Stories from the Homestead: Choosing “Mr. Right”

So, there is a big dilemma here at the homestead. One that involves a lot of thought and consideration. It is a dilemma that requires immediate action.

I love my chickens. I love to watch their funny personalities, I love hearing them squawk their complaints about and towards each other, I love how they get excited when they see me (only because they are hoping for food) and I really love the fresh eggs they provide me with. 

  

I try to take excellent care of my chickens. I have gone to great lengths to protect my chickens from the nuisance of a persistent coyote. I do what I can to keep them safe. 

I have 6 hens and 2 roosters. The recommended ratio is 8-10 hens per rooster. I completely agree with this recommended ratio. My feathered ladies, would also, vehemently agree.

It is uncomfortable to be outside these days. 

I have found myself, on more than one occasion, having to go outside and shoo the roosters away from a poor unsuspecting hen. I was hoping that they were just trying to establish a dominance in rank over who would be the head honcho, a matter that would be settled quickly, so life could get back to normal for my hens. 

I am thinking, however, that the situation is not going to get any better and my poor sweet hens are going to continue to be tormented. 

I have narrowed my choice down to choosing one of three options.

1. Get more hens

While that seems like a logical option, I am hesitant. I don’t really think my coop would continue to stay in the semi-clean state I like to keep it in. I hate a dirty and smelly coop. 

2. Eat one of the roosters.

I can’t. I just can’t…they trust me.

3. Give one away.

This is the option that makes the most sense. The only stipulation with this option is, I need to find a good home for said rooster. 

Now, here we get to the heart of the dilemma. 

Which one will be the one to go. This is so hard. There is a lot to consider when choosing “Mr. Right” for my hens. I want them to be happy with the decision as well.

Sooo…

We have Lucky. 

  

He is an absolutely beautiful rooster. He is fancy. I kind of lump him into the category of a “pretty boy”. He is definitely “easy on the eyes” for my hens…but he is a wimp. You know the type. He might be good to look at, but those hens need to know they will be fending for themselves when that coyote comes around. Lucky looks out for número uno. (Which, consequently, is why he has survived 6 coyotes attacks…while all my hens, slowly disappeared.) First thing every morning, he pushes his way around to get to the “good feed”. He is not a gentleman. 

Then we have Bert. 

  

Oh, Bert. He may not be as pretty as Lucky, but he is strong and masculine. Rugged. He is not afraid to fight for his hens. He came rushing out of the coop the other night prepared to battle for his lady when he heard her squawking away as I was trying to catch her (This is all while Lucky crowed away from inside of the coop). He always lets the hens have first pick of the food every morning. He sits off to the side and waits until they all have settled on a spot and then goes to get himself something to eat. Always the gentleman.

So, it seems that the choice is easy. It is obvious who is “Mr. Right”. Except that…

Lucky is my buddy. He is the one that cheers me on as I run laps around the backyard. He is the one, when scared always comes running to me. He is the one that has befriended the neighbors and sneaks into their garage to steal their deer corn. He is the one who I have had to carry back to his roost because he was scared (after a coyote attack). 

People, people. It is sooo hard to decide the rooster that will go. Why can’t they just behave?!

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