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The Boys of 5R Farm, Part II

I introduced you to Rooster Cogburn (aka Reuben) and Ramon, the two highest ranking roosters in our flock, in the previous Boys of 5R Farm post. Now it’s time for you to meet our other four roosters. The position for omega rooster (the lowest rooster in the flock) appears to be undergoing a transition period. For a few months it was Grayson, who is the youngest of the roosters and was slow to mature. I initially thought he was a hen, and when we moved the chicks out to the farm I kept him in our backyard in Portland where he was living happily as Grace. Then one day I noticed he was developing some very rooster-like bright orange feathers, something a proper hen would never do! So Grace was renamed Grayson, and he rejoined his flock mates at the farm after living apart from them for about a month and a half.

At the time Grayson moved to the farm, Ringo, our silver gray dorking rooster, was third in line for the throne. Ringo is a bit shy and tends to stay out of the way of the other roosters. He is generally more of a gentleman than Reuben and Ramon, and Ringo can often be heard calling the girls over when he finds something good to eat by making a rapid series of short little clucks. He has been slow to establish his own group of favorite ladies, but he appears to have taken a liking to the white Delaware hens that we call the Jumpy girls, and I think he will soon have his own little harem.

For the last month Grayson has been challenging the other roosters and chasing Ringo around quite a bit. Thankfully there has not been any bloodshed, and I’m sure they will sort it out amongst themselves soon. Grayson may move up a rung or two on the ladder, but if he gets too cocky I’m sure Reuben will put him in his place.

Our last two roosters are Henry and Lil’ Red Rooster, our red cochin frizzle banty roosters. Several months ago when they started acting amorous toward the ladies and making a general nuisance of themselves, I separated them from the rest of the flock (you can read about it in an earlier post, Oh Henry!). They currently have their own bachelor quarters, complete with their own mini-coop, although they prefer to spend most of their time free-ranging. They often wander up to visit the rest of the chickens and gaze longingly through the chicken wire at the hens on the other side of the fence. They have been wandering farther and farther from the chicken coop and are gradually making their way down the driveway. One of our neighbors has four free range hens that we occasionally see on our shared private road, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Henry and Lil’ Red eventually make their acquaintance. Who knows, next spring we may be seeing a few new chicks on the block with a resemblance to Henry or Lil’ Red!

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