Farm Farm

King Strut

King Strut has joined the farm.

Look what I got! I was at the Agway yesterday and they had all of these amazing roosters. Normally the Agway is not known for their poultry selection; you can usually just get rhode island red cross pullets with clipped beaks. These roosters, the guy working the loading dock told me, were all brought in buy a guy that had hand-raised 30 chicks in his basement. As the laws of averages would dictate, he got 15 hens and 15 roosters from this. Those are actually pretty good numbers. Whenever I get ‘straight run’ chicks (when you order chicks that are not sexed) I seem to end up with more roosters than hens.

I cannot have a crowing rooster where I live as it is against the town regulations regarding noise. Roosters do serve a purpose though — they protect the ladies. Their single purpose in life is to watch out for dangers and alert his flock if any is detected. As a benefit of existing in this role he gets to attempt to have sex with as many ladies as allow as often as they allow it. The side benefit to this is that if I get a broody hen (one that insists on sitting on eggs for the purpose of hatching), if a rooster is present there is a good chance that these eggs will hatch!

After my horrible losses of adolescent and older chicks and chickens this spring, I have somehow managed to stay at the same number of hens for almost 2 months — 29 full grown hens. That’s pretty amazing for summertime when so many predators are roaming around with babies to feed and longer days. However, right before I left for Wyoming this last trip my head count was off one night. The next night it was still off by one and I finally figured out that it was one of my blue buff cochins. Not Paula Deen thankfully, but her slightly smaller sister. I have a strong suspicion that a hawk carried her off, which would have been quite a feat since she was a very large chicken. I suspect a hawk because there was absolutely no “evidence”. No feathers. Nothing. She was just gone, which is consistent with a hawk attack as they just swoop in, pick up and leave. A ground predator would leave feathers from a struggle.

Paula Deen's (on ramp) sister is gone.

So I’ve been thinking that I may need to get a rooster to watch over the girls. If he turns out to be a nice rooster who treats the ladies well and isn’t aggressive, then I’ll think about keeping him around. If he starts to crow I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I have never seen a chicken quite like this. He’s definitely a polish crested, and I’ve had plenty of those, but his trim figure and blue coloring (grey is called blue in the chicken world) makes me think that he is half blue Andalusian and half polish crested. He’s just stunning. I have two blue andalusian hens. One is not very blue at all and is the only hen that insists on sleeping in the goat house every night. The only one. All alone in there with the goats. The other one is a much prettier blue and although she attempted to roost in the goat house with her sister a time or two, finally gave up the fight and sleeps in the coop with the others now.

Here is the splash blue andalusian looking to jump through the open dutch door of the goat house for the night about a month ago.

My darker blue andalusian.

Since the color blue does not hatch true in chickens and is a diluting gene for black, there are lots of variations in blue that you can get with any “blue” variety of chicken. This is what a true show-quality blue andalusian looks like.

So back to King Strut. There he was at the Agway waiting to be bought. Truthfully there were so many beautiful roosters it was hard to choose. When I got him home I put him in a crate in the chicken coop with food and water so everyone could get acquainted safely. Late this afternoon I felt it was safe to let him out to meet his flock. There were a few initial scuffles, but he handily showed them who was boss and pretty quickly everyone settled right in. He seemed delighted with his new home, and with little encouragement went into the coop with everyone else as dark was falling tonight. I stayed outside to listen in case any feathers started flying in there, but all seemed fine. At last check he was sound asleep up on the roosts with the other hens and doing just fine.

Oh, and the silo is finally finished! It’s covered in this great super heavy-duty wire that will rust over time. We designed it to look like one of those corn silos you see in the midwest that are covered in wire rather than being solid so the air can circulate around corn cobs.

The finished silo

The roofs start to go on tomorrow (finally.)


  1. yeah king slut! I mean strut!

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