Ever since we built a chicken coop and bought some chickens last year, my husband has proclaimed himself a "Poultry Farmer."
Honestly, I'm not convinced that 14 chickens hanging out in our backyard qualifies as a poultry farm operation, but some things just aren't worth the argument. (Besides, he's pretty darn cute when he wears overalls and muck boots.)
Before I get into this story, I would like to clarify that I love our hens. They make delicious eggs. They are kind of cute, albeit a little stinky. They eat my kitchen scraps... There are lots of good things about owning chickens.
But our rooster is a completely different story...
He wasn't supposed to be a rooster. We thought we had picked up all hens from the farm/ranch store when we got our first brood of chicks last year. But a few months later, one of our "hens" started strutting around the yard and trying to crow. Oops!
This darn rooster HATES me. And the feeling has become 110% mutual. Anyone else in our family can walk into the chicken pen and he is indifferent to them. But as soon as I open the gate, his feathers start to flare out and I know he's got me in his crosshairs.
My husband swears it's because I'm female. He says the rooster is trying to assert his dominance- just like he would with his hens. (It's okay to roll your eyes. That was my response as well)
So, because we hate each other so much, I pretty much avoid the chicken pen. That's his turf.
But this morning... I had no choice. My boys had gone camping, so no one else was home to let the chickens out of the coop and into the pen except me. So at 5:45, I woke up, threw on my boots, and trudged out to the chicken coop like the dutiful little poultry farmer's wife that I am. And as I walked into the pen toward the coop I could hear the little tyrant crowing away inside. He was apparently peeved that he had to wait a few extra minutes to be let outside (the Poultry Farmer normally lets him out around 5:30). When he heard the door open, he literally flew out of the coop trying to flog me.
I jumped into the part of the pen that we sectioned off for our baby chicks this spring, knowing he wouldn't cross the wire to get to me. But the little demon had me trapped! He was right between the gate of the pen and me. So I waited, and we stared each other down for about five minutes...
Honestly, I kept thinking that one of the hens may wander outside and he'd become distracted. Our rooster tends to be very... uh... frisky (for lack of a better word) in the mornings, so I was hoping that seeing a hen might distract him with other business long enough for me to get out of that darn pen.
No such luck. (I don't think those hens like him any more than I do!)
Finally I decided to just cut my losses and go. He flew at me several times as I ran toward the gate and I kicked him back like the mighty warrior that I am. (Thank goodness for rubber boots, amiright?!?!)
And- just because I'm mature- when I got out of the pen safely, I stuck my tongue out at him, and told him I hoped that he would get eaten by a pack of rabid coyotes.
The boys won't be back until tomorrow evening. So tomorrow morning I'm stuck with chicken duty again. I'm planning to carry my cast-iron skillet out there with me when I let him out, just to remind him where he could end up if he doesn't stop acting like a punk...
(Photo below courtesy of the Poultry Farmer.)