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Meet the Flock, part 9 November 13, 2007

Posted by Laura in Uncategorized.
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Napoleon

nappyonwell11-10-07.jpg

(Napoleon perches on the old well crank to declare war on any who dare challenge him).

“Meet Nappy- he’s a pain.” According to Joe, this is the sum total of all you need to know about this bantam rooster. Seeing my look of consternation, Joe said, “What!? Ask any rooster we have and he’ll back me up on this!” I have to admit that his words do ring pretty true, but I’ll elaborate anyway.

A couple of years ago, I bid on a hatching (fertile) egg auction for “everything that’s laid today.” When the eggs arrived, I put them under a couple broody hens. Twenty-one days later, Napoleon (a Mille Fleur Belgian d’Uccle) appeared.

Almost from the start, he had attitude, not letting anyone chase him away from food or the best spot under mama. By six weeks old, he had pretty well established dominance among his nestmates. His position was seldom challenged.

napolean10-10-07.jpg

As his permanent feathers came in, I noticed he was no slouch. He always appeared at attention in dress uniform, like he was ready to inspect the troops. His tail feathers seemed to be starched into an unnatural angle and stiffness. But most of all, he seemed not to be concerned in the least that he was by far the tiniest rooster we had. If anything, he was more arrogant because of it.

He definitely has little man syndrome. He has to crow twice as often as the bigger roosters and from a higher vantage point. Though he is physically incapable of mating with the standard sized hens, that doesn’t stop him from trying his best pick-up lines.

And you’d think that newcomers who grow larger than he would put him in his place quickly, but strangely, the opposite happens. When he faces off with a cockerel who plans to ascend the pecking order on Nappy’s back, the fight looks so lopsided that you’re reluctant to watch. The young upstart brazenly looks on puny Napoleon with disdain. A standard sized cockerel may weigh in at 7 or 8 pounds while Nappy is a “featherweight” (I couldn’t resist the pun) at a mere 1 pound.

Napoleon returns the stare and then the fight begins. The newcomer comes at him with spurs extended only to find that Nappy has not only dodged his attack, but has already come back with well-placed pinprick spurs of his own. The bewildered contender faces off again, but before he can gather his wits, Nappy has connected with his head and zipped away out of reach. This goes on another minute or two before the greenhorn bows out, defeated by Nappy’s speed and agility. The Little General struts away victorious.

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Comments»

1. Marci - November 14, 2007

How is he with humans? Is he mean? His colors are beautiful. I loved your description of him.

2. chickenmama - November 14, 2007

I have been so remiss in replying to your kind comments in the past. We are so terribly behind in posting things and rarely get a moment to reply or answer questions. But thank you so much for taking the time and interest in our little blog.

Actually, he is fine with humans. He isn’t the least bit mean and concedes a lower place on the pecking order to both Percy and all humans. We are very strict about not keeping any animal on our farm which may be dangerous to our children (or any visitors). We feel Woody (the donkey) isn’t safe and have been trying very hard to find him a new home. In the meantime, the children know they are not allowed to be in the fence with him.

Nappy’s colors have intensified over time. He used to have just a flecking of black and white on his breast and a medium copper all over, but with each molting, he has turned more and more salt and pepper and a deeper copper.

3. Lynne - November 14, 2007

Nappy is absolutely beautiful. I would think he is even prettier in person than in the photo. It doesn’t look like he weighs only one pound, and apparently he doesn’t think so either 🙂

Thanks for sharing more of your flock with us.

4. chickenmama - November 15, 2007

I found another picture of Nappy that gives a sideview so you can see him at attention. I’ve added it to the post. I need to take one of him beside a standard size rooster so you can get an idea of the difference in stature. I agree that seeing him without a point of reference, it’s hard to tell he is so petite.

I appreciate your comment Lynne. Thanks for stopping by again.


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