Roosters Have it Rough

Our white, Nankin bantam rooster.

“Frosty,” our white Nankin bantam rooster.

As you’ve probably heard, we got about 12 inches of rain over the past few days, our first moisture in over 14 months. When it rains that hard, we leave the chickens in their coop. The sun came out today, and so did the chickens.

They love scratching around in the soft dirt after a nice rain. In addition, chickens, like most animals, are sun worshippers. They love to lay out and drink in the rays.

Hen sleeping in the sun.

Notice the hen in front, laying down and sleeping in the sun.

What never ceases to amaze me is how tough life is for a rooster. Our bigger, older rooster, “Banjo,” is head man around the coop. In general, all seven of the hens hang out with him. None of the girls want to hang out with “Frosty,” the younger, smaller white rooster.

Frosty spends his days alone, at a safe distance from Banjo and all the hens. The little dude is always making noises that I imagine translate to something like, “Oh man, I haven’t seen one of these bugs for months, but if one of you girls come over with me, I’ll give it to you!” He also crows a lot, trying to create the impression that he’s the rooster of their dreams, a youthful up-and-comer, a hottie with a heart, a guy with prospects.

Banjo’s day is made busy finding food for his flock of hens, breeding them on and off all day, keeping his eyes peeled for predators so he can alert his girls to take cover, pooping and crowing about what a big, handsome, provider he is. Banjo must also keep his eye on Frosty, make sure he stays at a safe distance so none of the hens stray.

Here’s what happened today.

Frosty the white bantam Nankin rooster in the fig tree.

Frosty crowing in the fig tree.

Rooster Banjo and his flock with young rooster Frosty in the distance.

Banjo and his flock, with Frosty in the distance.

Banjo really had zero interest in walking across the driveway. There are no bugs in the driveway. There is no soft, moist dirt beneath his toes in the driveway. No bushes for cover from flying predators, like hawks. Nothing really, except Banjo saw Frosty crowing from an elevated perch in the fig tree in the driveway. So now, there is no place Banjo would rather be than the driveway.

Bantam Nankin hens and roosters.

Banjo heads for Frosty.

Banjo chases Frosty off the driveway.

Banjo chases Frosty off the driveway.

This scene plays itself out all day. Frosty’s very existence irritates Banjo. In fact, Banjo would very much like Frosty to die. Really. These guys are not messing around. After the chickens have been out free ranging, they come back to the coop at the end of the day. Banjo and the hens go in. Then Banjo waits by the door, so Frosty does not come in until he feels pretty sure Banjo is up on a roost and he can safely enter without getting chased out and beat up. The later Frosty stays out, the more likely he is to get eaten, which seems to be party of Banjo’s master plan. It’s hard out there for a rooster.

A few links I hope you like:

I had this James Brown song and this Oscar winning tune in my head as I wrote this post.

Johnathan Winters was pure genius, and I still love watching him.

A chuckle about reporting on cold weather in California.

Mary Oliver’s dog poetry makes me cry with love every time I read it.

1 Comment

One response to “Roosters Have it Rough”

  1. avatar Carol Thomson says:

    I am looking for fresh stock Nankin Bantam & eggs. Carol