Hector's World: Adventures and Mayhem at Mountain View Poultry (or Sequel to The Evolution of Atlas

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by speckledhen, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Hector, oh, Hector. Where do I begin with Hector? For those who are not familiar with the guy we used to call "The Little Tyrant", Hector is a 44 week old Barred Plymouth Rock cockerel, a sort of unplanned surprise resident here. He popped out of hatching eggs which were an out-of-the-blue gift from a dear lady, my friend 1muttsfan (Mary). I'd been running into a sort of dead end with my breeding, she felt; even with line breeding, it was becoming much too much and problems were showing up in the last generation, namely with Apollo with his sister and half-sister. Plus three of his sire's hens were aging out. I'd already lost one of the three stupendous Marvin Stukel line hens a year ago, the two left were approaching 6 years old with and the deceased hen's daughter right behind them. So, though I had Partridge Brahma eggs I'd committed to probably three years earlier and that deal was finally sealed and they were on the way, I had BRs hatching ahead of the Brahmas by two weeks. Among the Dirty Dozen to hatch was Hector.

    At just a few weeks old, it was obvious that Hector was a pistol. He would dance and flirt with my older hens at just 7 weeks old. He would flare up and fight with one if she dared to bop him on his impudent little head. He intimidated Apollo, who was two months older than Hector, was always beating him up. Apollo was terrified of The Little Tyrant. And then there was the saga of Hector's tail...rather, the lack thereof.

    Everyone was on "Tail Watch". Hector seemed to be missing a key component for a very, very, very long time. We were all downing the popcorn and watching. [​IMG]


    Eventually, the side feathers grew in, but the center was just not there. He looked, well, odd, and unbalanced. We couldn't tell if he had rainy day back (too sloped) or if it was just an optical illusion because, well, no tail. Finally, a sign! I see a feather! A feather! Yup, he would not be tail-less. Sigh of relief. Not happy with that long wait and wondering if his sons will all make us wait as well. But, it was not the tail we hoped for, exactly. It was full and flowing, eventually, but it did not have the proper angle. Well, it had no angle. It is in line with his back so not his strongest trait, to be sure.

    Hector's barring is excellent. His width is superb. His head is nicely balanced, though his comb blade could fit closer to the head and he has one extra point, although the points are beautiful ones, nicely separated. His eyes, above all, are kind. There is no malice in his eyes. For awhile, we really were not sure of his temperament. He was so full of himself, so dominant, that he wanted to dominate us, but eventually we made him see that we were in charge, not him. Now, he likes to jump on top of the nest boxes (2 drawer file cabinet) for a chest rub and to be told repeatedly what a good boy he is.

    At a certain juncture, I had to decide if I was going to keep Hector or Apollo. I went back and forth until I hatched from Apollo with Athena and Zara. It was obvious I had to make a move on this issue, one way or another. I needed to get Apollo other hens, unrelated to him, if I was to keep him, so I could give his hens to Hector; or I had to let him go live with someone else who already had unrelated hens. Finally, after much agonizing, we let Apollo go with a very nice man who has a lot of Barred Rock hens and was thrilled to get him. Apollo will have a true harem and now, Hector can add two hens to his own, Athena and Zara, daughters of Atlas.

    Photos of The Little Tyrant, hatched near the end of May 2016. Imagine this taking on 6 lb hens. Oh, yes, he did.
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    And as he grew. We went through biting stages, flirting stages, etc, etc, all the inappropriate things to do around human Mom. He finally saw the light. Thankfully, he's never flogged anyone, which is more than I can say about the Tiny Terrorist Attack Hen!

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    14 weeks old:
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    And older still, but no tail.

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    Hector's three girls he hatched with, Jill, Mary and Thea. Sadly, later on, we lost Mary to some reproductive or other malfuction. Not really sure why since she was so young, had been laying for weeks, but she was full of fluid and died in spite of all we could do. That is Apollo in the lower frame.

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    The Little Tyrant meeting Wynette, one of the original Stukel line hens. He was like that from the start, never afraid of anything.
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    17 weeks old, still no tail.......................and his three girls, including Mary.

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    Past 19 weeks, no tail.................................THEN, 22 weeks and is that the first sign of a tail we see??


    [​IMG][​IMG]



    And it kept coming in until it's like we see now, at 44 weeks of age, full and long, but a tad on the droopy side.

    [​IMG][​IMG]


    I gave Hector Atlas's 3 year old sister, Rowena, to replace Mary, though she is not of the same caliber as Mary was. And yesterday, Apollo left for his new home and harem. So, Athena and Zara, who are a year old, will also be part of Hector's crew.

    This catches you up to Hector's story. For much more detail from his hatch onward, check out the Evolution of Atlas thread in Pictures & Stories. Hector's story would start sometime around June 1 or so. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/884330/the-evolution-of-atlas-a-breeding-thread-from-a-breeder-without-the-heart-of-a-breeder
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
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  2. Peanutsmomma

    Peanutsmomma Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Looking forward to following Hector's adventures my friend! [​IMG]
     
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  3. MistyMountain

    MistyMountain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yay for Hector!! Can't wait to see his story unfold!
     
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  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I'm going to have to give him a talk, tell him that all eyes are on him, that he's becoming a star, not to blow it!
     
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  5. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Hector would be thrilled, I'm sure, to be the center of attention :D
     
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  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Probably, LOL. I realize that he has no one here who is afraid of him now. Atlas sure would not hesitate to take him on and his spurs, well, I really need to cut them back-if those two accidentally get together, Hector may not make it out of it and that would be one short thread here. Bash, my Brahma male who is 2 weeks younger than Hector, is huge now and I seriously doubt he'd back down from a fight with Hector. Plus, he has pea comb and small wattles so nothing much for Hector to grab, whereas Hector has that humongous comb and big mud flaps. I know who would be bloody, again, Hector, though neither of them has much in the spur department.
     
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  7. ECSandCCFS

    ECSandCCFS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yay! A Hector thread!! He really looks great now!
     
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  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    He's still a hot mess. Did you catch the Wayne's World reference in the title?

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. rdcowman

    rdcowman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    He's so beautiful!![​IMG]
     
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  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Thank you! I'll tell him you said so. It'll go straight to his head, I'm sure, LOL. Have you been on the Atlas thread? I don't remember your screen name. Seems like you're pretty new to BYC. Welcome!
     
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