Reflections on Roopert the Rooster

This season, we decided not to get any more chickens; 20 is enough for right now. They give us plenty of eggs and lots of fun. So, we stocked up on food, chips and supplies and didn't go near any of our local supply stores until we knew they'd have no more chicks on hand. I'm happy to say our strategy was successful!

So with no new chicks to add, I was sitting on my porch yesterday observing my flock and thought I'd share some of my reflections on how the flock has changed over the last year; mainly with the addition of our unexpected rooster, Roopert. 

Roopert last May.
First, let me say that we don't eat our chickens. So when Roopert came along, eating him was not an option. I'm not against eating chickens, it's just that ours become such members of the family, there's no way we could kill them.

In this regard, we're lucky because our unexpected rooster is a buff orpington. They tend to be friendly birds and so Roopert has not been a problem in the people to chicken arena. If he was a problem, this story would be different.

Before Roopert, we had only laying hens. They were very friendly and spent lots of time with us. Once Roopert matured, our hens immediately changed. They definitely became less dependent on us for friendship, and most stopped spending lots of time getting pets and sitting on our laps. That is the part of this story that I like the least.

Beyond that, although he doesn't provide us with eggs, Roopert does add many positives. For one, he is completely protective of the hens. I've seen him many times diligently watching the skies for hawks. If danger is spotted, he's quick to let all the hens know and get them to safety.

Roopert likes his flock to stay together and when a hen disobeys, it's hilarious to watch his antics. He'll stand close by them and just crow and crow until they get to what he considers a safe spot.

Roopert also likes to point out great food sources for the hens. If we turn over a log or something, Roopert immediately checks it out and then makes sure all the hens get something to eat. He's usually the last one to eat.

Roopert is also protective of the eggs the hens lay; not from us, but from our dog Sophie. She is constantly trying to get in the coop and snatch a few eggs. Before Roopert, I'd just have to keep an eye on Sophie. Now, I don't have to worry. Roopert is always on the case and is quick to kick Sophie out of the coop.

Most of all, I love to hear Roopert crow. It's not overly loud, so it doesn't disturb my sleep in the morning. But I think it gives my backyard character. Roopert has different types of crows; he's got the morning wake up crow, the "I'm worried, stay by me" crow, the "don't wander away from the flock" crow, and he's got a special crow when we go out and talk with him.

So, even though he was unexpected, Roopert has been great. He's added beauty, character, protection and an extra element of entertainment to my backyard flock.
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