Monday, March 10, 2008
a new addition to the family
This is Buddy Boy. He is a Transylvanian Naked Neck rooster. The breed is also know as the Turken. The most obvious feature of the Turken is the lack of neck feathers. In its place is skin the same dark red as the comb and wattles. Females are like this, too, but they lack the pretty tail feathers.
We got Buddy Boy from the Longmeadow Rescue Ranch in Union, Missouri. He had been there since last summer when he and his flockmates were confiscated. I don't know the circumstances, but I do know that all the rest of the flock had been adopted, but Buddy Boy was still there.
I had been watching him off and on for a while; several months, in fact. I'd go to the site to see if he'd been adopted and time after time, he was still there. Last week I got this really strong urge to see if he was still available and if he was, to adopt him. After my experience with Jeb and his temper, I wasn't sure I wanted to try this again. However, I prayed about it, and still felt led to give him a home.
Buddy is great with the girls. He must feel he's in chicken heaven. He was in an 8-by-10 kennel with two ducks and a goose, I think. There were only 4 other chickens there, one light Brahma rooster and a pair of banties. He and the Brahma didn't get along at all, which isn't really uncommon for roosters, so they had been separated from each other.
We gave him a few minutes when we got home so that he could get used to the presence of other chickens and catch his breath from the shock of the ride home and his new environment. I couldn't stand it any longer so I let him go. He and the hens hit it off right away and they have taken to each other incredibly well. He is gentle with them, never attacking them or forcing himself on them when they're not in the mood for his affections. He is also very mellow with me. He looks at me, watching me closely, and keeps his distance, but doesn't charge or attempt to attack me at all.
The first night I went out to check on them before I went to bed and he was on the top roost with some of the other girls, all snuggled down in between the two most dominant hens. They've shown him the ropes and he seems to be adjusting well. In exchange, he has made them happy by his presence and the protection he offers to his ladies.
I haven't figured out one of their little oddities; the girls pulled a few of his feathers out Saturday and yesterday. He didn't object at all. I'm thinking maybe it's their way of testing his health and making sure he's an appropriate guardian.
This morning I took them some old banana bread and he called them to it, watching to make sure they all had some before he took a few bites. He did the same with the lettuce I took them about an hour ago.
I'm really glad I took a chance and gave Buddy Boy a new home. I know the people at the Rescue Ranch only have so much room and sometimes the birds or other animals have to be euthanized if there isn't enough room for all of them and one or another has been there a long time without being adopted. A lot of people don't want roosters. They either have enough already or just want the hens for eggs. Still, he has made my hens much more content. He's quite a gentleman with them and they aren't as stressed as they were with Jeb here. He's at least 2 years old; quite possibly older. I think maybe it's a split between his innate temperament and the fact that he is no longer a teenager.
I look forward to seeing my pretty new rooster for a long time to come.
For anyone looking for a pet of any kind, try the Humane Society or other shelters in your area. The animals there deserve a chance to have a loving home and a place where they can feel they belong. All 3 of our cats were rescues as well, and if I ever get another pet, you can bet it will be a rescue.