Monday, November 7, 2011
A Chronicle Profile: Fog Horn
Cluck, Cluck, Cluck
The chickens are enjoying this wonderful fall weather! All the sunshine and warm days means lots of time outside scratching and pecking their way to happiness. And my happiness too! I have been very happy with my egg count, rarely dropping below the double digits, so way to go girls!
With 17 hens, you may think that theres a lot of estrogen floating around outside. I have to say that it's equaled by the testosterone produced by my two roosters, Foghorn and Chaz..... more on Chaz another day. This post is all about Foghorn.
A few months ago when Dan and I were surprised to see a rooster developing instead of the hen we were promised (ahem, Master Feed Mill), Dan was adamant about calling him Foghorn. I was leaning more towards a manly ruler's name like Maximus or Ceaser, but in the end, Foghorn stuck. I just don't want people associating my rooster to the bumbling big air-headed cartoon you all see on T.V. Foghorn is anything but, and bumbling he does not.
Foghorn's chicken breed is Black Australorp. He is a beautiful bird with the classic archinng tail feathers. His has that "beetle-green sheen" that is characterstic to Australorps. He's also the biggest bird in the flock. Foghorn matured much faster than Chaz, and so far (keep your fingers crossed), the two don't fight. Eli, who is an Amish man down the road and has a few hundred chickens, says they might always get along since they grew up together. And if two guys can't share 17 chicks, then I guess I should take them to pre-school with me and teach them a thing or two about sharing. But Foghorn does have rule of the roost and he likes to puff out his manly chest and strut his stuff to his ladies.
I have witnessed his mating "dance". OK....so ANYONE who spends a few minutes wathcing my chickens will witness some rated X material...you all knew I would address this! One day he put one of his wings down, all splayed out and circled his "woman". I thought it was kind of cool. Normally he just runs after them with that determined look in his eye and you know only one thing is on his little chicken brain.
Early on Foghorn discovered his voice. I will never forget first hearing his pathetic attempts to crow and thinking, "What in the world is attacking my chickens!!" Like the concerned new mommy I was, I would race down to the barn to make sure everything was ok. Eventually I got used to hearing it and it made me laugh. But now, when I get up to use the loo in the wee hours of the morning I cringe when I hear him out there. No kidding I've heard him at 4:00 a.m....and he LOOOVVVEEEESSSS to crow at ten till 5 a.m. when we leave to go to the farm. I expect a note on my door anyday from the scarey neighbor dude...he has to be mad. But, he can deal with it because we live out in the country. Just turn on the fan like we do. But Foghorn will crow at anything new, so in a way I guess he makes a good alarm system.
So far we have a good relationship, but I always keep my guard up when he's in the coop with me. He will look at you with those small beady eyes and you can see him thinking, "I don't really trust you, but if you respect my distance, I'll respect yours."
If little Chicken Hawk ever came in and beat my Foghorn over the head with a baseball bat, he would be chicken dinner to the Mack Daddy, Foghorn.
.......cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck.......