Tag Archives: rooster

2691. Overheard barnyard conversation

You know, Mildred, here in the barnyard I’m so glad we decided to protest the war in Ukraine by laying fewer eggs.

I agree, Sybil. There’s nothing chicken about us. It doesn’t hurt to teach these humans a jolly good lesson by knocking the price of eggs through the roof at the supermarket.

The only disadvantage I see with our protest is that the unavailability of eggs has so rocketed I could afford to hatch out only seven chickens this year. I usually hatch out twelve.

The other thing is Sybil, despite the rooster strutting around like he owns the place, the Western world’s sperm count has plummeted. I’m not sure the rooster could manage twelve.

It was only the other day that I overheard the farmer’s daughter complain about the high cost these days of producing an omelette. I never knew humans laid omelettes. And why they need our eggs to lay one I have no idea. You’d think they’d be more hard-boiled than that.

The more omelettes we stop being made the sooner this war in Ukraine will be over.

Have you heard of Bridie’s protest? I couldn’t agree more. She’s running a petition to change the term egg white to egg gunk. I like it; gunk rhymes with funk and punk. Egg white is so racist. Gunk is so New Orleans.

That’s not all Sybil. I lay only white eggs and I have to soak my eggs in tea to make them look brown before they sell. It doesn’t help the price.

All in all, Mildred, it’s not that much fun these days being a chicken. Here comes the rooster now.

Go away you horrible creature, we’re protesting.

2617. My Coronation Sussex Chickens

Warning: Do not read this if you think chickens are pets.

With all this brouhaha going on in the British royal family with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex I thought today’s story fitted into the slot. The picture is of my rooster and hen. (A red hen has got into the photo but we shall ignore her).

The rooster and hen are of a special breed of poultry called “Coronation Sussex”. They are called that because they were developed from a breed of chicken called “Sussex” and were developed to mark an important coronation jubilee celebrated at some stage by the late Queen of England. Presumably she had had so many jubilees that the ordinary run-of-the-mill subjects were running out of ideas and a new breed of chicken was a grand idea to mark the occasion.

In real life they are actually quite beautiful: pure white with a gorgeous grey tail and neck. After finding the breed online and where to get some fertile eggs I drove for 3 hours to pick the eggs up and 3 hours to return. (This is before the price of petroleum sky-rocketed).

A dozen chickens hatched and six were hens and six were roosters. I kept the handsomest rooster and the other roosters went into the pot.

Before long the rooster grew nasty and vicious. No one could pass through the yard without getting attacked. At feeding time I had to walk backwards holding a stick in order to prevent the rooster from drawing blood. The breed might have looked lovely but their personalities were not my cup of tea.

I bet you too that the late queen had no idea that the Sussexes would cause such trouble. My solution was simple and effective. I pass it on to King Charles for his consideration. It has royal precedence. I chopped the strutting cockerel’s head off.

2178. A headless chicken

Shelagh kept chickens. It wasn’t simply for the eggs. It wasn’t simply for the meat. It was a hobby, an interest, a leisure pursuit. The danger was that baby chickens are so cute that it’s a temptation to have them hatch out. Soon the entire hen house would be riddled with too many chickens. Shelagh had done that once, and had to cull quite a few of her favourite chickens to ease congestion.

Of course, every chicken was a favourite. Shelagh gave them names: June, April, May, Angela – need I go on? The rooster was called Petrus, so naturally the favourite of all favourite hens was called Petra.

It came time for the annual cull, or to put it more positively, it was time to hatch out a new batch of baby chickens. The reality was that Petra had grown old. She was next in line. Shelagh never wasted a chicken but spaced the cull out over several weeks. She tried to vary the way she cooked each chicken.

Oh how sad! With one determined swoop of the tomahawk, Petra fluttered headless around the yard. She was duly plucked. How was she cooked? Naturally, she was Petra-fried.

1542. Things are not what they seem

From the outside it looked just like an ordinary egg. It had been laid by an ordinary chicken in an ordinary farmyard. The mother hen (apparently) was an ordinary Rhode Island Red. The father (apparently) was a rather handsome silver-laced Wyandotte.

Twelve year old Gilbert knew his breeds of chickens. He’d looked after the chickens for his mother and father almost since he was a toddler. These days he kept just the right balance between it being a hobby and it supplying the house with not too many and not too few eggs. Gilbert liked to have different breeds of chickens, and he’d cross one breed with another to see what sort of combination emerged from the egg. But… such an interesting genetic mix-up was exactly what the aliens were looking for. They had been watching the farmhouse for a month or so. They knew the way young Gilbert managed his chickens.

One night, when the next day they knew Gilbert was going to put a clutch of eggs under a broody hen, the aliens injected one of the eggs with very specific genetic material. This would change the history of the world. In fact, this would end the history of the world.

Before school the next morning, Gilbert took the eggs he had been saving that were laid by the Rhode Island Red hen in liaison with the silver-laced Wyandotte rooster. He selected twelve eggs. Of the fourteen eggs that Gilbert had collected only two remained. Fourteen eggs were too many for the broody hen to keep warm. Twelve was just right. Of the two unchosen eggs, one contained the alien genetic material. The watching aliens were distraught.

Then Gilbert did something he always did: at the last minute he swapped the eggs. “This,” he thought, as he replaced one of the dozen eggs with the rejected alien egg, “will produce a different chicken from the one I first selected!”

Gilbert always did that. It was if he was playing God. Except, in this case he was.

1056. Cock-a-doodle-do

Everyone said that Claude’s rooster was a prize bird.

“I don’t know what you did to that rooster,” said Farmer Jack, “but for a nine year old boy to raise a rooster like that is fantastic.”

“You should enter the rooster in the poultry competition at the upcoming Farm Show Day,” suggested Mabel. (Mabel was a notable ornithologist.)

So Claude did. You wouldn’t believe the preparation that went into getting the rooster ready! He had everything done to him that chickens normally don’t get done: his legs were washed and oiled; each feather was individually preened; even his magnificent tail had a surreptitious whish of hair spray.

Farm Show Day arrived! All were agog at nine year old Claude’s rooster. Cock-a-doodle-do! Cock-a-doodle-do! The rooster was something to crow about.

Anyway, like most things in life, it didn’t get anywhere, so Claude brought the thing home. Eventually, like most domestic birds, they had it for dinner.