Well it had to happen, despite all my crossed fingers and hopes of some mix-bred mishap, Stu came out and announced himself on Monday morning. I'd like to say it was a grand moment, having kept us all on tenterhooks for so long, but the sorry truth is that he sounded rather like a strangled cat and didn't even manage a "doo" to end his "cock-a-doodle" (possibly a blessing in hindsight!) His saving grace, it was quiet; the girls make far more noise than that. That said, I'm of no doubt he'll get into his stride eventually; at which point, if I've not come up with a way of minimising the impact, I'm pretty certain I will have some unhappy neighbours. He's a lovely bird; very bonded with Macy, an absolute wimp when it comes to the other ladies, even Tiny, and now very much part of the family. If I have no option but to, I will find him a rescue, but I would like to see if we can't make him village friendly first.
Monday night I tried Option A, rounded everyone up and put them in the coop with every crevice and crack covered. Roosters, I've read, will learn to stay quiet if its dark enough and I'm hoping a "Good Morning" around 7 or 8 am will be acceptable, depending on how loud he is of course. It was a marvellously peaceful Tuesday morning, even if they all came shooting out like scalded cats at 7 am, complaining and grumbling and not quietening down until I put out a second scatter of corn. Stu and Macy were a little in shock, as the lowest members of the flock they still keep their distance and I'm guessing a night in the coop with the other girls wasn't a completely calm affair, and he didn't even attempt a doodle. As I was giving them a little "buck up, you'll be fine" talking to, I couldn't resist a couple of pictures. Macy is such a sweet thing and Stu just looked rather magnificent!