Farm Farm

Life on The Farm

In the continuing saga of strange eggs laid here on The Farm, the other day I got one that was striking in one unusual way.

Perhaps the girls were envious of belted galloway cattle.

Or perhaps they had a hankering to feel closer to the British Saddleback pig.

How they could be envious of these two animals having never laid their beady little eyes on one before is beyond me. Yet there it was, right in the nesting box.

Belted Oeuf is what I'll call this breed of chicken. (Oeuf is French for egg.)

It’s pretty common to have lighter markings on an egg, but this wide and distinct belt was a new one to me.

Having bid farewell to noisy Corn Flakes the rooster on Tuesday, I can now safely talk without offending him. The truth is he was a lousy rooster. King Strut was a good rooster. A rooster’s job is to protect his flock. They keep a vigilant eye on the surroundings and warn their flock of any dangers. They are the last one in the coop at night when they are sure that everyone is accounted for. They find tasty morsels of food and let the ladies have first crack at them. King Strut did all of these things. Corn Flakes was greedy and selfish. One of the first birds in the coop at night to claim the best roost. He leisurely made his way out of the coop in the morning and proceeded to jump on top of hen after hen, holding them down by their neck as he forcefully fornicated with them, and would push the girls out of the way to get to the best food. Really, he was no gentleman at all, and good riddance to him.

It is always fascinating to watch the hierarchal system of roosterness take place. Literally the day that Corn Flakes departed I noticed on several occasions the larger of the two Barred Rock roosters up in high places – on the compost bin, and up on the goat’s ramp. I had never seen this bird anywhere but on the ground before, yet there he was, appearing to be surveying his domain for predators and keeping his flock of ladies safe. I noticed at dinnertime that night he was up on the goat ramp again, surveying for danger while his ladies ate, forfeiting the most tender morsels of food. This morning Maia fed the farm so I could sleep in a bit, and she said he was the first one out of the coop and carefully watched as all the ladies came out for the day. How these tiny-brained birds instinctively know that the head honcho is gone and it’s time to take over fascinates me.

Ladies, there's a new man in charge.

Oooooh. He's kinda handsome. I like the black and white much better.

But then it happened. I was sitting at my computer this morning when out the window I saw him jump up onto the top of the fence.

He’s going to do some free-ranging I thought to myself.

Then all of a sudden he arched his back in that familiar rooster way and COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO!

A little wing flapping to show everyone who’s the new boss…

And another COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO!

Well, that didn’t take long.

I’m pleased to say that was the only crowing I heard all day. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time now though.

He got into a little test of wills with one of the girls a bit later though.

I believe she was saying something like "I belong to Corn Flakes", and he said something macho like "You're my girl now!".

She gave him a strong peck in the face and the battle ended. I did see them free-ranging together later, so I guess they worked it all out.

It’s not very creative, but since he’s a Barred Rock I think I’ll call him Rocky.


  1. It sure would be nice if you had a bit larger piece of land so you could hang on to some of the good roosters without them bothering your neighbors… Though I’d take a cock a doodle doo any day over a constant barking dog!

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