We’re down to being a one chicken homestead, and the last lone rooster has decided that we’re his flock. How we came to have only one chicken is a long, sad story that unfolded over the course of this last year. It started with some rogue tree-roosting chickens getting picked off by a cougar last winter, and in spite of our diligence in closing up the coop every night, the flock kept getting smaller and smaller. We even had a neighborhood cat take out a couple of chickens. Who even knew that could happen? The whole situation only motivated us more to build a new chicken coop closer to the house, and start over with a new flock in the spring. We gave the last hen and big rooster away to our neighbors getting their homestead started, beginning a strange transitional period of being modern homesteaders without chickens (and without farm fresh eggs.) I do not recommend ever being in this position.
While all this was going on, our little bantam rooster who was not so friendly to begin with, started roosting in a tree next to our house at night. He was small and wily enough to fly over the fence into our yard every day to eat sunflower seeds from the bird feeder, and back up into the high branches of that tree every night. He wasn’t causing any damage to the garden, so we let him be. These habits served him well, because he managed to out-smart all the predators, and out-survive the rest of the flock.
Before long, the lone rooster got lonely, and we found him on our back porch trying to make friends with a rooster statue. It can be confusing being the last chicken left in the flock.
The next thing we knew, he was sitting on the door mat and pecking at the door, and if we couldn’t find him there, he was on the front porch instead. It seemed more and more like this rooster wanted to come in the house and kick it with the family!
This morning we got some snow, and he looked downright miserable out there, so I embraced my crazy chicken lady ways and let him in. Yes, you read that right. I let our rooster in the house. I’m not sorry.
Our little rooster friend has been content just sitting on some newspaper by the door, and enjoying the warmth of the woodstove and some corn grits. He’s mostly a pleasant house guest until he crows. Roosters crowing out in the yard are great, but inside the house they can be VERY loud. The good news for him is that the super deluxe chicken coop is mostly finished, and the new spring chicks will arrive soon. Once they’re old enough to have an adult chicken in with them, this rooster will be alone no more.
Losing our old flock of chickens has been sad, and in some ways feels like a homesteading failure, but the excitement of raising a new flock in my dream coop, with a chicken moat around the garden (more about that very soon) definitely helps. Ultimately, it has given us an opportunity to get to know our chicken. And on that note, I will leave you with the soundtrack to this story. Enjoy!