My husband was shutting the hens in at dusk, and did one last check for eggs – He started to reach under what he thought was a broody hen in the dark and met our very surprised rooster! He had the presence of mind to whip out his cell phone to snap a picture – Rusty Norrington, caught in the act.
We live in an area of small farms. Within about 70 acres of us there are 7 farms or hobby farms. Of those, 3 plus ourselves keep laying flocks with a rooster (or two). This probably sounds very crowded to some people, but around here, it’s considered rural. More about that another time.
One side effect of all these flocks of chickens is that there is a crowing contest every morning. The rooster down the road starts it – I think maybe that flock isn’t shut in at night and get in the morning before the others. Next is my brother’s two roosters – he lives down and over from us, our land adjoins, and his chicken shed is not far from the early bird. Then it’s my rooster, known officially as Rusty Norrington – don’t ask – if you have family naming committees, you know how he got his name – a handsome Rhode Island Red I got from the neighbours with the early bird. Then two places over the other way from us are two more roosters. It really gets quite noisy in the early hours.
All these roosters crow throughout the day of course, but for some reason I don’t really hear any but Rusty in daylight. It’s when I’m lying in bed, perhaps trying to get back to sleep after the cat goes out, (she is apparently from the same time zone as the roosters, but not the rest of us), that the chorus gets kind of noticeable. I have to say it’s never bothered me as much as it bugs my husband, but then he’s the one who usually hears the cat before I do, too.
We replaced the bedroom windows this year, switching from single panes to double glazed thermals – and now I don’t hear the roosters at all, which is a bonus the window company didn’t mention. My husband hears them though. I tell him it’s payback for his snoring. And then I go out and reward Rusty with a bit of breadcrust.
P.S. I wrote this a couple of days ago, but this morning the joke was on me – the cat woke ME up at 3, I couldn’t get back to sleep and had the privilege of hearing Rusty duke it out with his buddies, starting around 430, when the sky was getting light. No breadcrusts this morning!