Out of the 21 Rhode Island Red hatchery pullets I bought last spring, I was hoping one might turn out to be a mistaken rooster. And these ladies are so assertive that more than once I thought I did have a rooster, with the way they spar, and mount each other! But, I finally decided it wasn’t the case- I have sixteen hens left, and no sire amongst them. So, I have been on a quest for a RIR roo!
As these things work out, I found a lady in Seattle advertising on craigslist who just had a half dozen hatchery “pullets” and two of them turned out to be accidental roosters! What are the odds? So, I picked up a nice rooster from her, the same age as my hens. Surely her neighbors wouldn’t have appreciated it when he started to crow, and she probably would have been breaking the law!
I kept him locked up in an A-frame for four days before I turned him loose, so he’d know where to go back to bed for safety. He came from a 10×10 city yard pen at her place, so the multi-acre free range at our place must seem like the Great Plains to him. He wanders around cautiously with a look of disbelief in his eye (if you can interpret such an emotion from a chicken!), and is slowly expanding his range, as he observes how far the hens wander.
The first night, he was a good boy and went back in his A-frame at dusk. The second night, he was on top of the A-frame! I’ve never seen the hens get up that high! So be it, that’s an OK place to roost, except I wonder how comfortable it’ll be in inclement weather?
I’m hoping he’ll soon become friendly with the ladies, and start shacking in their place, so to speak. 😉 But so far, they haven’t been very hospitable to him, and have even tried to fight him, and generally chase him off if he gets near. So he is one lonely bachelor for the moment! Hopefully everyone will warm up to arranged marriage, given time. I want to hatch eggs soon!