I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pecking Order

I've posted a photo of our bantam rooster, Napoleon, to show everyone how beautiful he is. He was a chick when we got him and because we had another rooster Napoleon decided to defer to the huge, full grown head of the coop. Napoleon always stayed with his two bantam hens and the three of them did their best to stay away from the rest of the larger chickens. Napoleon never crowed or made an attempt to take over the hens. He was a mild mannered, shy little rooster and we joked that he probably thought he was just one of the hens.

When the big rooster started getting too aggressive and began to attack the hens ( and sometimes us) we decided to get rid of him. He is at another farm and I hope he's happy. Well...., the position of management fell to Napoleon and he, somewhat reluctantly, accepted the task. He has a much different approach to dealing with the hens. He's the strong silent type and very careful ( after all, most of the hens are twice his size) but determined. He seems to get the job done , even though I wonder what the hens think sometimes. The last photo, inside the hen house, shows Napoleon eating his fill as Rock and Rody look on. I thought the Rock had red eye from the camera flash, but then I remembered that I didn't use the flash on that shot. So...I'm thinking that this big gal is kind of annoyed at Napoleon for taking so long eating his dinner. She is definitely "seeing red". She did wait untill he was done though. She knew her place.The rock is the last of three plymouth rock hens. The other two were not fast enough to escape a very determined young bobcat last summer. I think that she is glad that she's still here, so she puts up with Mr. Chicken Little. He's really quite the gentleman.

Napoleon did start crowing. I didn't think he could crow at all until after the big rooster went on a permanent vacation, then he started practicing and, good grief, he crows all the time now. You know it's a myth that roosters crow only at sunup. They will crow anytime they feel like it. He does crow in the morning, but he also crows his greeting with your arrival at the coop and at any loud noise he hears. We love hearing Napoleon crow in the morning. It's a wonderful way to wake up.

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