February 11, 2015

Volunteer Day Rooster

Our volunteer day rooster
Well, we didn't remain roosterless for long. No, we didn't go out and get another rooster; rather, the junior rooster from next door was quick to notice that our flock of lovely hens was without, and quickly made himself available for the job.

The first I realized he was there was one morning when I went out the back door and heard a rooster clucking his prettiest "I found a treat to eat" song. There he was in our backyard, clucking to about half a dozen of my hens who were in the chicken yard, on the other side of the chicken wire fence. They were extremely interested in what he'd found, but couldn't get out to get it.

The next morning, Mr. Rooster was in the pasture with the hens, just as happy as he could be. He's shown up every day since, not that he's been invited to stay (by the humans, that is), but the hens haven't discouraged him either. I'm not sure if our next door neighbors have noticed, but I'm sure their senior rooster doesn't mind getting rid of the competition.

Unfortunately for him (but fortunately for us?) he can't quite figure out how to get into the chicken yard.

He's on one side of the chicken yard fence ...

the hens (who come and go as they please) are on the other.

The chicken entrance into the yard is a bit tricky because I'm routing them into the front pasture. I did that when I replanted the back pasture and didn't want them gobbling down all the seed.

To go out to the pasture they have to go out the chicken gate ...

... then follow a small lane I made with a scrap of fence. I tied it off on the gate you see above, which is propped open for the time being. From there they head on out. The barn red building you see off in the distance in center of the photo is the goat shelter.

Getting back is a bit trickier, however, because the chickens have to remember where the entrance to that lane is. The bright ones do, but a few of the others initially bypass it and end up in the corner instead. They "remember" when they see another chicken make it successfully back into the yard.

Hens in the compost with Mr. Roo
watching from outside the chicken yard. 

Our volunteer day roo is usually around at chore time, so Dan or I toss him scratch over the fence. But no one is going out of their way to show him the secret entrance to the chicken yard. So, during the day he happily escorts the hens around the pasture, but heads back home for the night. For the time being, it appears to be a pretty good arrangement.


  1. LOL! Your neighbor's rooster found a Day Job!

  2. he is a fine looking young fella, could be a good arrangement, will he pay child support in the form of bugs :-)

  3. Great arrangement! We have a beautiful cockerel looking for a new home, guess you are too far away..shame!
    Your Buffs are beautiful, I so love this breed as they are so gentle and such good mothers (though not the best layers!)

  4. Quinn, I suspect if he knew how to get into the chicken yard, he'd move right on in!

    Dawn, LOL. A good rooster will certainly do that plus keep lookout while the hens forage. We have lots of hawks around so that's a big plus.

    Gill, well, we really weren't wanting another rooster at the moment, LOL. But instinct is pretty hard to dissuade so we have one anyway. My Buffs used to run away from me until their experience with The Sultan. He was a terrible bully and I've wondered if they are so relieved to have freedom from him that they've decided I'm not so bad after all. :)

  5. I remember looking for eggs and doing 'chores' when I visited my grandparents, when I was very young. Although we have a couple of acres, we have not had any animals but the dogs since the ducks left. They had rich, wonderful eggs, but the call of the wild ducks was very strong. They did help keep down the slug population while they were here. My mobility is somewhat limited right now so I'm glad not to be responsible for other critters.

  6. Hahaha!! Oh chicken drama. It is real. LOL! On the matter of the secret entrance, during winter we don't let ours free range because the predators are especially bad. But my rooster Spark is just too smart to be caged! He always manages to find a way out. So this tiny little bantam rooster free ranges alone every day, hangs out with the dogs, etc. etc. and somehow manages to always escape the hawks and bald eagles that fly over head. He's a mess, but I love him!

  7. One of the cleverest ways not to have a rooster ever, and he doesn't try to kill you!

  8. Jeaniebabbb, what a great memory. I've heard duck eggs are wonderful, but I can't talk Dan into getting ducks. Being able to take care of everything is a must, however, you're very right about that.

    Lana, our chickens are 5-star in the entertainment department. :) That's pretty amazing about your Spark. Very clever!

    Barb, exactly! And he's respectful of the hens too. All the but the quickest ones hesitated to go out of the coop in the morning, knowing The Sultan would jump them. Sometimes it was for breeding purposes, other times it was simply to show them who's boss. That was not an endearing quality.

  9. He's a pretty handsome fella! Sounds like it is a great arrangement!

  10. Leigh,

    What a nice looking rooster. I'm wondering if your neighbor allows him to run freely, this way he doesn't crow early in the morning at home.

    On a positive note,your girls have a male friend casing the chicken coop.

  11. As smart as he is, I'm sure he'll figure his way in eventually. Hope that it all works out.

  12. Somebody give that rooster a ladder! But I have a feeling if he once got into the chicken pen, he would be there to stay. (Your accommodations are pretty deluxe!) Maybe not a situation either you or your neighbors want . . . ?

  13. That made me chuckle! Great story, one for an upcoming book?

  14. HAHA eventually one of the girls will show him how to get in. Chickens can't keep a secret ya know.

  15. the Goodwife, it's a nice arrangement as long as he goes home every night, LOL

    Sandy, no, he crows over here, LOL

    Renee, I hope not!

    Mama Pea, if we'd wanted a rooster right now we would have kept one of ours!

    Nancy, he is. And he seems to be a pretty good rooster; we just don't need one at present.

    Izzy, probably, LOL

    PP, I hope not! Next spring I'm hoping to get Australorps so there will be several roosters in that batch. Don't really want to have to deal with a resident rooster that isn't even ours!

  16. That is so funny! Must be hilarious to watch! Nancy

  17. we always find that the roosters not as bright as the hens and take longer to figure out how to get through gates or holes in the fence.


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