Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Doodle the dandy

Doodle, the Rhode Island Red rooster
Today's photo is of Doodle, a new acquisition.  Doodle is a Rhode Island Red rooster, a freebie from an acquaintance down at the bottom of the mountain who had too many roosters in his flock.  After losing the second of my hens to a predator, likely a fox, not long ago, I decided to hire some protection for the girls.  I named him Doodle because of the song, "Yankee Doodle Dandy."  Rhode Island is deep in Yankee territory, though Doodle also works with "cock-a-doodle-do."  Anyway, that's his name now, even if he doesn't know it.

Roosters have two jobs in a flock of hens--and I'm sure you can figure out what the first one is.  Their other job is to protect the flock. I've heard people talk about roosters attacking predators many times their own size to protect their girls, sometimes to the point of sacrificing themselves. That's why I got him, hoping that he will protect the hens or at least alert me when trouble is brewing.

Doodle is a pretty nice rooster.  He's not aggressive to me, though he is shy and not very tame.  My hens let me walk right up to them and pick them up. They usually come when I call them, always if I have blueberries in my hands, their very most favorite treat. Doodle doesn't care enough about blueberries to want to get too close to me, which makes getting him back into the pen a bit of a challenge and not something to be untaken much before dark.

Like all roosters, he crows.  This boy can really crow. At the moment he starts around 5 a.m.  I really don't want to think about when he's going to start crowing on the longest day of the year, still three weeks away.  I'm already looking ahead to winter, when I'll be at work by the time it's light enough for him to start crowing.  So far, the neighbors haven't complained.  The dogs are already ignoring his crowing, which is a very good thing, because crowing and barking dogs at 5 a.m. is not how I like to wake up.

I still consider Doodle a bit of an experiment, a rather loud experiment to be sure.  I'll let you know how he works out.

6 comments:

Woodswalker said...

So when will we see little baby chickens running around?

Carolyn H said...

Woodswalker: so far the girls don't seem inclined to be broody. And I'm still gathering the eggs each morning. It's getting a bit late in the season to let them hatch a clutch. By the time any chicks would be born, it would be late-July, so they'd still be pretty small by cold weather. Maybe next spring...

Cathy said...

What a good looking rooster. Hopefully next year, you can have baby chicks. They are so cute.

Cicero Sings said...

I rather like hearing the crowing of roosters - so long as it isn't right under the window.

Carolyn H said...

Cicero: your comment made me laugh. The chickens and the rooster are right under my bedroom window. I put them there so I can hear them fuss or squawk if something is after them. So it's a pretty loud start to the morning!

jeannette said...

Maybe add some birds (not crows!) to not hear the crowing of the rooster? (just kidding)