And no, I don't mean Parnell.
Lil Roo- a reasonably handsome red and white aracuna rooster - arrived this morning. He replaces Mr. Roo, who died from too much of the good life back in early June.
After living rooster-less for nearly two months, I discovered that a) hens are boring and b) I really missed the sound of a rooster - especially greeting me when I staggered home from a pub crawl somewhere south of midnight. No idea if my neighbors missed the 3 AM rooster calls, but since at least two of them have chickens, including several roosters, I didn't bother to poll the neighborhood on whether or not I should get a replacement.
So today Lil Roo arrived in a pet carrier - donated by an acquaintance who discovered that 50% of her sexed layers are roosters, not hens. For those new to chix tech-speak, "sexed" birds means those that supposedly had their gender determined prior to sale as layers, not, as one might suppose, birds with high sex drives.
Despite the prospect of being the only rooster in a yard of seven hens, Lil Roo had to be shaken out of his pet carrier. He is a young rooster and sized up next to the more robust older hens, quite small. He quickly realized this. Trotting around on the very tips of his toes, he began stretching his neck up and out as far as he could in a vain attempt to enlarge and enhance his size (a trait that male chickens share with their human counterparts).
Ah, but to no avail. Lil Roo failed to impress. The red hens moved in to make sure it was their pecking order that got established. After the dust from the chicken scrum settled, Lil Roo's feathers were decidedly ruffled, and quite a few of them pulled.
Attila the Hen moves in for the kill
Now, several hours later, the chicken cacophony has died down. A few minutes ago I went out to make sure it wasn't because Lil Roo was battered, bleeding and about to be dispatched by his harem. I found him quietly pecking in the small corner of the coop allowed him by the ladies, who were contentedly back to scratching for bugs and dust bathing. But Lil Roo is still on the short leash - every time he gets an amorous glint in his eye and makes overtures to one of the hens, he is severely trounced and forced back into his corner. What's a horny roo to do?