The Circle of Life

Our rooster, Dinner, has been with us since last October when we hatched our first eggs under a broody hen. Chicks grow up fast. When he came of age and started to crow, we already had him in a “No Crow Collar”. It worked really well to keep the volume of his crows down so that he was no louder than a hen cackling over a disputed egg box, or singing her egg song.

We really love having a rooster around. He makes us laugh when he does his courtship dance for one of the ladies, and he has the sweetest little clucky song when calls them for treats.


 Dinner in his No-Crow Collar

Dinner in his No-Crow Collar

The last couple of weeks he’s become adept at readjusting his collar so he can belt out his crow as nature intended: Loud and Proud. This is unfortunate for several reasons. 1) Martin does not like being woken up extra early on a weekend. 2) We don’t want our neighbors to complain about our noisy chickens to the city, because 3) We’re not really allowed to have roosters, just hens.

Dinner was an outlaw chicken. Note the past tense.

Our plan was to keep him long enough to get some of his fertilized eggs under another broody. Then if one of the new chicks proved to be a Roo, we’d have Dinner for dinner. I know some of you will be utterly appalled at the thought of eating an animal with a name, but we are meat eaters, and on the road to self-sufficiency.

The only problem was the lack of enthusiasm in the hens to go broody.

Today we gave up. Dinner woke up this morning and crowed his heart out, and forced us to take drastic measures. Or you know, normal measures for a homesteader.

Here’s where the story gets all sweet and sappy… This evening Martin went to lock up the hen house and collect eggs and guess what he found?

 Phoebe on her eggs

Phoebe on her eggs

Phoebe was in one of the boxes, broody as hell. Looks like we might get to hatch some of Dinner’s chicks after all. It’s like she knew it was now or never. Of all the hens, she loved him the most. They were hatch-mates. ::sniff::

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