creative 1975

Archive for March, 2013|Monthly archive page

Ten Chooks (plus four more) and a Rooster named ‘Buffy’

In Poultry on March 17, 2013 at 8:47 pm

I wrote this post some time ago, but had not published it because sadly the rooster died, but I’ve decided to put it on my blog because firstly: he was our first rooster, secondly: it was an event in our chosen lifestyle (and poultry) journey and thirdly—he was lovely and I was very sad to lose him. We don’t know why he died; there was nothing noticeably wrong with him. I guess sometimes they just kick the bucket for whatever reason; whether it was of organ failure or he may have had a fright of some kind… I have no idea. Roosters can live free range for many years.

R.I.P. Buffy – the rooster.

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With the good amount of space we have for the chickens we decided to add to the brood and get another four from our ‘chook guy’ here in Christchurch. Though these new arrivals were not quite the same in appearance as the first ones: same breed but with fewer feathers! These scraggy-looking hens had been picked on and were missing their feathers on their heads and chests in particular. Then again, there’s not a chicken in our flock now that doesn’t have either a balding looking head, neck or the odd feather hanging out. They all have a peck at each other, especially at feeding times! You can spot the submissive ones!

I was told that when chooks are amongst a flock of over twenty birds their memory span is that small that they don’t recognise each other, and therefore the unfortunate few get bullied. I’m wondering if the figure could be more than ‘ten’ in our case as there had been no bullying in our flock of ten before ten became fourteen. At least they have a better life than the poor chickens stuck in cages all day. These unfortunate cage hens are lucky if they have any feathers! Factory farmed chickens that never see the light of day nor do they ever scratch the ground with their feet. There’s no room for them to flap their wings and no where to bathe in the sun.

Let me introduce our rooster, Buffy or Buff as we sometimes call him—named by our daughter—he has added character and colour to the flock. He’s a young, White Sussex cross breed and he’s gorgeous. He has handsome white feathers, which are tipped with black and his tail feathers spray gallantly adding to his distinguished characteristics. His large bright red comb flops about and his wattle jiggles in unison.  Little does he know that we actually saved him from the ‘pot’ as he was going to become rooster broth until he was offered to us to watch over the hens. Now he spends his days foraging amongst the girls and getting up to plenty of activities with them!

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