The Tales of Toffee the Rhode Island Red

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Larkspur88, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. Larkspur88

    Larkspur88 Chillin' With My Peeps

    841
    1
    121
    Apr 3, 2011
    South Carolina
    [​IMG]

    So I have been delaying this for some time and finally decided it is time to share the tales of Toffee! I will be updating fairly frequently as he is often up to no good. Something is always happening with this young man. His life is a drama! But for anyone to really grasp where we are today with him we have to start from the very beginning so here we go...

    It began the day my husband nonchalantly mentioned the cute little chicks our newly opened tractor supply had in March 2011. He told me as an after thought and how they had various kinds and how people could pick them out and buy them and take them home. I was immediately interested. I had never owned a chicken before, but we were newly married and I could make my own decisions. I didn't have my parents on my back saying "No chickens!" And if he mentioned them then that meant he was mildly interested...correct?? So the very next day we were there and I was eyeballing all the fuzzy chicks planning on taking home two hens. Nothing dramatic of course.

    So I read over the signs, not sure what I was reading exactly. What were the white ones? What were pullets? What were barred rocks? An employee finally helped us and told us pullets were sexed chickens and should be females and that the barred rocks were a specialty for that week. The white ones were for eating. That made things simpler. So I was going to pick out two "pullets", but then I read the sign (must purchase 6 chicks). My husband rolled his eyes and agreed to let me get six. At this point he couldn't deny me chicks! So I picked 3 pullets and then decided to risk my chances and take 3 barred rocks and if we ended up with a rooster out of the rocks we would rehome it.

    [​IMG]

    They were typical chicks I would say. I absolutely enjoyed them. I had one out of the six that seemed unhealthy and she later died. With my knowledge now I think it was cocci which my chickens have a bad case of almost continuously. The rest were extremely active. I soon realized these cute little chicks were outgrowing their brooder and my husband who saw this promised me a coop. Well, the coop didn't come in time so then my chickens became free roamers. Sounds okay, but we live in a neighborhood. Their favorite place to go was in the neighbors yard to roll in their pinestraw especially after they laid out fresh pinestraw.
    [​IMG]

    My husband began the coop and I was outside daily taking many photos of my rascals. I also was accumulating more chicks through this time as my interest in chickens was becoming stronger. The chicks were getting so big! And one in particular was beginning to stand out...the red one. Her comb was getting rather large and she seemed to think she was top dog. I didn't think to think she could possibly be a HE after all the sign at tractor supply said pullet and I was informed that meant a female! It finally took a little convincing from my grandmother who was used to being around chickens and after she said that yes, my little hen was a rooster that I was completely confident that I got jiffed.

    Then I wasn't sure what to do. I was aimed at finding homes for roosters and if need be I would attempt cooking them into a nice little meal, but this hen...er...rooster with the cutesy name Toffee was bound to never end up with either. I loved all of my chickens especially the ones from my first batch of chicks, but there has always been something different about Toffee. Perhaps roosters just have a little more personality than most hens. I don't know. I'm still quite new to chickens, but regardless I was bound and determine Toffee would stay and the neighbors would like him even when he found his voice.

    As the hens matured into adolescents, so did Toffee. He was becoming a handsome young rooster, but also a rather frisky one. As the coop was coming on the points of completion it became obvious I wouldn't be able to house him with the others right away and possibly never. He had a way of spinning in circles with his wing down while basically growling in a chicken fashion then mounting unsuspecting hens or other roosters until they screamed and screamed. He was also aggressive enough he drew blood from my foot on a few occasions and had a particular hatred for my flipflops. He still isn't quite fond with my sandals.

    [​IMG]

    So the coop complete, everyone moved into taj mahal and Toffee was left lonely roaming the front yard. By this time he was already crowing and strutting his stuff around my cul-de-sac. He even scared the military guy who lives next door to us one day when he was moving boxes. He left his door open and Toffee, who I let in my house sometimes, saw it as a great opportunity to stand in the doorway of my neighbors house. Thankfully he's forgiving. And all my neighbors are not bothered by him.

    [​IMG]

    But Toffee had a rather bad habit each morning when he woke up on the AC unit he slept on. He would run across the road and get into my neighbors flower beds. There goes a saying the difference between pet and pest is the side of the fence they are on. (Or something along those lines) My husband and I decided we would place him in our backyard and see how things go. Here is the catch to why we never did before...we have 3 jack russell terriers. They are also trained to do lure coursing, go to ground, and racing. They've also killed several chicks before. However, we were surprised to what happened when Toffee became the mascot of the backyard. He immediately became the guardian of the coop. Every time a dog got near the fence to the coop he would attack them...talons in the air...wing slapping...beak ripping out terrier hair. My dogs were terrified!!!

    [​IMG]

    Toffee earned his respect. Don't mess with the rooster! All three dogs wouldn't get within five feet of him for fear of being mauled by the five pound bird. I too had to watch my step and walk on eggshells around him because even though he isn't downright evil he thinks he is the dominant creature and he even caught my pants leg coming off the back porch and I had to pull it out of his beak. There was an incident where he tried to chase our friends 3 year old daughter. That was an interesting situation.

    On my lunch breaks Toffee greeted me at our backdoor and he always got Cheetos. They are one of his favorite snacks. A neighbor actually gave me a bag of stale ones specifically for him. He will come inside and hang out with me in the kitchen while I make my lunch. Once he attempted to steal my sandwich off the counter while I was spreading mayo on the bread. I had to throw my arm out to stop him and he unfortunately for him landed smack on his back. He is not only good at karate moves against me and dogs, but also a rather good thief.

    [​IMG]

    Well, about 10 days ago the unexpected happened. I was on my lunch per usual taking photos of chickens and video taping the dogs when Toffee made a run towards my male terrier. My dog apparently had put up with enough torture from Toffee and suddenly there was a flash of fur and feathers and another flash as a second dog joined the attack. They began mauling him. Feathers were everywhere. His tail he worked so hard to grow out was being ripped apart. My male dog had him by his throat ripping and tugging and one of the females had him by the butt. I tried to jump in and rescue him, but when a jack russell gets prey it's about the equivalent of pitbulls attacking one another. All I could do was scream and kick my dogs and listen to the rooster as he squawked and squawked until finally he stopped making noises and he stopped flailing. I even shouted out, "He's dead! He's dead!"

    [​IMG]

    The dogs never did give up the attack. I took the near-lifeless bird and was able to just barely lift him high enough to get him out of their reach while they caught their breath. The attack had gone on for over 4 minutes. I ran inside and crying my eyes out called my husband. Toffee just lay in my arms. His face was swelling. His beak was cracked. He had a hole through his wattles and wounds down his back. My husband rushed home to console me and we did what we could and put the rooster in a box overnight. The next morning after my migraine I developed went away I took him to my vet I work for and we got him on baytril and he made an incredible recovery. Toffee should not have lived, but somehow that bird did!

    [​IMG]

    For a week he had to stay in his dog crate with food and water and pills. He was not thrilled. He let me know that too with his grumbles as he started recovering. Then I let him outside for the first time in days and the first thing he did was plop on the ground and sun himself. He had a few days to roam the front yard then I bit the bullet and tried him in the coop. Best to put him in there before he is 100%. In the past he has tried to kill chicks and my pheasant so I was worried about adding him to the main flock. He naturally showed his butt. He spun circles with his wing down. He attacked the dominant rooster, Happy Feet, but then he seemed to settle. (How can you not with seven wives?)

    That evening I waited to see if he would fly the coop and go to his usual sleeping spot on the AC unit. When I checked he wasn't there. So I curiously went to the coop with a flashlight and lo and behold Toffee was sleeping in the coop with the others being a chicken for the first time in his life. Though he may be in another chapter of his young life, he is assuredly not done with his tales.

    A few snapshots:
    [​IMG]
    They used to sleep on my car.

    [​IMG]
    A bad picture of me holding Toffee

    [​IMG]
    Toffee napping in my lap

    [​IMG]
    He was eating chicken and rice

    Toffee now...Dictator of the coop
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  2. OwlLover

    OwlLover Alaskan Wanderer

    29,230
    15
    346
    Aug 25, 2011
    Aww. [​IMG]
     
  3. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    28,741
    5,363
    576
    May 11, 2010
    Toffee is quite the daredevil!
     
  4. DirtCreature

    DirtCreature Chillin' With My Peeps

    652
    9
    113
    Aug 8, 2011
    Olympia, Washington
    love the picture of you two in the bathroom that just cracked me up! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    I like Toffee. He is quite the rooster. [​IMG]
     
  6. Larkspur88

    Larkspur88 Chillin' With My Peeps

    841
    1
    121
    Apr 3, 2011
    South Carolina
    He was actually looking at my phone to see the picture I took in the mirror photo. He's actually pretty smart compared to my other chickens. He knows his name. I can call it out and he used to run from wherever he was in the neighborhood.
     
  7. zumzumfoxy

    zumzumfoxy Chillin' With My Peeps

    207
    1
    91
    Jun 29, 2011
    I'm smitten with Toffee [​IMG]D Cute pics!
     
  8. Larkspur88

    Larkspur88 Chillin' With My Peeps

    841
    1
    121
    Apr 3, 2011
    South Carolina
    Toffee has spent his last week getting accustomed to life in a jail. It felt like a jail at least. There was no escaping the coop or run. Yet, he never once thought to flap his wings and FLY out. So apparently it wasn't as awful as he made it out to be. After all I once caught him in the run a few weeks ago and the only way in was to fly in. Hmmm....crafty males.

    The once regal and majestic roo is still a bit in shambles. His wounds are now healed and his ego is back in action, but he only has...a single roo feather.

    We call it his "Alfalfa" feather.

    [​IMG]

    Perhaps he is frustrated that he went from this:

    [​IMG]

    To this:

    [​IMG]

    For I have witnessed him mugging the pheasant and arguing with his look-alike buddy Happy Feet as if to let off some steam. It may have something to do with Happy's flowing green tail or it could simply be he is another rooster. I like to imagine it is because of his tail.

    [​IMG]

    Happy was quick to tell Toffee that it was his fault he let the dogs attack him. After all, flogging jack russells sooner or later results in being mauled. Toffee was not pleased. For one, one of the barred rock hens was within earshot. She may have learned that Toffee was filling the hens with lies about how he was attacked. He had been stating that he was simply defending the coop from a vicious pack of wild dogs. Little were the hens aware that he had been playing cat and mouse with the stupid little house dogs.

    Toffee had to put Happy Feet in his place. (More wing slaps to the face and death stares was all it took) Happy Feet kept his beak shut. He didn't want to lose his position as 2nd in command. It was bad enough Toffee took over as the Ruler of the coop. Even the hens are not quite sure whether they are delighted at the er...handsome new leader (excluding his lack of tail) or if they liked their previous one better. Toffee has the keys to success at being a good flock leader being Powerful. But he lacks in his social skills. Happy Feet is and will probably always be a better rooster in every way Toffee lags. They may look much alike, but they are polar opposites.
     
  9. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    [​IMG]

    Silly Toffee!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by