Now that it's fall I've been letting Mr. Rooster and his crew free-range in the evenings. We have 5 acres but they all like to hang out up by the house and the garden where the bantams live. He and the bantam rooster have been aware of each other for months but have limited their posturing to crowing back and forth dramatically. I don't know what the deal was yesterday. Mr. Rooster is in the middle of molting and has been in a bit of a bad mood. He's never made a move towards me in all his years here but there have been some dirty looks and foot stomping lately. The poor guy also looks like he's been run over by a lawnmower and half of his beautiful feathers are either missing or askew. I can't imagine it feels good to say nothing of his pride.
The poultry came up to the garden. The crowing commenced. Mr. Rooster has a deep, dignified crow. The bantam is more like a high-pitched shrieking. Back and forth. Back and forth. Then suddenly the bantam was out of the garden.
I would like to pause here and remind everyone that Mr. Rooster is a full size Cochin and weighs about 10 lbs. He's absolutely huge. My Dutch bantam is the size of a grapefruit. Acording to the interweb, he weights less than a pound and a half.
I heard the scuffle before I saw it. "There's an actual cockfight happening in the yard! Cockfight!" Hackles were flared. Faces were pecked. Spurs were raised as the roosters flew into the air and crashed into each other again and again. The ducks, I am not exaggerating, came tearing across the yard as fast as they could and stopped about ten feet away to watch the battle. You could practically hear them chanting "Fight! Fight!" as the roosters went at it.
They would do this for awhile and then break off, both pretending to be suddenly interested in pecking at grass. Then one of them would remember that he had been slighted and the battle would be renewed. The bantam was literally hanging off of Mr. Rooster's waddle at one point. Then the tables turned and Mr. Rooster had the bantam pinned up against the garden fence. This went on for about 20 minutes. I feel the need to point out that no one was in real danger here and I was prepared to go out there and break it up by spraying them both with the hose if I had to. Poultry live by a strict pecking order and these guy needed to figure out who was boss of the yard.
It was amazing to watch. I have no idea who "won" and who "lost" or how their minds work. Eventually they both just got bored with it and wandered off to go back to whatever they were doing before they started.