The Huon small farms expo is on again, at the Ranelagh show grounds on 20 March 2016.
I attended this event last year and I was very impressed with the range of stalls and animals which were on display. There will be some presentations on various small farm topics, although I am unable to find out what they are from their website. One thing I am hoping to find/buy is an Australorp Rooster.
In the past I have mentioned our Rooster, how he is only a temporary Rooster who would have gone long ago, yet I need him to breed the next generation. This Rooster is insane and violent, he has Kitty scared and the children run if he acts as though he will escape his chicken run. I am not scared of him, as he hasn’t attacked me since last year (when I scared him enough that he hasn’t tried it since). I suspect that his insanity started at an early age… I believe that he was from a flock of chickens I bought from a local producer, he being one of three males in a flock of 7 or so. I decided that, out of his two brothers, he was the most Australorp (I mean that as that he seemed to conform to the image of an Australorp… I wanted to enter him into Poultry shows). Shortly after he became the sole Rooster in his hutch, I sold the remaining females. This was as I didn’t require them, and I wanted him to be able to breed with the hens (the ones I already had). As I removed the females from his hutch, he became more and more aggressive every day. Finally, when he was alone, he seemed to “flip out”. I put him in with the two girls who would be his partners, yet he never seemed to recover… remaining aggressive.
Two days ago I was feeding the chickens, and this Rooster decided that he has had enough of me feeding him… so he bit me. He has not done this for a long time, and nothing was out of the ordinary in the way that he was fed.
I have had worse injuries, as documented in many posts on this blog, and it wasn’t a serious or dangerous wounding… although he did break the skin and I was breeding. So, this Rooster bit me, and I had to enact a decision…. a decision that was made many months ago when he attacked Kitty. I promised him, and myself that if he attacked anyone I would kill him on the spot and we would eat him. We never thought of this Rooster as a pet, he was meant to be a stand in Rooster till we find one to keep. I had actually told Kitty I have had enough of his weird behaviour and that I would kill him on Saturday for our weekend meal. This Rooster was, in addition to scaring my family, much too rough with his flock. He seemed to bully them constantly, and lately I was worried that he was preventing them from eating. When I fed them, he would chase off the hens and have first turn at eating.
So, the other day, he bit me. I knew that I had to act immediately. Here is the problem with making the ultimate threat at the start… I had nowhere to go. Perhaps the Rooster thought I was bluffing. I wasn’t bluffing, and I grabbed him, removed him from the chicken pen, and killed him. As I was stringing him up to start processing him, I called to Kitty to ask her to bring me my knives. Then I set about processing the Rooster. It took me around 30 minutes to process him, and around 30 of those minutes were in the dark. Tip to you, don’t kill an animal to process in the dark unless you have enough bright lights to see what you are doing. My kids brought out ½ a dozen lanterns to help me to see, yet it wasn’t as easy as doing it in the daylight.
This Rooster had so much fat on him I was shocked. I actually showed Kitty. I could see that he was definitely eating the best food and being a bit of a pig about it.
So, I will be attending the Huon Small Farm Expo next weekend… hopefully I will find a new Rooster who will be much nicer in temperament. If you see me there, please feel free to say hi.