Me-go the Rooster’s Wake-up Call
Almost a year ago, I decided to keep a rooster with my laying hens for the very first time. I have raised roosters in the past, specifically for meat, but they were located far away from the house, and they were butchered before they had begun to really make much noise. My laying flock is located up by my house, where noise easily permeates into my bedroom, so this was a big deal for me. I like quiet, and I’ve never really been a fan of the rooster crow. My intention for my new rooster, who was a Swedish Flower and Buff Orpington mixed breed named Me-go, was to fertilize the eggs, so that my hens could hatch out their own babies. This would eliminate my need for hatcheries, as my flock of layers would be replenished naturally.
Once spring hit, and the windows of the house opened, sleeping past sunrise became impossible. The solar-powered door to the mobile chicken coop would open up, Me-go (and all of the free-ranging laying hens) would jump out and start their daily route through the pasture, across the barnyard, and around the house. On his path past my bedroom windows, he would be crowing at the top of his lungs. Eight hours of sleep and silence gave him incredible energy in the wee hours of the morning.
Now, I’m a morning person. I get up early to get my ranch chores done for the day. But this was ridiculous. Some mornings, when the mobile coop was stationed closer to the house, I could hear him crowing inside the coop, an hour before the sun even came up.
This daily crowing routine irritated me for weeks, until finally I realized what was happening. Me-go was telling me to get up. I attempt to mimic nature in every way possible in my life, yet I had been using an alarm clock to wake up for the past couple decades. I was conditioned to the traditional workday, where I got up at the same time every day, all year long, to go to that meaningless job that I once had. Me-go was giving me a message, directly from Mother Nature. Animals in nature live according to the sun. In the case of chickens, they wake up by the sun rising, and go to bed by the sun setting. They don’t have curtains to block out the sun in the morning. They don’t have alarm clocks that wake them up. They sleep more in the winter months, and they sleep less in the summer months. Me-go was just reminding me to live by nature in yet another capacity.
And he was right. I am so much more productive on these summer days, where I get up early and immediately begin work, compared to days that I sleep in past sunrise. My body is synced with nature, and I notice the effects that nature has on my body varies throughout the year. When spring hits, I am so full of energy and ambition to get work done. My creativity is sprouting just as the blades of grass in the pasture are turning bright green. High levels of energy push me through summer, similar to the high growth rate of my garden plants. Once fall hits, I am burnt out and feeling the effects of a long season of endless work. The plants are dying just as the cells in my own body are losing energy. I sleep a lot in the fall. The sun sets so much earlier. I mentally hibernate in winter, going inward to reflect on what I’ve learned in the past growing season. The rush of the growing season is gone, and my body takes this time to rest and recover.
Once I realized the message and purpose of that annoying rooster call, I became tolerant and accepting of it. Things shifted inside of me. Nothing had changed externally. Me-go was still running over to my window every morning to scream, but his call didn’t generate those negative feelings inside of me anymore. I felt blessed that Nature was talking to me. And it got my ass out of bed.
Everything has purpose. Things begin to shift towards peace when that purpose is realized.