Meet Roger- the rooster we never intended to have, and never knew we needed. This is his story.
That evening was like any other in late summer with the family all outdoors, the Mr. and I doing yard work while the kids played or chased some sort of creepy crawly nearby. Our neighbor pulled in the drive and straightaway hollered “do you all need a rooster?” Not knowing quite how to respond, we came closer as he got out of his very small hatchback car (fittingly nicknamed the Grasshopper) and he walked gingerly to open the hatch. In the trunk area, wound carefully in a large fishing net, was a gangly red rooster.
The neighbor proceeded to tell us that he’d found the fellow wondering around his brother’s very secluded property, befriending two potbelly pigs. No one knew where this strange posse had come from. As the neighbor had approached the critters, the rooster came up to him as if he were a pet. So, being the kind and thoughtful neighbor that he is, he thought of us and how we might like to have a rooster to add to our flock of hens.
It was at that point that we decided to give it a whirl, and we released him from the net, for which he was obviously very grateful. He quickly took off after one of our hens who was free-ranging nearby. Little did he know that this lady was THE lady in charge: the Alpha Female, Miss Pickens. Miss Pickens, (our eldest and most temperamental lady,) being quite unimpressed by his flouncing and parading about, turned the meet-and-greet into a duel.
Within moments, feathers were flying, ending only when Miss Pickens had the rooster’s head pinned to the ground with her left foot firmly planted on his throat. When she felt confident that her point had been proven, she released him. From that moment on, until the day of her death, he never tried to flirt with her again. (He had quite a few other ladies to keep him busy…)
After a few days of observation, we came to the conclusion that this fellow had been mistreated by whomever had owned him previously. Many of his toes are either missing or deformed, likely from frostbite. He was very shy, even to the point of submission; it took him weeks to establish his position within the flock. The Mr. decided his name would be Roger Rooster.
Roger has proven to be a excellent protector and companion for our hens. He likes being petted on occasion, and he’s the only rooster I have ever trusted enough to turn my back on and not have to worry about getting flogged. (As a small child, I was viciously attacked by one of our roosters. My mother made the determination at that moment that he would better serve us on the dinner table, so we had a hearty pot of chicken and dumplings for supper that night.) Roger’s body condition has greatly improved since his first day here on our homestead. And although he might be missing a couple digits, he has truly turned out to be one top-notch guy!