My Dimwitted Rooster

April 12, 2010

I have two roosters, which when you are keeping chickens tends to be a good idea. Roosters can be mean and loud, but they do help protect the hens and will at least fight a little bit if there is a predator. The rooster also keeps the hens in line a little bit, making sure they all make it home at night.

Now chickens are fairly stupid animals. They are smart about some things, but on a whole, they are very dumb. Most of the things they are “smart” about are really things that come natural to them, so it isn’t intelligence, as much as it is natural instincts.

However, with that said, of my two roosters, one is measurably smarter than the other. For instance, the smart one figured out very quickly that he could hop of the fence when he wants, while the dumb one has only made it out once or twice and doesn’t seem to realize he can fly.

There are other little things that lead me to believe there is such a disparity in intelligence between my two roosters as well, but suffice it to say, as far as chickens go, in comparison, the dumb rooster makes the other one look like Einstein.

Many people who have had chickens don’t like roosters because they are loud, but some also find the way chickens mate to be offensive. Basically, the rooster grabs the back of the chickens neck, does his business, and disengages, all in the matter of a few seconds.

I enjoy watching the chickens sometimes, which given the above paragraph could be misconstrued. However, in truth, after having been coding a for awhile or working on some web design, I find it relaxing to spend some time observing them.

Yesterday, I saw something that made me laugh and almost feel sorry for my dimwitted rooster. He attempted to mate with one of my hens, which is something he has never really gotten the hang of. So, he grabs the neck of the hen and starts struggling with her, when another hen comes up and seeing the ongoing struggle, pecked him in the face. He then ran off, probably a little bit humiliated and possibly also filled with false hopes.

A few minutes later, he began pecking at a piece of pollen, which probably looks a lot like a worm to a chicken, when the hen that pecked him in the face before came over and decided she wanted his food. He quickly made his escape, giving up his treasure and moving to the other side of the pen, rather than face the hen.

This whole exchange made me chuckle and kind of highlighted how this rooster is not the brightest in the pen…


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