Red Hills Chickens
WHAT IS A RED HILLS CHICKEN?
"Now ain't them some tasty lookin' chickens, Uryl?" a scruffy looking riverman said to his grizzled companion. "Yup," the grizzled fellow agreed. "Let's catch us one, Murok." They ignored the black rooster glaring at them from the porch railing.
The Red Hills are the chickens raised in the county of Red Hills, including the town of Blackstone. As most chickens, they scratch in the dirt for seeds and insects. They will also eat lizards, snakes and mice if they can. These chickens are able to fly over fences or into trees where they like to roost. More often, they fly to explore a new home or, very rarely, to flee danger. Roosters grow terrible spurs and Red Hill roosters grow ones that are stronger and sharper than other breeds.
Red Hill Chickens are as gregarious as other chickens and live in flocks. There is a pecking order where some chickens will dominate others, with the top chickens getting the food first and the better roosts. Removing or adding chickens to a flock will lead to fighting and injuries until a new pecking order is established. Cockerels, or younger males, are tolerated by the rooster until their black feathers begin to take on gold colors, the last color to grow in that mark it as a full grown rooster. Until then, they watch the rooster and will back him up if there is a threat to the flock. Predators like foxes, hawks, and even eagles trying to hunt a chicken will quickly find itself in a fight for its life if a rooster is near. Cockerel are known to attack these predators in a gang and more than one predator has died to these young males.
"Ahhhh!" Murok screamed as the black demon of a rooster ripped its spur down the arm covering his bleeding face. "Git it off!" "Run!" Uryl yelled. "More are comin'!" Inside the cottage, a mother watched from the doorway as she held a toddler in her arms. "See? Stabby done drove off them thievin' river rats," she told her young son who watched with wide eyes.
But more than foxes are in danger from Red Hill Roosters. If anything large comes too close to the flock, the rooster will crow in warning. His crows will call in the cockerels. Together, they will attack. A rooster does not always wait for the cockerels. When he does attack a threat, he is relentless and savage. With their strong, sharp spurs, Red Hill roosters have been known to chase away bears and pumas. This hostility has made the Red Hills roosters a prized guard animal for warehouses. More than one thief has died to a rooster.
Red Hill hens often live for 10 - 18 years. They average 17 - 23 inches tall and can weigh up to 10 pounds. Hens start turning brown at about four months of age and will stay brown for their whole lives. Roosters tend to live shorter lives of 5 - 10 years. They average 20 - 26 inches tall and can weigh up to 15 pounds. A young rooster, called a cockerel, starts to turn black at about four months of age. After its first year, it starts to gain other colors. Once it turns two, all its colors have bloomed and the cockerel becomes a full grown rooster.
Despite their savage nature, roosters are very loving to their hens. When he finds food, he will cluck for them to come and eat, especially if its something he killed. Before mating, a rooster will dance in a circle around a hen, often drooping a wing towards her as he does. Once a male becomes the rooster of a flock, he will fight to the death to protect them.
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Weren't regular chickens mean enough? :D Well done, Dazz. I like them. I might even be inclined to keep a few if they existed in this reality.