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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Little Jerry versus Russell (Blog Thirty-nine)

Elaine and I have been having spirited, good natured debates over whether Little Jerry (photo below) or Russell is the alpha male in our chicken run.  Elaine has exclusive naming rights of our young chickens (at eight-plus weeks of age they are no longer chicks but aren't full grown either) and has named Little Jerry after the ill-fated rooster in the Seinfeld episode. Russell received his name because Elaine (I am doubtful of the veracity of this explanation) said that Russell told her what his name is.   The only other fowl she has given a name to is Little Spotty Hen because of her timid nature, smaller size, and spots on her upper tail feathers.

 Little Jerry features an extended black ruff and a black tail while Russell is known for his streaked ruff and blackish tail.  I believe Little Jerry should receive the nod as alpha male because he is the bravest of our flock, always the first to explore something new.  For example, whenever I put a new object into the run, such as a feeder or a bowl with some treat, Little Jerry is always the first to be audacious enough to check out the item and pronounce it acceptable to the others.  The others will often cower while Little Jerry explores this new thing.  Little Jerry also usually leads the other chickens out of the coop in the morning.  Now, Elaine will give her reasons for pronouncing Russell's superiority.
Bruce is welcome to his opinions but Russell is stronger than Little Jerry and in any barnyard boxing match between the two, Russell always proverbially takes his nemesis down.  The former has truly had him on the ground under his feet.  A case could be made that Jerry is not really brave, that he is impulsive, not bold, about checking out new things.  As our daughter Sarah said recently: "If Russell really can talk, he truly does have a leg up on Little Jerry."

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