Today the chickens were foraging about the pasture, and I saw what I thought was one of the Wyandotte roosters hiding under the picnic table. It looked a little strange, though, so I shooed it out for a better look. It was a rooster all right, but not one of ours! Moments later, there were sounds of a panicked chicken from the goat pen, and I wondered why Jenny, the white bantam, was so excited. Then I realized that the little white chicken had a black tail and a big red comb, meaning it was not Jenny. Sure enough, it was another strange rooster.
Apparently someone dumped these two roosters at our farm this afternoon. Paul is pretty sure that they weren't there when he stopped to let our poultry out, so there was only about a three hour window.
Both birds are pretty boys, but we have plenty of roosters already. I plan to keep the two biggest to breed for the beginnings of a meat breed, but the others are destined for the stew pot. Actually, I kind of like the larger of the two new roosters. He's heavier than any of the Wyandottes, and has a mellower personality. I might keep him instead, and cull all of the Wyandotte roosters. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no use for a bantam rooster. The bantam hens are fine because they mostly get their own feed and they provide us with small eggs, but I don't intend to breed any more of them. So unless there's someone who wants a mongrel bantam rooster, he will probably end up in a very small stew pot.
The larger rooster has a beard, so I think he might be part Ameraucana. His markings are similar to my Silver Laced Wyandottes, except that he has a lot of red feathers mixed in with the black and white. I'll have to get a picture, since he is quite striking.
Speaking of striking, things are pretty restless in the poultry yard with two new roosters around, making a total of six. The bantam's strategy was to hide amongst the hens on the roost, which seemed to work since he was completely ignored up there. The big one didn't start any fights, but he pretty much held his own when the others challenged him. He and Jack quickly reached an agreement that Jack was king, but the Wyandottes kept pushing the fight even when he tried to surrender. They're always very flashy and aggressive, which is why I probably won't use any of them for breeding. It's kind of funny that the two chickens I most want to propagate are both mongrels of unknown origins.
5 days ago