Thursday, September 28, 2017

Quill, Master of His Domain

Quill has settled into quite a lovely rooster. At just seven months old, he has blended right in with our crew, fathering 18 chicks so far! Quill has some wonderful traits for a rooster. Many times people get a roo and simply tolerate (or don't) their quirks - like being too rough with the hens, pushing around chicks, hurting chicks, flogging or chasing people, etc. Many think that's just what a rooster does. But a good roo - now that's a different matter. A good roo like Quill. Here are a few reasons we love him (besides the fact that he dances for his ladies, dropping a wing as he approaches and doing a little soft shoe performance to get them in the mood).

1. Quill loves babies. We have a dominant hen (Mooka the Wyandotte - Wyandottes have big personalities) who pushes babies off food. Quill saw her do this the other day, ran over, pushed her away, then stood there and guarded the chicks while they ate. Notice the baby at his feet in the photo:

2. Quill loves his ladies. Especially Amber and Hei Hei. And he's not too hard on his favorites (often favorites end up with bare backs from too much rooster attention). Instead, he dates them. He goes on a bathing date every morning with Amber:

And then he has his breakfast date with Hei Hei. Seriously, every morning.

3. He is gentle with growing chicks and mamas. He courts the ladies who are of age, but leaves the mamas and under-aged girls alone. That makes for a very calm flock that likes to hang out with their main man.

4. Quill leaves the molting girls alone. Once a year the chickens lose many of their feathers, growing out new soft clean feathers to keep them warm in winter. But that means they have sore pointy pin feathers growing out. An amorous rooster could do some real damage to those new baby feathers. But molting girls are safe - Quill leaves them alone so they feel safe with him. In this photo Hawk is in the back , feathers sprinkled around. She is willing to hang out with Quill despite her discomfort because, though he loves her dearly, he has left her strictly alone since her molt started.

5. Quill is producing beautiful babies of all colors. Quill is red, orange, and blue (grey). With his easter egger background, he could easily produce lots of chipmonks - brown striped chicks that are typically a pretty brown partridge pattern. But instead, he is really mixing it up. We've gotten red, chipmonk, blue, and black chicks!

6. Lastly, but certainly not least, Quill is not an excessive crower. He does not crow at 3 in the morning. We hear him a few times a day, and he will crow about 3 times when he crows. His crow is not obnoxiously loud either, so we are very pleased with our boy! And our flock seems quite taken with him too.