When we got our first shipment of day old chicks from McMurray Hatchery, it included a free “mystery chick.” Later I learned that the free “mystery chick” should more appropriately be called a “mystery rooster,” as this promotion is in part a way for them to get rid of the rooster chicks that no one wants. But I didn’t know that then, and as I started culling the roosters as they matured, I kept the mystery chick, who was late to show his masculinity. Eventually he matured into the beautiful Golden Laced Wyandotte shown above. Will named him “Groucho,” and he became our boss rooster. We had two other roosters–D.J., a Rhode Island Red who spent most of his life hiding from Groucho, and Tonto, a Light Brahma who was so utterly unthreatening that Groucho tolerated him.
Sadly, a couple of neighborhood dogs attacked our flock one day and killed most of our chickens, including D.J. Groucho put up a fight, but was terribly injured, and we had to euthanize him. Tonto survived, unharmed.
We replaced the chickens with a new order of pullets, and as time passed, Tonto found himself in the surprising role of boss rooster on White Flint.
Meanwhile, one of our Aracuna chicks, intended to be a pullet, grew up to be a rooster. Cherie named him Ranger, and the laid-back Tonto seemed to have no objection to him.
But lately the roles have reversed. Ranger is about 2/3 of Tonto’s size, yet he begins every morning by chasing Tonto out of the chicken yard. And whenever Tonto wanders back for a drink of water, Ranger chases him away. I’ve tried to get Tonto to stand his ground, man up (rooster up?), and not let Ranger push him around. But to no avail. A few of the hens usually wander off with Tonto, to keep him company during the day. At the end of the day, Tonto meekly returns to the chickenhouse to roost with everyone else at night, once Ranger has mellowed for the evening.
Tonto clearly needs some counseling.