The rooster and I have had some issues. Some days he and I simply don't see eye to eye. I haven't yet seriously considered him as a candidate for the stew pot, but sometimes, in an irritated snit, it does cross my mind. I've been watching him carefully, though, and it is becoming quite clear to me that he takes his position very seriously. Like a great dog, he does his job faithfully and very well, with a certain commitment to his role.
We came home later than usual last night, and when we pulled up to the house it had just fully turned dark. The chickens will always put themselves to bed by nightfall, and we simply have to come along and close the door behind them. As we approached the coop something looked, well, funny. The birds had decided to roost on top of the coop for the night, rather than inside. Evidently the door had been blown shut by the wind at some point during the day, so being unable to get to their "bedroom", they did the best they could. They were all lined up side by side on the front edge of the roof, with Rooster Boy right in the middle, wings spread slightly over top of the hens on either side of him. He had a very protective posture. In that moment it seemed apparent that he had gathered them all there, as away from harm as he could manage, and was trying his best to keep them safe. I was so proud - it was all I could do to not give him a resounding "Good boy!"
We plucked them each one by one off the roof and relocated them to the inside. Even the rooster went peacefully - they were so ready for bed. As long as he keeps that up and doesn't become outright dangerous, I'm content to keep him on the payroll.
And now for your Friday viewing pleasure - smoked chicken!
If she only knew.