We have oodles of roosters currently. Six of the seven chicklets were gallos. Then somehow or other we had TWO quiquiriquis machos, that I called Alpha and Beta. Additionally, we had a regular-sized rooster who avoids the quiquiriquis like the plague, well mostly Alpha because he is a badass.
Anyway, the three grown roosters have decided in turn that my rooftop garden was a good place to hang out and poop. I am not pleased with this situation and take every opportunity to squirt them with the hose and flap my arms at them to get them to fly off.
Then we need to talk about the noise factor. Contrary to popular opinions, roosters do not just crow at dawn. Rather, they start a call-and-return musical rendition whenever they feel like it. It could be 3 am or 3 pm. Not only do we have 9 roosters on our property competing for song dominance, but the two closest neighbors also have chickens who want to be the earliest songbird in town, which riles up ours and so it goes on and on.
Not all of the roosters have perfected a harmonious crow as of yet. Their off-key singing more often than not riles up the dogs. Fred starts with some howling. George comes in with the bass. And finally, Cocoa is the soprano of the group. This lasts for several minutes. Not to be outdone, the roosters start up again as soon as the dogs start. Over and over again, multiple times throughout the day.
Last-minute update: Finally, three buyers later and our crooners are down to a manageable number. We still have one chicklet and the normal-sized rooster who is DEEE-LIGHTED to be the biggest cock in the compound. He reves up with a manly flapping of wings and let’s loose, now assured that no little quiquiriqui bully will clothesline him mid-crow.
Well, for the most part, I don’t think that everyone would consider our chickens particularly lucky. After all, there is always the possibility of them ending up in the stew pot or worse. Look what happened to Chat, the chicken cat, after all! However, compared to some fates, perhaps our chickens are fortunate. Let me tell you about our two more recent additions to the hen house.
One random afternoon, my husband was standing outside minding the goats and saw a flash of white. He thought it might have been a rabbit, but wasn’t too sure. Another flash and he identified the ball of feathers as a chicken. Ever so discreetly, he opened the gate to the animal corral and backed away. Zoop, zoop, there was a mad dash and a scruffy white hen ran in.
I’m not kidding when I said scruffy. Compared to our hens, she was downright embarrassing. A street orphan, maybe. It’s hard to say where she came from. The cow barn guy has chickens. The borrega guy has chickens. The horse guy has chickens. Even the chicken feather guy has chickens. In fact, that’s probably where she came from. The chicken feather guy (so named because he throws piles of chicken feathers in random spots in La Yacata) raises pigs for carnitas. He also has chickens for butchering. I don’t know what he feeds the chickens, but the pigs get the chicken intestines. Maybe he lets them dig through the pig poop? Anyway, life on the Flores mini-ranch has to be better than looming death at the hands of the chicken feather guy.
It took some time for Little White Hen to establish herself in the pecking order. Her place was substantially improved when little black hen joined the brood.
Little Black Hen was a rescue chicken. Literally. My husband rescued her from the jaws of a stray dog. Talk about a lucky break! Of course, she was traumatized and spent considerable time hiding in various locations throughout the animal area, mostly hiding from Little White Hen who was eager to establish dominance.
So how have these adopted ladies repaid us? EGGS! And for that, we thank our lucky chickens! As long as they keep producing, there won’t be any need for them to worry about that dang stew pot. White Rooster, however, is looking mighty tasty!