My Polygamist Rooster
I haven’t talked much about the rooster we welcomed to the farm just one week after bringing the city girls over. That probably has more to do with goat-planning and subsequent goat-euphoria than lack of interest in the rooster. Because I really do love my roo. He’s big and blue and and hop/walks around behind the hens in a lopsided way that comes off more as gangly desperation than the regal guardian I was going for. He’s named Lord Grantham after everyone’s favorite BBC show (or, just mine?) – Downton Abbey, not just because he’s a British breed (orpington) but because Lord Grantham has the same last name as Jeremy. That’s pretty cute, right?
Things were going relatively well with our boy LG until about one week ago when he first discovered both his voice and his, er, special purpose here on earth which is, apparently, to make many, many, many other chickens. At first his crowing was charming, pastoral, and exactly what I wanted to hear wafting through the windows at sunrise. But quickly it became clear his crowing had nothing to do with the sun. LG crows while he’s walking, getting a drink of water, pecking at grass, and crossing the driveway. He crows while running, while standing still, and most notably, LG crows when he’s stuck behind the neighbor’s fence. He gets stuck behind the fence because, while he’s found a way through, he is apparently incapable of remembering how to get back. And he goes through the fence in order to spend each day from approximately noon until 6pm with his second family.
Lord Grantham discovered that just behind the fence lives a bevvy of hens with whom he shares his afternoons. I shouldn’t be so outraged. Roosters and hens live an inherently polygamist existence with the roo looking after his group of sister wives/hens. But something about this new arrangement is fishy. Not only did I hand-pick and purchase the guy, but I feed and water him and give him a nice warm place to sleep (yep, he sleeps with family #1). All this plus the daily fence rescue when he’s finished with his dilly-dallies next door. I’m more upset than the sister wives/hens. In fact, I have a feeling my ladies are happy to see him slip through the fence at noon. Happy for the break from his awkward loping, not-quite-perfected-croaky-crow, and constant, athletic advances. Eventually, I’ll stop feeling jilted by the rooster and stop screaming “LG, you’re a cheating jerk!’ everytime I see his blue plumage through the fence, hopping alongside the neighbor’s hens. Eventually. But until LG figures out how to get back through the fence, and as long as I have to save him, I feel completely justified in my disgust with his second family.