Bedtime is nigh

Could it be?  Almost time for the big rooster to go to bed in the coop?

I got him in November, when my last, most excellent and sorely missed, rooster was eaten.  He persisted in going to roost on the roof of the coop every night.  No biggie.  Every night, grab him and set him on the ramp, and he walks up it remarking on how that‘s where all the hens got to.  Eventually, through repeatedly waking up inside the coop,  he will figure out that that is where he is meant to begin his night.  It works for all chickens, usually in a few days.  Even the most stubborn little pile of chicks changed their habits in a few weeks.

So for Copperhead, it’s getting on three months.  Just when we were starting to notice that he was extra persistent with his roof roosting, I got three new-to-me hens.  HW didn’t know about the new arrivals and came in from evening lock-up outraged, that “that new rooster is teaching the hens bad habits.  THREE of them were out on the roof with him!”  Whereupon I momentarily forgot all about the new arrivals as well and exclaimed  “Really?  Three of them?”

The three “new” hens showed surprising attachment to the rooster and roof, also bedding on the roof, night after night.  They would arrange themselves in the same order, make the same indignant sounds when grabbed and displaced to the ramp.

The rooster even came to know the whole routine.  Our arrival after dusk means a grabbing, and he’d stand up and get nervous as soon as the door opened.  We had to strategize; alternate grabbing him or the hens first, because he started to ran away once all the hens had been removed; he knew it was his turn.  We tried agitating him off the roof right at dusk, and then, it being too dark to fly up again, he’d walk around and find his way up the ramp himself “Oh, that’s where all you ladies went!” We were hopeful.  It didn’t work.

one hen left

HW has been casting aspersions on his intelligence from the beginning, and this isn’t helping.

Days went by.  Weeks.  Rooster and three hens, evening lockup = nightly roo-grab.  Then one night, there were only two hens.  One hen had figured it out!  She turned out to be the precocious one of the three.  More days passed, turning into two weeks.  Then another hen went to bed on her own (four days ago).  And tonight, oh frabjous day! the rooster was out there alone!  Looking pouty and forlorn, too.  Now, now surely he will get the hint!

img_5418
You’re gonna grab me, aren’t you?

(I wrote this a week ago.  He’s still holding out alone on the roof.)

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