Tag Archives: beta

The walnut tree roosters

The funniest thing about the arrival of the Brahmas is the reaction of the Silkie roosters – the two “exiles” as I call them, since they don´t interact with the main tribe and mostly hide in the coop.  Or did, until the Brahmas came.

I think they feel they´ve gone to heaven since the Brahmas arrived.  The second night they were sandwiched between the big pillowy ladies.  I  haven´t been this comfortable since I was a chick. 

And ever since they´re really coming out of their shell.  No more hiding in the coop.  They hang all day in the shrub with the Brahmas, who really just lie around.

The big sign of transformation is that they are starting to crow!  It´s not pretty (whoa, is there a rooster gargling over there?).  That means they are feeling very good about themselves.  Looks like some new copper tail feathers are coming in too.  I’m glad they’re so happy.

They don’t mate the big girls (larger than they are).  They seem perfectly content to snuggle.

Good looking guys.

I call them the walnut tree tribe – the mixed bunch of chickens who have decided they live in the small coop under the walnut.  They are a distinct group now.  Mom and the Oreos, the two roos, and the Brahmas.  They interact surprisingly little with the Silkies who moved into the big coop, who live just at the other end of the greenhouse.  The guineas and layer hens freely visit either tribe, and a couple of layers drop off eggs in the small coop.

When the rooster didn’t crow

HW just happened to remind me “remember when the rooster didn’t crow?  Because he was a beta rooster?”.  He’s right!  The big rooster learned to crow after he arrived here, when he suddenly had to “man up” to his promotion to big cock on the block.

Now, he is deafening!  He puts his whole considerable body into it, and throws his voice like a shotput.  When he hops up on top of the coop, perfectly ear level to me, and delivers a cannon while I’m in the greenhouse, oh it makes my head ring!  I can’t imagine sitting in a small, echoing box with him firing off multiple volleys, every morning.  Maybe all the hens are hearing impaired.

Actually, he was probably a  delta rooster, very low in his flock of origin, voiceless.  I’m a big fan of secondary roosters, and promoting them.  They’re so nice, appropriately frightened of people, and so appreciative of the job, it seems.  They take it seriously and do it well.

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I was commenting on the cocks of both flocks being both so good, it’s a shame they are aging and will soon need to be replaced.  The red rooster lost all his accent feathers from his tail last year and they haven’t come back.  Aging.  And rooster choosing is dicey.  A bad rooster can be a real dick.  We are blessed with good rooster fortune on both sides of the haybales at the moment.

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HW said “No… roosters can be really old and still be good roosters.  You know, like in Chicken Run, the rooster’s a beat up old veteran.”

Me: That’s an animated feature!  You can’t base your livestock knowledge on a cartoon!

HW:  Yeah, but it’s a cartoon based in truth!

This may have gone on a bit longer.  It is a very good movie.

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This pic is overexpsed but it's so funny with the hen peeking out from behind his tail.
This pic is overexposed but it’s so funny with the hen peeking out from behind his tail.