Mom may be the main go to for the chicks, which is not so different from the relationship with humans, but if a chick is stepped on, or suddenly frightened, it is not uncommon to see an Icelandic rooster run to the aid of that chick. If a chick strays from the flock, the rooster will not only be keeping and eye on it, but usher it back to the safety of the flock.
A Rooster is the protector of the flock. He will not only encourage the hens and pullets to lay, but he will even pick out their nest and assure them that it is safe for them. He will call to the hens and chicks to let them know he found the best morsels for them, and even join them in a dust bath at times, but more often he can be seen guarding the flock at a distance to make certain that their activities are safe from predators. A rooster is rarely idle, even if he is standing on one foot at the corner of the chicken run, his keen eye is always alert and he's ready to swiftly spring into action as needed.
The rooster is the first line of defense for his flock, and will lay down his life to protect his ladies and his offspring, and immediately rush them to seek shelter if any danger or perceived danger is lurking. The rooster has a different call for aerial predators and ground predators, but the flock knows as soon as they hear his urgent call to seek protection and to stay quiet and hidden until all danger has passed. Have you not heard your own father warn of impending dangers? And when you have heard him, do you heed his warnings?
The rooster shows pride in his flock and you may hear a rooster announce that one of his hens has laid an egg, and often times he's much more excited about the event than the hens. So even if we think of a rooster as being somewhat disassociated from the happenings within his family, they are actually very much in tune to not only the surroundings but the location of every single member of his flock. Is this much different than a human father?
We recognize that not everyone will have the opportunity to experience the role of a rooster, but we do hope if you free-range your flock, that you have a rooster to guard and protect them, and that you have a new found respect for the duties, including helping to raise the offspring, whether he takes an active role or whether he simply appears to serve as their protector.
Happy Father's Day to all Dad's, whether you're actively raising the children, or serving as their mentor and protector.
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