Saturday, March 12

Taken this past summer, these pictures show my hopefully happy ladies enjoying the warm weather and fresh bugs. My flock currently has 9 hens of various ages and one stately rooster who keeps them safe.

Our rooster, Cornwallis, was a surprise from the all-hens chick tank at Tractor Supply two springs ago. At first, we were not sure, but then the crowing started and we knew. After a chat with the neighbors it was decided that no one had a problem with occasional crowing and we now had a beautiful black and white rooster in the coop.

He has been the best addition to the flock - alerts them to the presence of food and danger, and he keeps them on our property. We have had problems with wandering hens in the past when we first started keeping chickens. They would end up down the road in the neighbors yard or pooping on someone's porch. Now, they stay where they are supposed to and they hardly ever stray farther than the side field or the new-to-us barn on the new property. Cornwallis is always with them, letting them peck and hunt, while he stands watch, scanning for threats or treats. 

Our farm dog, Murphy, and Cornwallis are somewhat at odds in that Murphy thinks it is his job to heard the chickens and Cornwallis will not have one little bit of it. Murphy will go running out into the yard and try to get all the chickens back to the coop while Cornwallis poofs up his neck feathers and dances around Murphy, jumping up at him. Murphy thinks this is a game and starts jumping around with Cornwallis, at which time our mighty rooster goes into attack mode. 

When Murphy was a puppy, he would run away at this point but now that he is much bigger, he gently nudges and eventually pins Cornwallis down. Then the fun is over and Murphy is called away to investigate some foul smelling mystery in the shed and Cornwallis scoots back to his girls.

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