Apr 17, 2011

Cocksure Canada

Does anybody know how to say, in rooster-talk, "Lighten up, Francis, I don't want your women"? Our rooster, Canada, is pretty darn certain that I'm missing my wife enough to go after his hens. When I open the door to their coop in the morning, he instantly jumps on the nearest hens for the obligatory 3 seconds, then proudly flaps his wings and shakes himself while giving me a cool "Them's mah bitches" look.

All day, whenever I'm near he finds a way to show his women that He Da Man. While I'm filling feeders he comes right up to my legs like he's ordering me to do it. When I pass by or walk away he follows for a while then turns back to make sure the hens see that he's chased me away.

Unlike his namesake's government, Canada is just benignly comical, not scary. Now our first rooster, Goldfeather, that was a different story. He was just plain mean. He'd follow us around, about as discreet as Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau, then full-on attack when we'd finally let down our guard. We had to make a rule to always have 2 people when out on the land, one just to watch Goldfeather and carry a big stick or shovel. Zekiah's bodyguard strayed a bit too far away one day and Goldfeather literally knocked him over and jumped on his chest. Fortunately our brave 5-year-old fought him off and didn't get his eyes pecked out, but it was enough that the rooster finally reverted to his first name - Roastie.

When the boys are here, I get regular reports on his sexual prowess. "Papa! Canada was really doing his job today! He jumped on a hen and pinned her down, with her wings spread all the way out! He's really doing his job!" When it comes time for The Talk with my adolescent boys, we won't be starting from scratch, just something like, "Son, we humans do it a little differently..."

I used to think "cocksure" was an allusion to a man's sexual confidence, or at least bravado, but it really is a farm term. When you look it up in the thesaurus, it says "marked by excessive confidence, as in "the less he knows the more positive he gets." And there's a picture of Canada to illustrate it.

Our rooster is bravado personified, striking all the right poses, impeccable timing without ever actually pecking anyone. If somehow Farmer Rick is boosting his status by feeding his brood and walking away when he tells me, well I guess I'm cocksure enough to handle that.

1 comment:

  1. I took care of a friend's organic poultry operation once many years ago. The experience led me to believe that chickens, geese, and guinea hens were just above broccoli on the evolutionary ladder. In fact, I found them kind of loathsome (a quality I don't see in broccoli), particularly after one of the hens started cannibalizing her own eggs. This made roast chicken much more palatable.