sophia was one of three Golden Wyandotte pullets I got from Tractor Supply. The other two died. They were either too injured from the over-mating or too stressed out by it, but either way, when I found their bodies I decided I wasn’t going to lose any more of my hens.
During that go-round I brought Sophia and one of my ducks inside to recuperate, and when things settled down again I was able to put them back in the coop.
To mitigate matters I turned eight of the “mature” roosters into freerange roos and left the younger roos and hens in the coop. For a while that helped. But two days ago a timer went off and – BAM – the rest of the roos turned into sex crazed maniacs. It is driving me crazy. And it’s not good for my hens.
Sophia seems to be especially attractive to the boys. Not that you can tell how gorgeous she is at the moment because there’s a bald spot on her back and she’s caked with dirt.
Yesterday I found Sophia huddled in a corner and knew if I didn’t get her out of the coop she wasn’t going to make it.
This time I put Sophia with Dru and the sebrights.
Dru is a hard headed (and very spoiled) Maran, and when she gets something in her head she’s going to do it. She’s very pushy that way. So when I opened the pen to refill their water she barged out…
…which resulted in her being mounted by Curious George and, immediately afterward, by Grumpy. Apparently roosters have incredible recovery times because Sophia followed her out and walked right into an ambush.
While Dru seemed to put the episode behind her and began absent-mindedly scratching her way around the yard, Sophia ran and hid in a corner. After all, it’s just the kind of nightmare I’d saved her from in the coop (only a lot less roos).
I put her back in the pen and let Dru stay out.
A little later I decided to let Sophia try again. Thankfully this time the roosters did their job and protected the ladies. Maybe it was good for them too, to feel useful… if roosters have that kind of pride in their work.
Mostly it made me happy to see her relaxed. I think she needed the freedom, the grass and the distraction.
Here’s a video of them all playing nice together, or as I like to call it… One Minute Chicken Meditation: