Last year I decided to bite the bullet and set myself up with some chickens. At the time it seemed like I was the only person who had never kept them or indeed taken part in the incubate eggs school exercise. Little did I know how engaging they are! There are many things I will come to share with you on this subject but I just wanted to take a moment to tell you about our very brave cockerel.

Umbutu is our Red Dorking lad, he lives with his 9 hens and is to be described as laid back. He is a nice guy but a little on the skittish side. We have an understanding that I’ll leave him alone but for the essential health checks.

I always hear tales of crazy cockerel attacking the hand that feeds, other family pets and of course next doors dog is terrified of it. I figured we don’t have that sort of cockerel, so would he actually do anything if his hens were threatened? WELL…today we found out!

There was a huge ruckus about 1 pm this afternoon. Thankfully my husband was at the wood so went running over to the chook pen fearing the worst. In the corner was our placid cockerel beating the living daylights out of a terrified hawk whilst the hens laid low under the coop. He quickly got in the pen and managed to extract the interloper before any damage was done. It seems the hawk had been hunting, mid-air, both it and dinner (a confused looking pigeon!) had crashed into the chicken run. Chaos ensued as you can imagine. Hawk, pigeon, hens, and chicks all lived to tell the tale. Umbutu definitely deserved his extra portion of mixed corn this evening. Great job boy!

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