Sunday, February 23, 2014

Rooster Chivalry

The Chinese have a saying "May your life be interesting"...  I had one of those interesting moments yesterday.  I grew up watching the Disney TV specials on Sunday nights where they would show wildlife films.  (We didn't have the Disney channel back then... we had THREE)

There's nothing more amazing than learning something about life in the animal kingdom by observing it.  To say that it surprised me is an understatement.

For those who don't know me, my wife Judi has a chicken farm in our backyard.  We have 5 adult chickens, and we just added a dozen or so babies.  Within the adults, we have one bad tempered rooster, and the rest are hens.

I had been doing some digging around Judi's greenhouse, and occasionally I'd find a big earthworm.  The chickens usually watch us when we dig in the hopes that we'll share those worms with them.  

I'd already shared a couple of worms with the hens.  Then I found a very large wiggling worm.  I looked around to see where the nearest chicken was, and the only one I saw was our rooster.  Judi named him "Frizzle" because of his feathers.

I tossed him the worm, and expected him to gobble it down quickly like the hens do.  He just stood over the worm looking at it.  I don't know if he communicated to them orally or telepathically, but within a few seconds he had three of his hens nearby.  He seemed to peck at the worm, but he didn't grab it.  It looked as if he were showing the worm to the female chickens.  The hens quickly attacked and each got a piece of the big earthworm.

I couldn't believe what I just saw.  I told Judi, "he didn't eat it... he waited and gave it to the hens!"  Judi looked at me like I was some city boy and said "he takes care of his girls".  Amazing.  Chivalry does survive in some men, and a few roosters.

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