Our beta Silkie rooster has started to exhibit some bad behaviour. Besides interfering with mating, understandable, I’ve recently seen him a few times pecking on the hens! Not ok! I understand he’s frustrated, but bad behaviour is a one way ticket to either the soup pot or Kijiji. He was also making a stab at crowing. It was an awful, pathetic, gargling (cocks figuring out how to crow are hilarious), but the prospect of three yelling roosters was sobering, and H.W. was threatening to “give him to nice farm”. I’m sure he’d make a good, happy alpha rooster if he got to have flock of his own, beta cocks usually do, so I put him up on Kijiji to give away. Since we are now down two hens it’s kind of urgent; the little white hen shouldn’t have to put up with two roosters each three times her size.
Someone made an appointment to come get him, but that very afternoon we were out by the Silkie coop: H.W. was just commenting that he hadn’t seen the beta rooster do anything bad when I caught him in the act. He got a beakful of the little white hen and she started squealing and struggling. I threw my hat at him, cursing, and he released her and ran away. I chased him a few steps, and then H.W. said “here comes the other rooster!”. From behind me the alpha rooster streaked past, taking up the cause, running and pecking and squawking.
It was awe-inspiring. We watched the two of them running off into the woods, hollering and shrieking, as far as we could see, while H.W. narrated. “Yeah! What she said! Dirtbag!” And then “They’re deep out there, I’m not sure you’re going to have a rooster to give away tonight.” Our Silkies aren’t known for venturing far from the coop, and are for getting lost when they do, so I figured I’d have to go after them. I circled out into the woods to get behind them. The alpha rooster was already back with his hen, her honour defended, but the beta was, predictably, wandering, and I chased him back towards the coop. Who did I unexpectedly run into out in the woods though? Fearless Friendly! She sure gets around.
The beta rooster got given away that night to a new flockster with a few (full-size) laying hens. H.W. skeptically predicted “they’re gonna laugh at him!” I’m told they are doing just fine. It’s either the shock of his life or all his dreams come true. Or both.