You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A rooster's tale

If you've  followed our little adventure for any length of time, you know we have our own chickens (as opposed to having our neighbor's chickens which would be stealing).

We've had our share of 'rooster issues' like the time I bought 4 beautiful chicken babies from a local chicken breeder, and all 4 turned out to be roosters. Not good. And then our surprise rooster who was also supposed to be a hen turned on us and began attacking us when we went in the yard.

Roosters are completely unnecessary for egg production in hens so we didn't hesitate to cull them when they became aggressive.

We were rooster free for a time until a friend of Bill's had a rooster who was too loud for the neighbors so Jay asked if we would take him. Andrea Mitchell, the chicken's name (because he was supposed to be a she), is a gorgeous bird- a silver laced something or other. We said yes and promptly renamed him Popeye - as in Popeye's Chicken.

Popeye was pretty well behaved though he had a tendency to cross the road. Why????

One day we realized that we hadn't heard him crow for a few hours. Then he missed bedcheck (when we lock them in the hen house). Two more days passed and we figured Popeye was someone else's dinner.

We've lost a handful of hens over the years to car vs chicken events but we didn't see any evidence of that.

Then 3 days after we last heard him crow, Jake walked down the open the hen house and there was pitiful Popeye lying in the middle of the yard with bloodstained feathers and a broken leg.

If you cover a chickens eyes, they'll hold still and let you pick them up. Dumb but true

I'm not overly sentimental but the thought of him dragging his little self , in the cold and rain, across the yard so he could get in his nice warm house made me want to do my darndest to nurse him back to health.

So now we have a crippled chicken living in a box in our kitchen. We let him rest for a few days before we picked him to inspect the damage. From what we can tell, he has a broken leg and the spur on his other leg is sheered off - the only source of bleeding we could find. Pretty amazing since it was probably car-inflicted.

Now that the days have been warm and somewhat dry, we take him out to the yard to hang with his girls during the day, and then bring him in at night. He can hop around ok on one leg but not great so we aren't ready to leave him out full time yet.

And he hasn't tried to cross the road again so maybe chickens aren't so dumb afterall??

1 comment:

Caratunk Girl said...

Wow. That is one lucky rooster! :)


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