My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

chooks, hens or chickens?


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King George and his trip to the vet

 

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We did manage to get KingGeorge into the cage.

After a few failed attempts at catching him, we decided to put some of his favourite treats into the cage and hope that he would just walk in. The cage opens fully at one end.

And yes, that is exactly what George did. He saw me sprinkle the treats on the cage floor and he wandered in and started to eat. I was behind him to shut the door.

King George behaved himself in the car and at the vets but unfortunately he is not with us anymore. I made the decision to have him humanely put down as he had a tumour on his spine and would not have recovered. At least now he is not in pain.

So for someone who did not like roosters and never wanted one, I am really sad at the passing of George. He was so gentle and caring of his girls and would eat out of my hand when I offered him treats.

I guess Jonathan Livingstone will take over the running of the flock now that King George has gone.

 

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King George is unwell

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King George is unwell. I am not sure what is wrong. I know he has a sore foot but I don’t think that would be enough to cause his general malady. He spends a lot of his time drooping and falling asleep whilst standing, like this.

Jonathan Livingstone in the background doesn’t seem to care.

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Somehow we need to try to get George into this cage for his visit to the vet tomorrow morning.

 


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Welcome to our home, Jonathan Livingstone

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The “other rooster” has finally been given a name, so I guess in a way I must have decided to welcome him to our home.

His name is Jonathan Livingstone. He is named Jonathan Livingstone because that is a nicer name than Seagull. He reminds me of a seagull because he runs in like a seagull, grabs a piece of food and then runs off to eat it somewhere on his own so that no one can take it from him.

I think he was a very hungry rooster when he first started coming here and upmost on his mind was to get food but he was a little afraid of King George. So he would grab and run.

Now he is not so hungry and tends to be a little more relaxed around the food but King George will still decide sometimes that he doesn’t want Jonathan Livingstone eating with them and attempts to chase him away. So Jonathan Livingstone will grab and run once again but not quite so desperate and seagull-like.

So of course with two roosters, I now need more chickens for a better ratio. I am now planning which breeds.


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King George the rooster has found his mojo

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Along with the return of King George’s feathers, came his mojo. George is once again the proud king of his tiny little brood of hens.

King George is once again crowing in the morning and standing proud throughout the day.

King George doesn’t care that there is another rooster living here during the day. King George is the boss and the other rooster knows it.

King George is once again finding food for his girls. He even stole some of my chopped silver beet stalks while I had my back turned while taking the lid off the worm farm. He didn’t realise his girls don’t like chopped silver beet stalks but he continued to steal them until I took the chopping board away!

Welcome back King George.

 


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Is this why George has lost his mojo?

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Perhaps this is why George lost his mojo. Ever since this rooster somehow found his way to our place from one of the neighbouring farms, to spend all day and every day with us, George has not been himself.

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Poor George. Maybe he is thinking he can’t compete with this newcomer when he is not looking and feeling his best!

Or maybe this newcomer’s arrival coincided with George’s moult.


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King George has lost his mojo

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King George was a very proud rooster standing tall with his chest pushed out and his tail feathers held high. He crowed each morning long before the sun came up, eager to start his day.

When he was finally let out of the coop each morning with the girls tagging along behind him, he would do his little morning dance and then spend his day watching and listening out for his girls, finding food for them and generally standing tall with enough crows throughout the day so that any roosters within hearing distance, knew he was boss. He loved life and he loved his girls.

Then something terrible happened. He started to lose his beautiful feathers! Beautiful rooster feathers lined the coop. Beautiful rooster feathers were all over the lawn. His beautiful neck and tail feathers were gone.

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King George did not stand proud anymore. King George did not crow anymore. King George did not do his morning dance anymore. King George did not find food for his girls anymore. King George was sad. In fact he didn’t feel like a King anymore.

He was just plain old George who did not love life or his girls anymore. He was miserable and he was grumpy and all he wanted to do hide was hide in a bush and hope no one sees him.

King George had lost his mojo.


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King George the rooster has broken two of my rules

King George turned up at out place and made my chicken coop his home. We didn’t want a rooster.

But we decided to let him stay but with three rules.

Rule number 1 – He doesn’t crow in the early hours of the morning.
Well of course he has broken this rule! One morning my husband Haitch said to me “that rooster has got to go. He was crowing at 4:30”.
I said to him “if you want the rooster gone, you ring our neighbour / friend and you tell him to come and take his rooster away and kill his him. If he takes him back home across the road, King George will just keep coming back here”.

Rule number 2 – He is gentle with my girls.
King George is huge and I am scared he is going to squash my girls when he has his roostering way with them. I have never seen him doing anything with my girls so I was thinking that he is aware of his enormity and is therefore being a kind rooster and leaving my girls alone. After all, Hannah Hen, my bantam, only comes up to the top if his thigh!
I had some friends around last weekend and they know about chickens. They said that King George would definitely be having his roostering way, so to prove it, we broke one each of my girls eggs into a bowl.
Hilda Hen’s egg was fertile.
Helen Hen’s egg was fertile.
And yes, tiny, little Hannah Hen’s egg was also fertile.
And then a few days ago, I heard a ruckus and looked out to see Helen Hen looking indignant at King George and there was the tell tale sign, he had one of Helen’s feathers in his beak! So rule number 2 is on the verge of being broken.

Rule number 3 – He is not aggressive in ANY way
This is my most important rule. I have not seen any sign of aggression so far. He is very gentle and is learning not to run away from me when I go outside. He is learning that I have treats. He has even started coming over to me when he thinks I have food, but not too close of course.

So you see, King George has broken one rule and partially broken the second rule but he is still here. I know I said if he breaks any of those rules, he is out. But I’ve grown attached to King George the rooster and they are my rules, so I can choose to remove them on a whim.  (And then of course reinstate them, even without letting King George know.)
I hope he never breaks rule number 3, because there is no negotiation on this one.