Wet chickens eating leftovers.

I have a local food dilemma.  We have 26 chickens, and three of them now are self-proclaimed roosters.  Just last week a Rhode Island Red confirmed our thoughts by starting to crow, and a few weeks before that a beautiful Plymouth Barred Rock.  The earliest to show his cockiness, and clearly the dominant rooster, is a handsome Australorp with black-green, iridescent plumage.  He is by far the biggest of the batch, although still small by eating standards.

You see where this is going.

His crow is like a bugle.  He crows at 4:30 am, and I thought this was just when the moon was full or eclipsing, but he was crowing this morning during completely overcast conditions.  But the worst thing is that he attacks some of the very people who feed and tend the chickens.  He doesn’t fight the other roosters, even when they mount a hen, but he does go after people.  So this is really not a good idea, I keep telling him, cut out the chasing and attacking, you will not last long.  We’ve been working on being aggressive back, and this has helped yet seems to be temporary (lasts a few visits) and still doesn’t mean he won’t attack a new person.

"Is that thing she's holding up to her face a threat?"

I like him, though, because he is strong and protective and not aggressive to the other birds.  Also, because he is so handsome, but this shouldn’t be how we value a life, right?  Compounding the dilemma for me is that he has never attacked me, he checks me out sure, keeps his glossy black eye trained on me, but is otherwise downright docile. I wonder how fast my feelings would change if he charged at me.

I’m not vegetarian, in fact was thinking of buying a chicken to roast for our upcoming potluck community dinner.  Makes sense to a local eater to eat this rooster.  But, hypocritically and showing my city birth, I really don’t want to.

Back when we kept the chickens in the coop overnight when they were little, here they are flying out in the morning.

Some of the foods I am choosing from as I eat off the land today – note the lovely large orange! It was juicy and fairly sweet:

From left to right and then circling back kind of: sugar cane syrup, jackfruit, eggs obviously, daikon radish, dried coconut (in jar), lilikoi, bananas, lemon, yakon (looks like sweet potato, which I forgot to put on display), air potatoes (look like brown rocks), orange!!, papaya, avocado, blue corn, peanuts

I also forgot to include a glob of the poi in the photo.  We made some yesterday, and I am about to make it into dinner… unless I opt for the sweet potatoes… thinking of making taro burgers (poi patties?) with blue corn and herbs, then could put avocado and a little grated daikon radish on top.  Meanwhile the peanut harvest is simmering in salted water on the wood stove, making for a delicious boiled peanut snack as we dry things out on this rainy rainy evening.

Our first Jungle peanuts. Planted September 7, and harvested December 18th, three and a half months. The plants were wilted but leaves were still green, and some of the peanuts had started to rot and fall off the roots, so it wasn't too soon to harvest.