Ramble On

Saturday, December 10, 2011

...about that Chanticleer

Funny thing, I exchanged messages with my friend David after last week’s post, “Chanticleer in the Morning.” Turns out, they have a new Barred Rock rooster over there at Public House Produce, and they named him Chanticleer.

Among several meanings of the word, Wikipedia has ‘chanticleer” as meaning “any rooster.” So the Thoreau quote included in that last post includes a pretty spectacular imagery:

"I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up."

I've just started learning about heritage poultry breeds, so when David told me about the barred rock rooster I dug in a bit to find out more about the breed. From a hatchery website (linked below), I found the picture I included with this post, and the description below:

The Barred Rock is one of the all time popular favorites in this country. Developed in New England in the early 1800's by crossing Dominiques and Black Javas, it has spread to every part of the U.S. and is an ideal American chicken. Prolific layers of brown eggs, the hens are not discouraged by cold weather. Their solid plumpness and yellow skin make a beautiful heavy roasting fowl. Our strain has the narrow, clean barring so desirable in appearance. Their bodies are long, broad, and deep with bred-in strength and vitality. These chickens are often called Plymouth Rocks, but this title correctly belongs to the entire breed, not just the Barred variety. Whatever you call them, you can't beat them for steady, reliable chickens. Baby chicks are dark gray to black with some white patches on head and body.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for Chanticleer next time I’m over. I hear the breed is pretty friendly to people and other animals…but at the same time, I’ve also heard about some ornery ones.

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