Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The King Is Dead ... Long Live The King!

Something sad happened today.

We lost Cocky, our gentle giant.

He was the leader of the gang, an attentive cockerel under whose reign peace and harmony broke out. His passing away will mark a time of change in the chicken pen.

A good cockerel has to be strong enough to look after his ladies and keep them from squabbling, but gentle too. Many is the time I've watched him find a nice juicy morsel and start clucking and dancing to let his ladies know of his find. He never took it for himself.

Even the guinea fowl saw him as their protector. He got on with everybody, except any young pretenders who he was always able to put in their place.

For the last few months he was the only cockerel in the main pen, but he has been showing signs of old age, roosting up early, last out in the mornings and his comb distinctly limp and lacking colour.

The signs were there, even the fact that only one of Elvis's eggs from his girls managed to produce a healthy chick. And that chick, though we didn't know it, is the last of Cocky's offspring.

We now need to find a replacement for him. The hope is that the Cream Legbar cockerel can take over - he is certainly gentle with his two females and even with the diminutive Polands who are in with him. But he always had the balls to stand up to Cocky, often duelling with him through the fence.
So now his time has come. Along with his group he will now be allowed in with the other poultry. There's bound to be a few settling in problems to start with, but hopefully by the spring all will be calm again...

until these little ones grow up, for at least two of them are cockerels.

Meanwhile, a thought for Cocky.

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