Tales of Marshmallow the brave

by Maruska
(North Branch, MN USA)

We have an Isa brown rooster named Marshmallow. He is creamy white with attractive brown bars on his wings and back. He is a little aggressive, but he sure does his job well.

When Marshmallow was small we thought he was a hen, so we gave him a nice, fluffy, mild-mannered name. We called him Marshmallow because he looks a bit like a toasted marshmallow. But then he got to be significantly bigger than the other hens, he gained a huge comb and spurs, and we finally realized he was a rooster.

We were trying to decide whether to keep him or not, and we decided to try it. Everyone is very glad we kept him.

Once, my cousins were visiting our house and they brought their Labrador Retriever, Toby. Toby is just the sweetest, most well trained dog. He comes when he's called and everything.

My uncle likes to take him pheasant hunting in the fall. My aunt decided to let him run around outside in the yard, because she would be watching the whole time. Unfortunately she forgot that the chickens were out, and as soon as she let him out, Toby ran for the chickens.

But our brave rooster Marshy got in front of the fleeing hens! He stood his ground and got a nasty-looking bite to the back, but after some loving treatment, he was as good as new in a few weeks' time. No hens were injured, and our Marshmallow is just fine now. He still is unafraid of dogs, our rough collie is nervous to get too close to him because otherwise, Marshy chases her!

Our next door neighbors lost several chickens to a coyote and had to set a trap. Their coop is much more secure than ours, but they do not have a rooster. We hear coyotes often, and there are hawks and raptors all over, but we have only lost one chicken out of 13 that were with the rooster.

When we have meat chickens in the summer, Marshy likes to tease them by strutting around the outside of their fence. He seems to be saying, "Haha, I'm out here and you are stuck in there!" He even sits on the roof of their tractor (and broke it a little).

Now we have another rooster because a friend brought us several of her unwanted layers to butcher. She put them in an old dog kennel for transport. We secured the door with a strap, but while we were grabbing one to butcher, one hen escaped! She led us on a wild goose chase (wild chicken chase, I suppose) through the woods in the growing dark for at least forty five minutes.

We finally decided it was not worth the trouble, and sadly gave it up for a lost cause. But the hen, whom we nicknamed Whitey the Flighty, survived for two weeks in our woods, even sleeping in trees some 12 feet off the ground! She eventually made it into our coop, but after a few days Whitey started crowing, and when he let us look closely, we started to notice his spurs and rooster feathers!

We were a bit nervous that he and Marshy would fight all the time, or worse, that skittish Whitey would become the top rooster. But there was no need to have worried, Marshmallow quickly showed Whitey who was boss. Whenever Whitey gets too rough with the hens, Marshmallow the brave swoops in to protect them.

We love our roosters, even if Marshmallow is a bit grumpy. He even chases the cat!

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Jun 01, 2024
What a character!
by: Cath

Thank you so much for telling us this most entertaining story of Marshmallow the rooster, Maruska.

Having a male who will protect his hens is a real bonus for a flock. Having a male who will take on a dog is an ultra-bonus!

What a great story about a great rooster! Thank you so much for sharing him with us.

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