My Sky Color

A forty something Dad, Husband, Engineer guy living in Western Oregon. Reflections on all things in life. A few technical things and whatever else comes along.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Chickens are Dumb
(especially the rooster)
When we were negotiating the purchase of our place there were goats and chickens as part of the package deal. I said, "No chickens they are really stupid." I had farm-sat as a teenager and knew I didn't want chickens. My wife lived on a city block her whole life so she left these farmy decisions to me as the experienced one. So within 5 months of living there my wife gets 6 chicks from the farm store. They are supposed to be all hens. One dies due to a tweaked beak. The upper beak was normal and the lower grew 90 degrees to the side. Another chick starts to look like a rooster as time goes on. So now we have 4 hens and a rooster. He crows continuously during all daylight hours. He has attacked all family members except the older boy. Due to his attacks and constant sexual harassment of the hens, he is working his way up to the top of the s*** list.
So one of my duties is to shut the chickens in at night when my wife is at work. So after getting the lads to bed last night I head out to the barn to close the doggie door for the chickens. I turn the light on, give the rabiits a heart failure, then go to the coop. I take role call and the rooster is not roosting per the normal routine. As I am looking around for him I hear wing flapping outside the doggie door area which is on the back of the barn, not visible from the house. I'm thinking the rooster has gotten himself half eaten and I better go sort it out. We have all varieties of vermin (skunks, raccoons, coyotes) in the area. I walk back to the house to get my trusty flashlight and 44 mag. Halfway back to the barn I turn on the light to find the batteries are dead. So I go back to the house for another light source. I turn this one on in the house to make sure it is functional. Then back out to the barn.
I head around back not knowing what I will find, but with my gun at the ready. There is the rooster roosting on the outside of the maximum security run. What do I do now with this buzzard that attacks regularly? I set the lantern down next to him and pick him up with both hands around his body, march him over and uncerimoniously throw in the medium security part of the outdoor daytime chicken yard. I pick up my tools and go in the barn to lock the doggie door... Where is the rooster? So I go back outside and look around the yard where I just threw him and he is wandering around looking for something. Dumb chicken!
What is missing here is with each trip into the barn I am affectionately accosted by the barn cat which wants some love. This used to be a garage cat but the foster dog chases him with a vengence. I have to unlatch and latch gates and watch out for land mines.
Back to the rooster. So I open the gate and attempt to nicely herd him into the maximum security run leading to the doggie door and finally get the chickens closed in for the night. After 3 rounds of ring-around-the-tree, the rooster decides he's not putting up with my BS and goes into assault mode. After I punt him he remembers that this is the no BS guy. After a couple more laps around the pen he goes in the run and ultimately the barn. I go into the barn, get loved by the cat on the way to the coop, and finally get the doggie door closed for the night.
So what is my wife's first comment when I tell here the above...? That was your chance to shoot him! Since moving to "the country" I have had to put down two of our goats and have discovered I don't really like shooting pets. The dang rooster is really good looking as far a looks go with chickens. They are only worth 5 bucks, so he isn't worth selling. I am assuming most readers are thinking how pissed I am after the rooster rodeo. Actually I was chuckling. I really like animals and the challenge of dealing with them on their terms. We'll see what I say after the next attack... I really need pictures with this to convey the whole scenario. DMP


At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Michael said...

You're a better man then me. I would have left him outside all night to see how smart he really is.

Have the hens started laying eggs yet?


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