Last week I got attacked by our rooster Patrick. I was holding one of the hens and he got all stroppy thinking she was in need of protection. As I turned my back and knelt down to put her in the hen house, he threw himself at my back and managed to tear a hole straight through the pocket of my jeans. He also gave me quite a decent scratch in the gap between my shirt and the top of my trousers.
I didn't think much of it and assumed it was probably just an unlucky one off, but then he got Henry. Poor Henry was playing in the yard crawling through bushes and inadvertedly flushed out a couple of hens at the same time. Patrick gave him several nasty scratches on his back through his t'shirt and worst of all, a big scratch right on his cheek.
Poor Henry was really shook up and all of a sudden playing outside didn't feel safe anymore. Patrick is a pretty big bird now, the thump as he hit my back the other day was substantial, and in addition to normal chicken claws he has spurs that are about 3cm long on each ankle. Perhaps unsurprisingly Henry was pretty enthusiastic about condemning Patrick to the pot.
But we didn't do it. Not yet anyway. We were all getting pretty tired of the poo everywhere from the chickens having free-range of the yard and having to fence off the vege patch and every plant pot was tiresome.
So Greg built a fence. We gave them a big area down on the lawn and he did it in just one afternoon. I don't know why we didn't do it earlier.
And Patrick gets to strut and crow for a while longer yet.