I thought that for my first post on FwG that the story of my mystery chicken would be a good place to start.
I started keeping chickens just about one year ago (sometime next month marks my first full year), and my experience is limited to the breed I chose, Rhode Island Reds. I started off with six pullets, which over time has been whittled down to three. I can't complain though as the three that I have lay an egg each every day, even through their first winter as mature layers, and I'm only feeding myself around here.
A bit over a week ago I was away from home for Christmas, and upon my return I was greeted by a strange rooster. I thought that maybe he had come from my neighbor's place and would return home when the sun went down that night. He went somewhere, but it didn't matter as he was back the very next morning, orbiting my hen house like a stray comet caught by a planet's gravity field.
Since then, my hens have become familiar with him, he's become familiar with me, and though he still goes somewhere other than the coop when it's time to roost, as of last night I confirmed that he is in fact roosting on my property. His roost of choice: my large English walnut tree, located on the edge of my pasture and near to where the coop currently sits (it's a "chicken tractor" type coop so I frequently move it around).
I haven't thought up a better name for the rooster than That Rooster, so that is That's name... for now... maybe for good. Anyway, Now that the question of the home that he keeps is settled, and his apparent adoption of my hens and I seems final, here's my next puzzle: what breed is That Rooster?
I've tried doing a few image searches with Bing, but I can't find any roosters that look quite like he does. I was thinking maybe Buff Orpington based on his size (he's a big boy, about three times the size of my Rhode hens) and his dominant coloration, but the head wings, and the long, flowing, white tail feathers point to something else. A mix perhaps? And if crowing behavior is any indication, he frequently gets started well before dawn.
Anyway, I turn this over to those who have more chicken smarts than I!