Monday, 1 February 2010

Jarvis Cockerel

The old stager and the young pretender stood head-to-head, then circled cautiously, beady eyes locked on their opponent.

The older fella started deliberate dancing moves in and out while his rival - his son - made fluid steps to one side, then the other.

Both fluffed their neck feathers out, crowed silently. . . and started knocking seven bells out of each other. There was blood and, if cockerels have snot and saliva, there was that too.

We have been building up to the big fight between Adam and his lad Jarvis for some time; both have been strutting around like David Cameron on one of his more obnoxious days for some time. It was just unfortunate that the showdown should be in the middle of the pen occupied by Molly and the piglets.

Not that they were bothered. Moll had her head firmly in the feed bucket, while the piglets, having taken to solids with some gusto over the last couple of weeks, were equally oblivious.

The pig farmer wandered over to break it up before things got out of hand, deciding at the same time that a transfer for both birds was long overdue.

Neighbours had agreed to have Jarvis so I fished out an old cat box and started stalking the boy. I have partly overcome my chicken phobia after sending three younger cockerels to meet their maker last week, but I still need to wear gloves to pick them up (feel free to point and laugh).

A little barley was put on the floor and as the chickens gathered around, I positioned myself behind Jarvis who promptly proved to be not as daft as he looks by edging around to the other side of the group as I reached out to catch him.

Half-an-hour later patience was wearing thin and something of a chase ensued, Jarvis moving effortlessly and gracefully around the pigshed, the pig farmer tumbling over gates and walls, tripping over buckets and getting covered in fertiliser futures.

As Jarvis popped out into the veg garden I remembered an important rule of mine: if rounding up and animal starts to resemble a Benny Hill sketch, give up and have a cup of tea.

That was yesterday. I finally got my man today, Jarvis dropping his guard while I pretended to be sorting out bedding for the pigs. He was stuffed into catbox and driven round to the neighbours where he immediately got into a fight with two other cockerels.

I hope he's all right.


Arabella said...

I'm not pointing and laughing - not unless they're elbow-length opera gloves.
And not then really. Whatever gets the chicken.

Lindsay said...

Perhaps soon Jarvis will be stuffed with thyme and parsley?

I, Like The View said...

I was thinking what Lindsay was thinking (about the stuffing) and the same as Arabella about the gloves (almost)

Rog said...

I've always dreampt of having two cockers called Jarvis and Joe.

Writeous indignation said...

Hee hee...what a laugh. You remind me of my father-in-law (small holder nestled up to the Cairngorms), who had to remove his two oldest hens from the run last year because they were getting a bit long in the beak and eating their eggs. He let them loose in the garden and said he couldn't face wringing their necks.
At least, he couldn't until one bit him really hard... ;-)