He's even bigger than this now - this is an older pic.
Yesterday morning I donned my riot gear before I let the chickens out of the coop. Our rooster has been on the attack for several months now, and he's getting worse.
Methinks he's not long for this world... and frankly, I'd be happy with just the five hens.
At any rate, since the hubby was sick yesterday and he is the one who has been dealing with the chickens, the task fell to me to let them out for the day.
I won't lie. I was nervous. I had been attacked by the rooster several months ago, and several kicks to him did not deter him one iota. He had it in for me!
So I prepared for the mass exit from the henhouse by building a wall between me and the hatch door. I built my wall with a large piece of cardboard, some 2x4s, and some particleboard. Then, to lengthen my wall a tad, I stacked two 5-gallon buckets next to the cardboard.
For defense, I took the herding stick we use for the guineas, a very long 2x2 piece of wood, maybe 10 - 12 ft long?
One more thing... I decided I needed a shield, like the knights of old. I found the perfect shield - the removable top from our chick brooder - it's square, has handles on two sides, and a tight wire mesh screen.
My shield was one-half of the top you see here, with a 2nd handle added.
(The top of the brooder has been modified since this photo was taken.)
PERFECT. I was ready for battle with the roo.
I got myself in position, took a very deep breath, and opened the hatch door. Before I could get it lifted and latched to the building, I quickly put my wire-mesh shield in front of the opening, to slow down the chickens' exodus from the coop.
I'm not sure what happened in the coop, but I heard claws screeching to a dead-stop on the concrete floor, a very loud raucous clucking from everyone, and feathers a-flapping.... I bent down to peer into the coop, and did not see one chicken in sight!
The sight of the wire-mesh shield in front of their door must have sent them into a panic, and instead of attacking the shield, even the rooster must have flown up onto their roost!
I clipped the hatch door to the building, and began to methodically remove my riot gear from their pen. As I exited their pen, I decided to watch and see if they would finally come out of the coop?
It was really quite funny.... a few of the hens finally peeked their heads out the door. They saw the 5-gallon buckets stacked nearby, and tilted their heads, wondering why they were there?
Finally, everyone came out.
Let's just say I had no battles with the rooster all day. And I was in and out of the coop quite a bit. Twice I retrieved eggs. For safety's sake, I took my human shield with me, and propped it in front of their hatch door, just in case the rooster would come running into the coop to attack me .... yes, he always runs into the coop whenever we go inside.
He didn't come into the coop even once yesterday when I was inside.
All of this preparation on my part may sound pretty funny to those who aren't familiar with roosters, but for those who know roosters, then you know how mean they can be when they put their mind to it!
Even my husband was amazed at how well the rooster can launch his attacks and hit you mid-air! He curls his body into a U-shape, and both his beak and his claws are hitting you at the same time. It would be stunning to get video and then play it in slo-mo.
If he continues to behave, then he gets a free pass and gets to live. Time will tell.
If he decides to attack again, he may become "Angry Rooster Soup". Jes' sayin.
Don't forget to enter January's country giveaway here. You've got until January 27th to enter. :-)