As I sat pondering my chickens today, I realized I had a tale to tell. This tale has not fully unfolded to the bitter end, but then again, what tale has? This is a tale of two roosters I raised, the trials and tribulations, the hilarity, and the decisions one must make when raising a rooster (or two!). This has been my first group of chickens, so perhaps I can lend a little bit of insight into another person's chicken world! ----- The Arrival This story begins in April, 2013, right about half way through the month. 12 chickens were selected by the Overseer to be a new flock, to live out their lives together in one place, as a family. It happened without much fanfare, but lots of peeping. Before the flock had even settled into the box that would carry them over mountains, rivers, and lakes to their new home, a thirteenth chick was randomly selected by the farmer as a good luck gift to the Overseer, and just like that, the flock numbered 13, and all of their lives would be changed. The great journey from the farmlands up to the high mountains did not take long, and was excitement filled, both for the Overseer and the chickens. It took all of the willpower the Overseer could muster just to resist the urge to stop and stare at the new flock. A new flock! The idea had come on suddenly, but it brought with it a whirlwind of motivation, and suddenly things were coming to fruition! The flock was selected, the brooder was warmed up, and the great chicken adventure had begun. Now, this story is not about the whole flock, but more about 2 chickens in particular. These chickens were different. These chickens had trials ahead of them that none of the others would face. These chickens would each choose separate paths to completely different destinies. These chickens are where our focus will be. The first chicken was called Poopsie. Poopsie was the smallest chick the Overseer had ever seen, and was selected based upon a picture on the wall, displaying an adult Golden Sebright, a breed entirely new and exotic to the Overseer. Poopsie immediately needed help with some personal grooming of his rear end, and thus, he was aptly named. At this time, everybody thought Poopsie was a was a female. The other chicken who will be the subject of this tale was simply known as The Rooster. When the farmer gave this chicken to the Overseer as his lucky number 13, he warned that the chicken was straight run, and could in fact turn out to be a rooster. This made it seem only right to the Overseer to name this chick The Rooster, no matter what its gender. The Rooster was the biggest chick of the flock, but was also quite mellow. There they were, two males in the flock, one hidden under the guise of femininity, the other seemingly fated to become the rooster he someday would be. THE GROWING TIME --------------------------- As any chicken owner can tell you, chicks grow FAST. Each and every day brings change, and they soon go from helpless little fuzzballs to small birds, exploring the world and hunting for food. Poopsie remained the smallest in the flock. Being so small, the thought never crossed the Overseer's mind that perhaps she was a he! On the other hand, The Rooster grew rapidly, and quickly became the peacemaker in the group, breaking up any scuffles amongst the flock. He was growing right into the good rooster that the Overseer expected him to be. As the chicks grew, The Rooster became more and more of a rooster. His waddles and comb grew large, and he continued to be the large, authoritative chicken of the group. Poopsie remained the smallest chicken of the group, and was simply known as the smallest chicken anyone had ever seen. (Poopsie is on the right, being looked upon by a normal sized chick) The chicks grew with the grass, and soon they were becoming adolescents. It was at this time that the Overseer began to wonder about the large comb and waddles Poopsie had developed. Could Poopsie be a "he"?? Meanwhile, The Rooster continued to walk the path of least resistance, and decided to just fall into the role of alpha male, as was his fate. It was soon determined that there were most certainly two roosters in the flock. While there had always been the possibility in the Overseer's mind that there could be one rooster, he had never considered the fact that there could be more than that. He determined that he would wait for the chickens to grow, and make any decisions about their futures based upon the chickens they would become. You see, the Overseer lived amongst many neighbors in an urban setting, and the keeping of roosters was tricky at best. The Overseer waited (and waited, and waited), and the chickens continued to grow. THE TROUBLE: ---------------------------------- As the chickens grew, the roosters started acting like real roosters! They both began to crow! The Rooster had a bit deep crow, but still a dino scream. Poopsie had a very high-pitched pterodactyl yell. "Uh-oh," thought the Overseer, "this could be a problem. As time went on, the crows got longer and louder. Poopsie took it upon himself to be the alarmist of the group, and would start crowing at the drop of a hat. Sunrise? Crowing. Sunset? Crowing. Somebody in the yard? Crowing. Neighbor walked into their yard? CROW! Dog barks? CROW! Motorcycle drives by? CROW!!!! Poopsie had a loud crow, and he liked to use it. It could penetrate walls, and was soon torturing every eardrum within several blocks. To top it off, Poopsie decided to try and bite the hand that fed him, as well as any other hand he could find. Though this did not last long with the Overseer, as he would simply swat away Poopsie's advances, Poopsie soon learned that others would cowar from his attacks, and he took every chance he got to try and chase any visitor around the yard. Meanwhile, The Rooster continued to be a peacemaker, breaking up any fights in the yard. He kept a watchful eye out for danger from the sky or land, and was just a mellow chicken. The lines had been drawn, and it was apparent which rooster was the good rooster. How long could all of this last??? The Overseer knew that something would have to be done. Poopsie was not only torturing every living creature he could get near (chasing both hens and people around the yard), but he was also infringing upon the public's right to peace and quiet. If Poopsie kept this up, there would be trouble, perhaps for the entire flock. The decision was made, Death to Poopsie! As this was the Overseer's first time raising chickens, and the butchering of one's own flock turned out to be slightly easier said than done. Even after the final decision had been made, an emotional distance had to be created between the Overseer and Poopsie. This time lasted over a week, and during this period Poopsie got to enjoy more lazy summer days, free-ranging and eating treats. The time fainlly came, however, and Poopsie was sent to freezer camp. The decision was not a an easy one, but was the right one. The day after Poopsie became dinner, a neighbor came by explaining that he needed the Overseer to do something about the rooster noise. It was explained that steps had just been taken, and it was decided that if things improved, the other rooster could stay. Well, The Rooster has been behaving nicely, things have quieted down a lot in the neighborhood, and just today I received a note from the neighbor saying that things had "gotten better". It's not all over just yet, but here's to hoping that the hijinx of one small rooster didn't ruin things for a good big rooster! So far, things are looking ok!