Thursday, July 25, 2013

One True Ingredient: Bad Ass

Dad brought two roosters by tonight.

“They were free,” he said.

“I figured,” I replied. I eyed the two full-grown roosters, one red, one black, sizing them up.

“I thought I could trade ‘em for one of your roosters.”

I shrugged, thinking to myself that at least my roosters weren’t already fully formed assholes. They’re either young enough or cowed enough by the hens that so far they haven’t been overly aggressive. These two, even in the kennel, looked like fully blown assholes. But I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt.

“Sure,” I said.

My first mistake was dropping the roosters in amongst the hens. We have a chicken tractor rather than a coop, but one side has roosts for hens while the other side doesn’t. There’s chicken wire in between so they can’t hassle one another. The hens also have a door now so they can get out to roam in the afternoon. They have two roosters with them, but the Buff Orphington roosters are under eighteen weeks old and pretty mild for roosters.

We don’t have the term cocky for nothing, I tell you what.

Before long, the new roosters had the hens completely harassed. They piled up in corners and on top of the young roosters and were repeatedly pushed away from the food at one end and the water at the other. The new roosters, it seemed, lived up to my expectation of bully to glorious effect.

Now kicking myself with a fussy child and absent partner, once the Offspring nodded off to the land of sugarplums and puppydog tails, I marched out to the coop, climbed inside on hands and knees (as it’s very low) and proceeded to corner and catch the offending pair of cocks, dragging them out of the coop behind me. One attempted to reach around and peck me, whereupon I seized him around the neck and narrowly restrained myself from strangling him. And for the second time that day, these birds found themselves overpowered by a Barclay, only this second one was a pissed off, tired, overworked, no patience momma.

The only condoned rape on Barclay Farms from now on will now be between two consenting males. Mom has spoken.

My harried hens fluffed themselves and slowly, very slowly, began to move normally about their side of the coop once more. The offending roosters, I shoved into the opposing side and fastened the door.

As the roosters crow this morning, making me feel vaguely Amish, Dad’s suggestion of putting them in the cookpot has some appeal. The future ingredient to one of our meals was therefore the topic of this week’s episode of “One True Ingredient.” The other bonus ingredient this week I thought of while cornering and seizing both cocks around their necks, one in each hand and proceeding to drag them out by their feet at nine o’clock at night.

That ingredient? Be bad ass.

Keep choking your chicken.