Thursday, March 27, 2008
Considering the abrasivness of their personalities, it is surprising to see how well, and with how very little loss of feathers the roosters are coming through the winter.
Unlike the hens, hey have more or less sorted things out among themselves. They have agreed to roost in peace and fight only in the open where there is a possibility of escape, and most of that is just posturing. Sometimes they will freeze beak to beak for minutes at a time, until one can't keep his hackles up any longer.
I do what I can to model behavior, to cultivate the top roosters, and tame the timorous ones, but the relative mildness of the roosters now might have something to do with the fact that I have developed a technique for milking them.
I don't know if Mr. LaRoy did it this way, but have done it regularly and successfully for the last month and a half.
No, I am not going to reveal the technique here, and you would not much enjoy doing it anyway.
But a good milking sure cools a rooster for a half hour or so, which has at least helped gain time for them to work out the power struggles themselves. I will need to pick up the pace when things warm up another twenty degrees and the roosters and hens are running together again.
In addition to the calming effect on the roosters, the milking has provided me gobs and gobs of a product for which I personally have no use.
I still don't know to whom or for what purpose old Mr. LaRoy sold the rooster milk he harvested at Aunt Sammy's and other swamp farms, but I prepared fifty bottles of baby shampoo with a dropper each of rooster milk, and advertised them on Ebay for thirty nine bucks a twelve ounce bottle.
The undiluted rooster milk itself would not contain much of any Roostosterone I suppose, and I didn't really claim anything for Roostosterone Shampoo, but it sold out so fast I had to take down the add after a week.
And now, out of forty three customers for Roostosterone Shampoo, I have sixteen begging for more , and insisting that, since starting with the shampoo, they have been able to do startling things you might not even want to do, or to have grown as much as four inches in length or height or both, as well as to have grown hair in unexpected places. The results seem to be very individual.
A customer from Nigeria claims that Roostosterone Shampoo has made him develop the beginnings of fleshy appendages on his head, and even he is pleased with himself and the product. Gross.
What all this tells me, is that the placebo effect is a most powerful thing. These people have allowed themselves to be hypnotized by their own roostosterone thoughts.
I have decided to stay off the net with the shampoo, at least for a while, and I presume that anyone reading about it here has been immunized against the placebo effect by my true confession.
Hens are not the better or blander half of the chicken species, with nei ther virtues nor vices of their own. We have a huge Bitchiness problem with the hens here this winter.
If it's a henstrogen problem, I can't very well milk them of it, and it has done no good to lecture them. I do not believe that a roostosterone shampooing would help, because they usually get plenty of the real stuff.
They are not aggressive with me . They aren't coy either. They will even offer themselves to me. They know I am not a rooster, but they don't care. I do. When I lived with beavers, I humped trees, but never a beaver or a chicken.
Only one of the hens actually pecks at me, and she only does it to shake down food.
But among themselves they are more than a little peckishly aggressive..... and less likely than the roosters to leave resentments outside.
This will not be such a problem when it warms up and the hens want to be outside again, but now..... after three months indoors together ......half of them have backs plucked bare by the bigger pecker-hens.
Maybe a little alcohol soaked grain would be good for them. I know it could be good for me in heated quaters, but I think it's likely they would be even more overwhelmed and confused by alcohol than rooster seem to be.
Poultry scientists have discovered that Roosters can tell at a distance which of the other roosters of the flock is crowing, and if they hear a certain rooster crowing from some place away from where his hens are known to be hanging out , the competing rooster will run to mate with the hens while the other is away and still calling his hens. Another thing for sure then, is chickens are really good listeners.
So for now, I have given the hens one of Davey's portable radios, tuned to classic rock. They could have classic, country(said to be prefered by cows) or even the Family Life Network, if they like it. But there is no claim or sign I see that chickens have any capacity for religion or moral choice.