It's out with the old year, and in with some new Roosters! My daughter-in-love brought me two big boys that needed a new home. While these boys had been kept in a bedroom and treated like pets, of all things, we still needed to be sure they weren't diseased and we needed to get them used to colder weather. They are friendly boys, easy to pick up, without fuss and no pecking or gaffing yet. They're about 9 months old.
Terrence is a big speckled Barred Rock/Jersey Giant Mix and Julius is a big black Jersey Giant. These are big boys, but not massive like the Cornish Cross roo that we had to harvest. We don't dare just put new chickens in with our old birds, though, it's a process.
They spent their first week in the Maternity/Sick Ward. That's just a fancy name for the basement pen. This way we were able to monitor their daily health to be sure they didn't bring illness to our flock. We also were serenaded hourly during daylight hours. It was clear to see why these birds were rehomed to us. Lovely duets of Cockadoodledos were heard by all and so was the Stranger Danger Call, anytime anyone came in the basement door.
We moved the boys to the outside kennel during the day for the second week to acclimate them to the winter and the flock. They were able to see our ladies and our ladies were able to inspect the new beaus without anyone getting carried away.
Over the course of the week, a new call was heard - "Hey, I found this good to eat thing, come eat it." said the roos to the hens as they were being fed. The roo will pick up a tasty morsel, drop it at his feet, make the calls and then repeat. That's a sign of a good roo!
They also were sure to make their presence known to the neighborhood, with vigorous crowing.
We had been carrying them inside back to the Maternity Ward at night but that all stopped last night. We waited until it was full dark and then we snuck those sleepy birds into the coop with all the sleepy hens. Chickens don't do much at night so it's a safe time to introduce new birds to the flock. There was nary a cackle heard, except for the roos settling down with soft bawk-bawks.
This morning, everything is hunky dory. Everyone is eating well. No one is pecking anyone else. The roos are right in the middle of the flock. The crowing has lessened, too, just a crow or two at dawn. I hope things continue to be quiet in the Chicken Pen and if we're lucky, we'll get chicks this year!
If you'd like to come visit and meet our flock in person, we just love guests! Let me know you're coming and children are especially enjoyed and welcome!