A Roosters Reasoning

Posted: March 2nd, 2021

- Michele, the Farm Artist

We have four gorgeous roosters which I wrote about in a previous post.  We needed to move them to a new location this week. To do that we had to physically put them in a new coop.  They spent 3 days and nights hanging out in there and we hoped that they would adjust to the space and continue to consider it home after their release.

Yesterday morning, we gave them their freedom.  They did not come busting out as I thought they might.  Instead, they took time reentering the outside world.  Later that day my walk took me by their new yard.  Not a sign of them anywhere.  As I came around the corner of the wellhouse and up a slight incline there they were.  All four roosters, strutting about at the previous coop.  It's closed for business now, the door barred, no food or water and still they were there.  

One rooster stands on the door of the coop, unsure where to go with his newfound freedom.

This was the second time we had tried to establish them in a different area.  First time around we concluded that the new location was too close to the original spot.  This most recent move was further away and still they headed to what they felt was home.  I’m curious about the roosters reasoning?  Now I could pretend to know the mind of a rooster, but I don't.  I only know that I’m often comfortable when things stay relatively the same, if what has worked in the past still works, why change?

But I also know that sometimes you need to leave behind what isn’t working and get on with the next thing.  In the case of the roosters what they call home has to change.  It doesn’t fit the purpose anymore.  They need to be working the field terraces, adding their poop and scratching up the ground in preparation for the spring hemp planting.  

So we will try persuading the roosters to make a change, again.  

The four roosters milling about just outside their old coop location.

First, instead of a stationary coop, we will introduce them to a mobile shelter with a netted runway attached.  So whether they are in the coop or working the terraces, they are confined.  Second, this time they won’t be alone. Two young cows will be adding their unique soil building talents to the mix.  From where I sit it doesn’t matter if you’re a human being or poultry, when you’re making a change it can be comforting to hang out with something bigger than you are.

The two cows Daisy and Fickle will hopefully encourage the roosters to reason differently.

Learn more about Michele

Michele "The Farm Artist" writes about farming and regenerative agriculture from the perspective of a family literacy educator and mixed media artist.

Full bio here.

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