Gonzo The Great (Rooster)

We have an Americauna (Easter Egger) rooster in our flock, who we named Gonzo, because like his Muppet namesake, he loves the lady chickens, and he’s a weirdo. (Especially considering that he was supposed to be a hen!) He’s like a patchwork chicken, with a little splash of color here and there that has no real rhyme or reason. He doesn’t like being held, and protests in a very loud (and laughable) manner about it, which, of course, just makes me want to do it even more. I hold him on his back, rub his belly, and sing “Rock-A-Bye Rooster” to him. I think he wishes he had laser beam vision.

But here’s the thing – he’s probably our best rooster in terms of offering protection to the flock. He’s not the biggest (nor the smallest, we have two Bantam roos), but man, is he ever diligent. He patrols the back half of our property with zeal, and warns the other birds whenever something seems off to him. He doesn’t recognize the difference between the turkey vultures that frequently circle overhead and a hungry hawk – he just sees a large bird and sends out the alarm. If the hens aren’t responding to his warning quickly enough, he vigorously chases them back toward the coop. And at night, he’s usually the last bird into the coop, or close to it, as he rounds everyone up. In fact, I need to get outside in about a half hour to close up the coop door after he’s completed that task.

Make no mistake, though, this bird isn’t all work, no play. When he decides he wants some…play…he is just as zealous in pursuing that, and will lean down to become more aerodynamically advantaged in chasing down a hen. He is persistent and almost always successful in procuring a “date” with one of the girls. Of course, whenever I have the opportunity to catch it on video, he gets shy, but I’m still hoping I’ll capture the event one of these days. You can be sure I’ll share it when I do.

So, bravo, Gonzo, you weirdo! We really enjoy having you around.

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