Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Boys of Summer

I'm behind on blogging again. My excuse: The Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival. We were away from Thursday through Sunday, and had a wonderful time. I will blog about that, but I haven't sorted through my photographs yet, so it can wait a few more days.

I've noticed that quite a few bloggers have been doing chicken-related blogs lately. A few days ago, I read the blog of Isobelle Golightly, the Beautiful Goat, which was all about some new chickens on her farm. Isobelle provides a funny and insightful view of the world from her goatie eyes, and she often makes me laugh. If you don't know her blog yet, you really should stop over and say hello! If you want to be especially nice, send her a peppermint or some bum scritches - her favourite things!!

Anyway, looking at Isobelle's new chicken friends made me want to go take some pictures of mine. I went out today and took some photographs and for today's blog, I'd like to feature the boys. Roosters are loud but beautiful. Some of my roosters are not quite as loud, and some of them are downright cute. Sometimes we have too many of the big roosters and we do a little reduction in numbers, especially when they seem to be pestering the hens a bit too often. The little roosters, however, escape the "freezer camp" days, because they're really not big enough to eat, they are quiet, and they don't hassle the hens nearly as much or as roughly. Some of them number among the most beautiful birds on my farm (at least in my opinion) so I thought I'd share them with you.

First, here are a few of the Dutch bantam roosters that I incubated and hatched earlier this spring. They were such tiny baby chicks, and now they are such handsome boys. They do crow, but relatively quietly compared to the big roosters. This one has lovely golden red feathers on his neck and back, with a black tail.
This little Dutch bantam roo has similar red and gold tones in his feathers, but is overall much darker than the first one. He's got a lovely tail!This little guy is nearly all black, and his feathers have a purple and green sheen in the sunlight. His neck and hackle feathers have touches of cream. He's another Dutch.
This sweet little boy is one of my favourites. He's actually a modern game bantam. He's tiny - smaller than any of the Dutch bantams. He's got a crow like a party horn and an attitude to match! Interesting markings too!
This little one (who is presently molting and not looking his best) is an Old English game bantam rooster. He's got the softest crow of all the bantams, and it only has two parts, rather than the three-to-four part crows of the others.Not to be outdone, the big boys said they'd like to be featured too. Here are some of our standard size roosters. This is Speckles - he's a fine example of the speckled Sussex breed of chicken. A loud crow and a proud walk are his finest features! He's got beautiful colours ranging from a deep chestnut to the bright white and the black feathers with iridescent green. Very showy!
This is the head of a crele coloured rooster. He is another loudmouth!
This beautiful boy is always finding his way into feed bags - even when they've been closed tightly! He's quite clever, and has a lovely comb. See his white earlobes?!Another of my favourite roosters is our Easter Egger rooster below - he was hatched on the farm and is likely a cross-breed, but he's so handsome, and he hatched from a blue egg.
This barred rock cross is another very handsome and princely rooster. He always likes to be viewing the world from high places. He's a loud crower and a ladies man!
Finally, I thought I would finish out with a few of the more unusual looking roosters on the farm. These are all on-farm hatches and cross breeds. We're not sure of their parentage, but they're cute and colourful!

This little boy clearly has some silkie and frizzle genes in his background. He's rather funny looking but very fluffy and he runs around like he owns the place. He's often found hanging out with the ducks for some reason. Here he is observing the ducks playing in a mud puddle.
For a long time I thought this little guy was a hen! Then he started to crow. He's definitely got frizzle genetics, and he's got some barring in the feathers. An interesting combination! His tail always looks rather like a fountain to me.
Finally, possibly the strangest looking rooster we have, but one that I suspect is quite unique! He seems to have a bit of a head crest - perhaps a bit of Polish background? I think he might be a Polish-Easter Egger mix. He has a couple of black feathers in his tail, but otherwise all gold and white. He's very skittish, but always makes me smile.
Hope you enjoyed the rooster tour! Stay tuned for the Wisconsin show and a tour of some of the hens in the coming days!


Michelle said...

My, you have quite a cast of characters there! If you have that many roos, just how many HENS do you have???

Nancy K. said...

What an incredible assortment of roosters! My Goodness, you must have the most diversified flock around!

My favorite is the black and cream colored Dutch ~ what a pretty bird.

My blue, Ameraucan roo drives me CRAZY with his crowing. It is SO loud. It just pierces the air (and my ear drums). If he wasn't so beautiful, and I didn't have 5 pure-bred hens, I'd EAT him...

maybe later.


Flartus said...

YAAYYYYY!!!! Roosters!! Love your post today; can you tell? LOL!

So, to second Michelle, just how many chickens do you have? (More or less; I suddenly got a mental picture of you outside with a clipboard, trying to count a frenzied flock!)

IsobelleGoLightly said...

What pretty roosters! I'm not going to mention them to my lady because I DO NOT want her to get any more! Angus was crowing at 5:15 this morning and I was still trying to get my beauty sleep. I suppose I should be happy that the chickens live in the backyard up at the house and not in the barn with us! Goat kisses from Isobelle!

Christine said...

Good grief! And I though I had a lot of roosters! LOVE the dutch bantams, so handsome but that last guy is a hoot.

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

I like the coloring on the Polish-Easter Egger mix. Good tour.

Lola Nova said...

My what handsome fellows! I am impressed by their number. I am happily living without roosters and 3 hens is all I can manage.
I also have a couple of unpleasant memories of roosters from the past. There was this one very handsome rooster named Feather, who would attack ones face anytime you came near. Aahhh!
I'm sure your guys are much better behaved.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow! You have a lot of roosters on your farm! How many hens do you have to make 'em happy? lol!

I am getting excited now about the clutch of eggs my Silkie hen is brooding. I'm hoping they will be colorful mixed breeds like some of yours. I do have to admit that I wish I had a Speckled Sussex roo here to service my SS hens. They are my favorite breed for their docile, friendliness and beauty. Your SS roo is gorgeous!


Mom L said...

What a great surprise! I miss seeing Marshmallow, but I love the gorgeous roos - maybe I'll get to see them next Spring or Summer!!


Apifera Farm said...

Wow, that's a lot of rooster testosterone!

Anonymous said...

That's funny because I was just thinking I need to do a chicken post with updated pictures of our chicks :)

Your boys are so handsome!!! My favorite is the speckled sussex.

You have an award waiting for you over on my blog.

angie said...

Hi Clare,

This might be a stupid question - do all of the roosters get along OK? I didn't think one could have that many roosters without fights.

Claire said...

Thanks everyone for your comments - I do love to hear from you!

Michelle & others asked how many hens I have. I think I have about 70 hens. And on that topic, to Angie's comment - I think that is why I don't have many fights. Sometimes a couple of roosters will get into it for 3 or 4 minutes with much neck ruffling and jumping, and then they just seem to tire of it and go off and do their thing. I have never had a seriously wounded rooster. Occasionally somebody gets a little nick in their comb or wattles, but nothing major.

I did have a very aggressive roo who always attacked my leg when I went near him. He ended up in the crock pot and the dog had him for supper over many evenings - chicken chunks on top of his regular kibble!

Thank you for the award Kenleighacres! I will have to blog about it soon!