Tuesday, June 28, 2011

#41 - It's Quiet Around Here Today

Two roosters in the backyard is still not working out. A few weeks ago, we tried taking the roosters to a new home and it didn't work out. We had dropped them off at their new place, then we went to the ocean for a while to relax and on our way home we made our mistake...we decided to drive back by the roosters' new home to see how things were going. Well, they weren't going good. They would not join the flock. They were standing out in the open, quite a distance from the coop and were exposed to the various prey in the area.

I could not believe that our roosters were standing there in the dark. They were always inside their coop by this time every night. Worse, our two roosters had made their way back to the spot where we had let them out of their kennel and it was if they were waiting to go back home. We tried to take them over to the other chickens, but it didn't work, the little rooster only ran behind Deputy Dave crying with this most God-awful chicken squawking that I have never heard in my life.

In fact, Big Rooster strutted up to Deputy David and flew upward to perch on his shoulder. Yep, on his shoulder. So, we all headed back home.

However, once the roosters were comfortable in their backyard here in the city, they began to be more roosterly. Problems with loud crowing at all times of the day became worse as our roosters learned to perfect their calls. Their morning crowing wasn't as weak and feeble sounding any longer, nope, it sounded as if Big Rooster was using an invisible bull-horn, and his COCK-A-DOODLE-DO became a call to attention for our entire block of houses. Yes, he discovered the rooster within and learned to use his voice loud and clear. "I am Rooster, hear me Crow!"

So, we were back at square one...the loud roosters must go. I bought chickens because I wanted to enjoy fresh eggs. We bought 7 chickens, but after a few weeks we discovered that 2 roosters were in the group by mistake. But, I don't want those two mix-up birds to ruin the entire reason for getting chickens in the first place...for their eggs. The roosters are nothing but clanging alarms calling attention to us as backyard farmers in the city.

What are lessons learned during this ordeal? I would have to say that chickens are usually quiet and easy-going, but roosters are notoriously noisy, bossy and arrogant. A rooster is a rooster. However, for defense of my roosters, they have been entertaining and interesting to watch, and they are beautiful creatures. Yes, I found my roosters to be beautiful, but I love the color red! You find yourself watching the rooster and realize that he's watching you too. They have been amazing fun.

Here is an account of our first attempt to re-locate our roosters to a new home.
Here is Step #1...Catch the Roosters

Here is Step #2 - Let the Roosters Go at their New Home
Desperate...Deputy Dave decides to hand carry "Speckles" to the coop area, gently tossing him into the coop with the other birds.

Speckles runs behind Deputy Dave as he tries to come back to the truck. I had no idea that chickens "imprinted" this severely onto people. We've hand-raised them since they were chicks and we're daily involved with their care, so we are Parentals! Bottom line, this attempt to drop off the roosters was a FAIL.

I didn't get it on video, but Big Rooster was ready to go home too. He actually flew up onto Deputy Dave's shoulder to perch. So, into the kennel he went and we took both roosters back their old coop in our backyard.

However, the story doesn't end here. Yesterday, we gathered the guts to make another attempt to take the two roosters to a new home...the same place as before. It was no longer a choice, the roosters HAD to leave our backyard. Their combined crowing had become louder and louder; this was not what we intended to live with when we purchased chickens to raise for eggs. We did not expect to have two roosters in the bunch. But, we grew attached to them. As the roosters grew louder, I became anxious; I didn't want the roosters to ruin our entire chicken set-up. If a disgruntled neighbor showed up, then all the chickens would be in danger. The girls are so quiet and non-intrusive; they are wonderful to have around, and I don't want our chance to have "home-grown" eggs to be jeopardized. So, the roosters had to go...REALLY...this time we had to make it work.

Last evening, we took the roosters and a bag of feed to their new home. In their new yard, I stood with my roosters, leading them with the feed until they were closer and closer to all of their new chickie friends. It worked. By the time we left, my roosters were busy pecking away at the feed loaded with goodies and they had several new friends standing with them. This time, they didn't chase after us screaming like a rooster under attack. We drove off into the sunset. My husband and I celebrated by going to Dairy Queen for ice-cream.

This morning, it is quiet. It is a rooster-less day!

I just had a thought...what if I had a Stephen King moment and suddenly heard the roosters crowing at the top of their angry lungs, from our backyard?

Thank God that my creative imagination is far-fetched. It's still pleasantly quiet around here. And, if any of our neighbor's found the roosters to be on their last nerve, well, that nerve can relax. The roosters have flown the coop...with a little help.


Alex said...

A rooster perching on the shoulder would make a really nice conversation piece walking through a mall ;) Cool vids thanks for sharing!

Rae said...

Glad it all worked out ok! I'll have to check out the vide when I get to a computer (my phone doesn't handle vids very well).

Our chicky gals are actually pretty loud themselves. Our boss buff and our smallest goose will have competitions, one cackling at the top of her lungs, and the other honk squealing back. It's awful. I have a feeling our roo will be the least of our worries. Lol!

Lana C. said...

Alex --- a chicken perched on the should is interesting. The breed we have do love to fly up to our shoulders, it's weird. And, I'm learning to do the videos. I tried embedding them and it didn't work, so the link is there and can be clicked. But, I prefer the embedded video. I'll keep trying. Eventually, I'll get it figured out! Augh.

Lana C. said...

Rae --- I'd love to hear geese honking. I can't even really imagine what it would be must be fascinating. I've been around angry geese at the local park and I've ended up running as they chased me. But, it would be awesome to raise them. I'm sure I'd have less fear, just like my chicken experience. I always love seeing your pictures on your blog with the geese.

LindaG said...

Congratulations, Lana. Glad to hear the move succeeded this time. :)

Kelsie From Our Country Home said...

I feel your pain with the roosters...Though we live in the country our Chicken Boy has been a problem with worrying our poor gals to death, to the point of no more eggs from them...One he even cut open her back with his spurs (not intentionally)

Right now he is penned up in the chicken yard and the girls are roaming free during the day and can access the coop from the back door having no contact between them....Couple of days we will switch again, and the girls will get to be in the yard and him roaming and so on...

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit today...At least I am hoping I found the right person...I had to google your blog name as in the comment it does not show up as a link and your email is "no-reply"...I was trying to remember how to fix this but am drawing a blank today...sorry.

Blessings Kelsie

PS: I will be back if I figure it out :)

City Sister said...

We had the same issue about a year ago...we ended up with rooster pot pie...Give the neighbors some eggs when they start really helps smooth things over to the point where now we have many chicken sitters begging to watch the chickens...for eggs!

Lana C. said...

Linda --- Thanks so much! I think you know how difficult this was for us. I'm thankful it worked out this time!

Lana C. said...

City Sister - You made me laugh out loud for real with the ROOSTER PIE comment! And, my neighbors are indeed looking forward to fresh eggs. I am more excited than I can express! I'd hope to gain the help of neighborly chicken sitters for those times when we must be out of town, rare, but a chicken sitter, someone who can come check on things, is important---I think they'd have a good time collecting the eggs. I have great neighbors though.

Lana C. said...

Kelsie --- I was worried because a "city" friend just passed on information that once they got rid of their rooster, the chickens completely quit laying eggs. I have not had one egg yet, but I hope getting rid of the rooster won't impact them in this way. Your comment has made me feel better, I appreciate it. Switching around your rooster's home is a good idea. It's good to give the poor girls a break! About my sign-off problems...I try to actually sign off with my blog address at the end of a post, but sometimes I forget. Your info about the trouble finding me was important because when someone finds me, it often helps me find my way back to them! So, I did go onto Yahoo to change profile info and hope it will make a difference. We'll see...I'm not sure how to sign off on a comment except for using the Name/URL which helps people be led back by a mouse click. I'll keep trying!!!!! I look forward to coming to visit you again.