By: Clint Calhoun
Growing up on a farm, there are a lot of fond memories. Many of those memories involve chickens. From roosters crowing to gathering eggs, it seemed as though there was always something going on with chickens.
I remember one time, my brother and I were playing down in the woods below my grandparents’ house near the barn. What we were specifically playing I don’t remember. We were probably stick sword fighting which we were often prone to do. Anyway, as we were doing our thing, we noticed some action going on in the periphery which quickly caused us to stop what we were doing.
We suddenly had a ringside seat to a main event fight. On one side of the barnyard was a big white rooster. He was big and fat, with a bright red comb, black wings, and dark green tail feathers. He flapped his wings and crowed. On the other side was a tiny little black banty rooster (that’ a bantam rooster for those of you who don’t understand southern English). That little rooster sat there just waiting for the inevitable.
The big rooster charged and engaged the little rooster who proceeded to jump straight up in the air and met the big white rooster with his inch long spurs. The two roosters sparred back and forth, neither one getting an advantage of the other. All the jumping around suddenly attracted the attention of another rooster, an old multi-colored game rooster with equally long spurs. It was clear the momentum had shifted in the ongoing fight and suddenly the white rooster broke off the fight and retreated across the barnyard. At the same time, the game rooster jumped into the fray and tried to use his spurs as effectively as the little banty. From our vantage point on top of the doghouse, we were close enough to the fight to see the blood and feathers fly. After what seemed like several minutes, all of a sudden the big game rooster took off, clearly bested by the much smaller rooster. That little banty rooster scratched the ground, flapped his wings, and threw back his head and crowed in victory. We had just witnessed one of the coolest fights of our lives.
Now I’m certainly not one who would go to a cock fight, dog fight or anything of the sort. I believe that such things are cruel and despicable. But to see such a thing in a natural setting, where animals are behaving as they are supposed to, for the right to be the dominant male, it’s quite fascinating to me. Those natural processes and patterns fascinate me to this day. Of all my barnyard memories, this one probably ranks at the top of the list and is one that I will hopefully cherish forever.