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Who’s the Man?

Our two tom turkeys have been getting along well with Ramon the rooster and his ladies for several months now, but I think Ramon is a little jealous of all of the attention the turkeys have been getting. Ramon has always been very calm and friendly toward us, comes running over to us for treats and is easy to pick up, but I guess I haven’t been giving him enough attention lately. A couple of times in the last week or so he has jumped up on my shoulder when I’ve been bent over tending to chores in his pasture. The first time he jumped up on my shoulder he let out a big cock-a-doodle-doo right next to my ear, which I am pretty sure is his way of announcing to everyone else that he, Ramon, is in fact the king of the chicken/turkey yard. So I thought it was time to give Ramon a bit of recognition for being such a good rooster.

We have had four roosters at the farm for quite a while now, and while I love them all for their beauty and their interesting behaviors, Ramon is probably the best rooster. Ramon is very vigilant and protective of his three ladies, and while he certainly expects a bit of romance now and then as payment for his services, he never chases the ladies about the pasture or harasses them like I have seen Brown Rooster do with his ladies. Of course, Ramon wasn’t always so well behaved around the ladies, and there was a time in his younger days that he was a bit overly amorous. Thankfully he has grown out of that stage and has matured into a very well behaved rooster. We will most likely use him to sire some chicks next spring.

Reuben (aka Rooster Cogburn) is our special needs rooster and still suffers from some sort of mystery condition which causes his legs to be weak and stiff and not work very well. He lives in a separate pen to make sure he gets enough to eat and drink and doesn’t get bullied by anyone. I visit him daily, and give him some lap time and hand feeding every day or two. I let a few of the oldest girls into Reuben’s pen once a day, which he seems to enjoy since he gets to be close to the ladies, and which the ladies also enjoy since they get a break from Brown Rooster. Brown Rooster is our youngest rooster, and at 2-1/2 years old he is still a bit frisky. Despite having close to two dozen ladies to call his own, there are still several looking a bit feather-bare on their backs due to a bit too much rooster love. The older hens generally give Brown Rooster a wide berth, while the younger golden comet hens still haven’t figured out that there are strings attached when he calls them over for a tasty treat he has supposedly found in the pasture. Brown Rooster is not quite as calm around people as Ramon and Reuben are, and often times will run off in a panic making a loud alarm call if I do something as unexpected as go into the chicken yard wearing a different color pair of pants than my standard blue jeans.

Lil’ Red Rooster is almost as good of a flock protector as Ramon, and Lil’ Red watches over his little harem very attentively most of the time. It’s clear that he is very fond of Millie, our little gray silkie banty hen, and he usually stays very close to her side when I let her out to free range with him. He’s not quite as attached to Salt-n-Pepa yet, but hopefully that will come with time. There are times however, when I’ve gone out to check on Lil’ Red and his ladies and he will have gotten bored supervising his girls and is up by the main chicken yard staring longingly at the full size hens, leaving Millie, Salt-n-Pepa to fend for themselves. The majority of the time the roosters are good boys, and as well as watching over the ladies they are a pleasure to have around the farm so we will always have a few in the flock.

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