We’ve been raising chickens on our farm since 2013. Having a free range flock of egg layers was one of our priorities when we bought the farm and everyone that knows us knows how much we love our chickens. You can read some of my previous posts about chickens here https://donteatitsoap.com/category/chickens/ .
Ever since we put our first flock of chickens in the coop our lives have revolved around chickens. Every morning without fail, we (nowadays my husband) open up the coop as the sun is coming up, and provide fresh food and water for the flock. On days that he or we are not working at the farm it is necessary to make at least one, but usually two, midday runs to the farm to check on the chickens. Our presence helps to deter predators. Every evening, after doing a beak count, the chickens are closed in the coop for the night. If any chickens come up missing a search ensues, sometimes resulting in finding that a hen has gotten into one of the fenced in gardens and can’t find her way out, or one has decided to roost in a tree for the night. Other times we have found that, sadly, a hen has fallen prey to a hawk or a fox, and some times they just disappear with out a trace.
Our vigilance has been rewarded with being able to maintain a flock of happy, free range, egg layers, who provide us and others with delicious, healthy, farm fresh eggs. The insect control and entertainment they provide are supplementary benefits.
One thing that we have learned over the years is that while it may be a good idea to keep a rooster to protect and service the flock, having more than one rooster causes disharmony and stresses the hens. Thus we have agreed to only keep one rooster.
Earlier this year I was talking to my dad on the phone and he told me that he had picked up a statue of a rooster that someone was getting rid of. Destined for a dumpster, it was tattered and warn, but since it was not broken dad figured he could clean it up, give it a new coat of paint and bring it back to life-like. He thought this rooster would be a nice addition to our farm. I didn’t tell my husband about the gift dad was planning to give us, because I think surprise gifts are always better.
One day in August when dad stopped by to pick up some eggs and honey I carried the bag to his car and as he put the bag in the back, he took out the life-size rooster statue and handed it to me. He had done a nice job at repainting it and not only was it as big as a real rooster, it was at least as heavy as a full grown bird.
I held the statue tucked into one arm and supported by my other hand, much like I would hold one of our chickens, as dad and I stood by his car talking. I noticed my husband driving up and was happy that dad would be able to present the gift to him as well. As my husband drove closer I could see that he was shaking his head adamantly “No”. I was trying to figure out what he was upset about as he got out of the van and from across the street announced, in no uncertain terms, “it’s not staying!” I couldn’t understand his reaction and as he walked toward us I quickly explained, “dad found this rooster statue and restored it for us.” I thought that he was being rude and going to hurt my dad’s feelings. About the same time I got the word “statue” out of my mouth my husband had walked close enough that he could get a good look at it. “Oh, it’s not real!” he exclaimed laughing in relief. Dad and I joined in the laughter as my husband explained that from a distance he thought it was a real rooster especially because of the way I was holding it.
Our rescue rooster now resides high atop the oak entertainment center in our living room. (We have kept our agreement of only one rooster at the farm.) A few nights ago my husband and I were laughing about the rooster’s arrival and my husband decided that since we hadn’t given the rooster a name yet and it will always be reminder of the unintended prank my father played on him, the roosters name would be “Jim” (my dad’s name).