Sunday, January 24, 2010

Son of Khan

Changing of the Guard

This is Squanto. He is the son of Khan, my original rooster. Khan was a Cuckoo Maran who was the king of my barnyard for about two years. He overstayed his welcome by getting mean and aggressive. I have lots of kids roaming the farm from time to time and didn't want to worry about a ten pound rooster attacking little kids! I had to end his reign and did so in a dignified and painless way. Khan was buried in the woods. I named him Khan because of my deep interest in Central Asia and all the powerful leaders who controlled vast areas of Asia.

Ruth named Squanto today, after snapping this picture. His coloring reminded her of Native Americans and she wanted a solid name for him. Squanto was the Native American who helped the Pilgrims during their first few years in the New World. I'm sure we owe Squanto and his People much more than the naming of a rooster, but it is an honor to call him Squanto.

Squanto's mother is a Partridge Cochin, maybe Broody, the hen who hatched him! I want to believe that, so I will say that is true.


Thinning the Herd

I sold 19 hens and a rooster on Saturday. That leaves me with 23 hens and Squanto. I tend to dislike roosters, but I am taking a different tack with Squanto. I pick him up several times per week and walk around with him. He doesn't like that at all, but I want to see if he'll end up being less aggressive than his poppa.


I had 43 hens. That felt like too many to me. Each spring I hatch out a batch of chicks in my classroom and wanted to have the room for the newbies. A friend of mine let me know of a family that lost their whole flock recently and wanted to buy mature and productive hens, so I took the plunge and sold 19 hens and one rooster. It was really fun to watch the young boys race around the barn trying to catch chickens. If you have never tried to catch a chicken, you have got to put that on your life's to-do list.
Should I hatch out Green Barn chicks?, or should I order some interesting eggs from a hatchery?

21 comments:

Ruth said...

Interesting eggs interesting eggs!

Maybe a combo? Some new rare ones and some hatched out? I do love when your hens get broody and become watchful mommies.

*jean* said...

o i wish you could've been my son's third grade teacher! i would love to have some chickens but we're just gone too much....

Dale Calder said...

Squanto sure is a handsome dude. I hope he is less agressive then his Dad was. I wouldn't be able to resist the temptation to hatch a mixture of the larger breeds. I will look forward to seeing them what ever you choose.

G-B said...

Thanks for your post.
Squanto is a gorgeous rooster! I can understand roos not being your favorites. My flock is two years old. I originally had two roos, but we turned them into chicken pot pie once they turned aggressive. (I had a two-year-old son at the time.) I look forward to having a rooster again someday.

Sandy said...

Enjoyed seeing Squanto and reading how he got his name.

Shari Sunday said...

Squanto is very handsome. I smile at the thought of you carrying a reluctant rooster around to make him more tame. I remember being afraid of a mean rooster at my Grandma's house. He liked to trap people when they visited the outhouse. So, it was a toss up to get out of the outhouse as rapidly as possible or stay in there to stay safe from the rooster. I think catching a chicken is one thing that won't make my bucket list at my age, but I enjoyed the thought of the little boys trying to catch them.

Lanny said...

We have always tried to keep more than one rooster, you have to have enough hens to keep them from fighting one another but it doesn't take that many girls. No matter what it seems that we do our roosters eventually become aggressive and that can hurt. But having more than one seems to make them less agressive, it didn't seem like that would be the case but it apparently, at our house anyway, seems to be so. Not sure if it would work for others, we seem to live in the Land of Oz or Odd take your pick.

The best stint for roosters was when we had Little Grey General, a banty rooster. He was full of aggression! The big roosters must have thought he was agressive enough for all of them because while Grey was around they were totally nonchalant. Grey was funnier than a three ring circus and very easy to control. The only time he was a nusance was when we would bend over and he managed to get caught in our hair.

I have heard of spur-ectomies (de-spurring), not sure when you have to perform it but it might be worth looking into, then your rooster can live to a ripe old age. Some folks say it is mean but then so is being dispatched at the ripe ol' age of two when you can live a lot longer.

Garden Girl said...

I agree with Ruth... hard to resist something new and exciting, but also nice to see what happens when your already exciting breeds get it together!

I would choose something with an interesting egg colour... is there a speckled one?

Susan said...

Do you have any Silver Dorkings, Don? They're a heritage breed and I've read that they're very docile and friendly. They also lay white eggs. I don't know about winter hardiness though. I love my Speckled Sussex, do you have any? Their coloring is just gorgeous.

I can imagine how a couple of rambunctious boys got the hens all stirred up! Mine are actually pretty easy to catch when they're laying, because they'll just squat for me when I talk to them. I'm glad you found a good family for your hens and the roo.

I tried taming my one roo, but he was having none of it. I finally had to rehome him to a "real" farm.

Have fun going through the catalogs!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog Don. Thanks. --J. Liverman

Ginnie said...

You're just a regular Mother Hen, Don, admit it! :)

laura said...

That is one handsome rooster.
In the British Virgin Islands there are chickens and roosters running everywhere ... and I mean running: they're in constant danger from taxi drivers.

julie king said...

oh he is a regal one, this squanto! i have chased chickens before and even caught a few. of course this was decades ago when i could run like the wind.maybe you should do a combination of hatching green barn eggs and ordering from a hatchery. that way you'd have both experiences.

love your blog!

Jen's Farmily said...

Squanto! I love the name!!

43 hens is a lot! We have 14 hens and 1 rooster now and I want new chicks in the spring but we are already overrun with eggs!

Stiggy said...

Hi Don - Squanto - what a great name, and an even better story of where the name comes from!

I've had experience of catching hens before - although my experience was a mercy mission - one of my ladies escaped through a fence when we first moved to our present house, and I had to pretty much rugby tackle it to catch her...

...right in a bramble bush - which just proves the old saying ...

..loook before you leap!

:D

導暑紀時 said...

到處盡心,即為快事;舉步踏實,便是坦途。 ..................................................

Porch Days said...

My husband used to have a long wire with a crook in it on a wooden handle. You used it to catch the chicken's leg. It really worked.

Vickie said...

Hi, I just came over from Sunny's blog. Am enjoying your chicken stories. I recently had a stray Ameracauna chicken come live with us for about 5 weeks, during which time she laid 11 eggs. Unfortunately I didn't have a place to keep her and something got her. She was living on my front porch at the farm. OK, so now I'm hooked. I will have me some chickens in the future BUT when I'm prepared with a coop! FYI - our chicken lady down the road catches her chickens with a long-handled fishin' net...

Squanto's a great name!

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

I so love those names! Very fitting for a rooster.
Every rooster I have carried around turned out much tamer and less prone to attack. You may want to encourage a few children to carry him around too. I noticed the roosters Frog would carry around and dote on were rather friendly to children. I know it may soound odd, but I noticed the roosters she carried around never attacked children vs. the ones I carried around would "eye" my yard "gnomes".:)

Yuri said...

Some local friars discovered what Hunt was attempting and took the remaining Native Americans — Tisquantum included — in order to instruct them in the Christian faith. Tisquantum convinced the friars to let him try to return home. He managed to get to London, where he lived with and worked for a few years with John Slany, a shipbuilder who apparently taught Tisquantum more English. Slany took Tisquantum with him when he sailed to Cuper's Cove, Newfoundland.[3] To get to New England, Tisquantum tried to take part in an expedition to that part of the North American east coast. When that plan fell through, he returned to England in 1618.[citation needed] Squanto helped the pilgrims methods of fishing and planting crops.

Yuri Mizyuk

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