Saturday, 31 July 2010

The King is Dead, Long Live the King.

Born: August 2007
Died: 31 July 2010

A bit of a sad day at The Pile.

We returned from collecting TP at the end of his PGL week and returned to find Endemol; our Minorca Cock had died while we were away.

I come from Farming Stock and am not particularly sentimental but am sad to see him go as he was an absolutely stunning bird and a real character to have around. If you are not familiar with Cocks, other than knowing that they crow, they can be a diverse bunch; ranging from evil bastards that fly at you with their spurs at chest height because they see you as a competitor to soppy  old things that barely take notice of you.

Endemol was a Gentleman; not aggressive but elegant and refined. We will all miss him.

Back in 2007 we had recently acquired some Minorca Pullets from a fairly local breeder. Village Idiot said that he knew of a Minorca Cock at the other end of the Village and asked if we wanted to borrow him. We agreed and he turned up in a crappy cardboard box tied up with baler twine a few days later. If there is one thing you can say about VI - he has a certain style.

The Cock settled in and started to tread the pullets but we knew that he needed to be with them for at least 10 days for us to stand any chance of having some fertile eggs to incubate. However, after 3 or 4 days we had a Silky Hen go Broody and decided to put a few eggs under her "just in case". 21 days later we heard cheeping so we knew that "Dad" was fertile.

In the mean time we had started to collect eggs to put in to the incubator and so we ended up with 2 batches of chicks; one reared naturally by a broody and the other incubated and reared by us. Time passed and the chicks grew and at about 5 or 6 weeks we were able to work out which were boys and which were girls. Most of the boys were dispatched but we kept the best from each of the hatches and this is how Endemol got his name as he was the "Big Brother".

Endemol's Dad was returned to his owner and we realised that we liked having a Cockerel about and so we kept Endemol and he settled in to his life which basically consisted of food, sex and crowing.

He was so noisy that he couldn't sleep out in the coop at night as he would start up at around three in the morning. So, for fear of complaining neighbours, we used to tuck him up in a box in the cellar overnight and return him to his Hens in the morning. He got so used to this routine that when the hens returned to the coops at night he would wander in to the house as it got dark and would perch  on the back of a chair in the hall waiting for one of us to take him down to his box.

Maybe you can see now why we got attached to him. He was a real character.

Incidentally, people will tell you that a cock will not crow if it is dark and also if he cannot stand up and throw his head back to let rip. This is absolute nonsense. Endemol used to crow in a box in a pitch black cellar. His body clock let him know when to start. He didn't need the Sun to tell him it was wakey time.

His finest hour came in the Summer of 2008 when we entered him in the Minorca Class at the Three Counties Agricultural Show. He not only won his breed class but he was also judged to be the best of the Light Breeds and earned a place on the Champions Row.

This means that I can not only claim to have a prize winning cock but can also post a picture of it in the Journal.

Endemol's Finest Hour

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear it, but sounds like he had a good run.