Few people kept farm flocks of chickens, and even fewer kept roosters.
One of our Buckeye roosters
The case for keeping hens is easy: fresh eggs with golden-orange yokes. The case for keeping roosters is harder: they don't lay eggs and often attack. But I like watching roosters strut around the pastures and listening to the roosters crow. And, if we want chicks, we need roosters to fertilize the eggs. So we always keep a few roosters.
Because we live in the flat lands, the roosters' crows roll across the countryside, carrying for up to a mile. Their crows join the cacophony of birdsong, hawk calls and cricket chirps in the early morning hours.
This summer, though, the sounds changed. When my roosters crowed, they got a response, first from a farm to the north of us, and later, from a farm to the east. The sounds caused me to stop walking.
I stood in the pasture, looked at the stars that had yet to fade, and listened to the call and response.
We were no longer the only ones with roosters.