After being confident that we had a rooster in our flock back in December, I was actually a little excited about the prospect of keeping a boy around. Roosters are good for all kinds of things, including protecting the girls, keeping order, and obviously making baby chicks. “Lemon” became “Lemony,” and he grew into a beautiful, majestic rooster. He did all of the things boys are supposed to do and he was so good with his ladies. He was incredibly smart and such a gentlemen. He always took care of his lovely ladies. He followed them around, showed them where the good finds were, and was the last into the run after free-ranging. Every time. He was constantly on watch and he was just really cool to watch. And we all loved hearing his constant crowing.
Unfortunately though, his 15 lovely ladies just weren’t quite enough for him. He was extremely … ahem … fruitful. The hens’ combs were starting to bleed daily, sometimes quite a bit. They just never got a break. This, in addition to him going after a couple of the kids a few times, created a situation that forced us to make the difficult choice to say goodbye. We really labored over the decision because we just adored him. But I didn’t want the girls to be bleeding all the time and, of course, the kids need to feel safe outside.
So with very heavy hearts, yesterday we said so long to our beloved rooster, Lemony. We thought it through and feel confident it was the right choice. But we’re still sad about it and have been talking about him a lot, remembering how darn awesome he was. The flock is still readjusting the pecking order without him. There have been many more squabbles and lady fights, but they’ll figure out the order of things without him. It’s still sad to not hear his crow or his fun rooster sounds anymore. It’s also sad to not see him try to woo his ladies. I mean, have you ever seen a rooster try to do his impressive dance to earn a hen’s favor? Serious swagger. It’s something special, believe me.
Lemony, thanks for being a perfect, gentlemanly rooster. You were all you were supposed to be and we’ll always remember you!