Jason and I were doing some last minute Christmas shopping and chatting with the woman behind the counter. She jokingly said, "You're not wanting a rooster are you?" Much to her surprise, I gave an unequivocal yes.
Within a week of Elvis' death, one of the red hens had taken over and she was being quite mean to the other hens. Admittedly, a rooster isn't all sweetness and light, but he shouldn't have it in for one particular hen. The main way a rooster "hurts" a hen is that he inevitably pulls the feathers from her head and between her wings when he mates with her. This red hen and begun keeping the lower hens away form the food and drawing blood occasionally.
It turns out this woman and her family had gotten their order of hens late in the summer and included were at least two roosters. They live in the city and could not keep the roosters and she was delighted to find out someone wanted them. She offered to pay me to take them she was so happy. I explained that only one would probably live, but she was inured to that as well.
So, a couple of weeks later she called to say they would be passing through and could they bring four roosters. When they dropped them off, they told me their names and which was the favorite of whom, and then they left. We killed the two Aracauna type roosters the next morning, because we knew we did not want either of them. The other two are a Buff Orpington and a Rhode Island Red. The red is beautiful and seemed dominant, so we planned to keep him and named him Mick Jagger. I was sorry about the Orpington, because he would make a lovely Robert Plant with his flowing golden neck feathers.
Then it seemed like the two of them might be able to get along, so we did not kill either of them. We had wondered whether Elvis was a little overworked with thirty hens to tend, and if the two of them could get along, maybe they would live longer. I'm not sure this was the best choice, and we might have to kill Mick Jagger eventually; he's definitely getting on Robert Plant's nerves and suffering the consequences. They were confined to the smaller coop space during the very cold weather, but now that they can move around a bit more, Mick Jagger hasn't had any more wounds.
FYI- the discoloration at the tips of their combs is frostbite damage.