Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Run of the Coop

The cock from our first brood of chickens has now grown up to be a handsome chap indeed. The Rooster “Raj” is definitely the head of the run, but the sneaky leghorn cock “MF Junior”, manages to have clandestine trysts with the ladies whenever Raj isn’t looking.

When a rooster is displaying for a hen, he will vocalise and shake his wattles for the hen and then he will step back to show the hen a morsel that he has for her. The hen will then eat the morsel and allow the rooster to mount her (if his display is manly enough). Of course, the rooster is always looking for this behaviour in others as well because he doesn’t like competition.

The younger cock can’t afford to vocalise or put on big shows for the girls … but he doesn’t have to be celibate either. The main problem for the younger cock is that he isn’t as big as the head rooster. Any showy displays for the girls will get him beaten up. So what he must do is to be covert in his pursuit of companionship.

In our flock, MF Junior will only display for the hens if Raj is looking the other way. The displays are not as flamboyant as the head Rooster but he seems to be having his evil way with the hens.

Our main problem with MF Junior is that, being the second cock in the chicken run, he seems to be more aggressive toward our youngest daughter. Raj doesn’t give the girls a second glance, but MF Junior will attack our youngest when she goes into the coop to feed the rabbit and guinea pig and to collect the eggs. Our youngest is very petite and she is quite intimidated by MF Junior … it’s time that our youngest got some lessons in asserting herself.

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