Friday, January 27, 2012

I Get By With a Little Help From My . . .Rooster?

There are very few chickens out in my coop that aren't being evaluated for culling (and yes, I mean killing and eating).  They're all healthy, but some of them just aren't earning their keep.  They need to make room for the newbies and what better way than gracing our table?

Stewie, however, is not even close to being on the short list.  He's my rooster buddy.  Some of you may have read about how he protects me from Trouble, or how good he is at getting the hens inside at any glimpse of a hawk.  Well, today, he reinforced his position tenfold.

Here's Stewie in all his majestic roosterness.

I went out to check for eggs and saw something white just outside the coop.  "What the . . ." I thought.  It was Cow, my Bantam Sultan roo.  He'd fluttered over the fence.  Again.  The last time he got out, it took two of us to herd him to somewhere we could corner him.  I tried to get him caught by myself, but that little sucker is fast.

Here he is, Cow the perpetrator.  Looks a little mad, doesn't he?

So, I mentioned to Scott that if he had a few minutes, I could use some help catching Cow again.  I wasn't really all that worried--he has the shrillest, most annoying crow you've ever heard, he doesn't lay eggs (obviously).  He just hangs around and eats my food and grates on my nerves every time he opens his beak.  I hate to say it, but I was almost ready to write him off.  But dangit, he's MY chicken.

Then a wonderful idea hit me.  Why not use my fishing net?  It's big and it has a longish pole.  After trompling through the garage to find it, I headed out, armed for chicken.  He saw me coming and TOOK OFF.  I even chased him down the road a ways.  Finally, I got him herded back to our property.  He was eyeing that net like he knew what I was going to do with it, even though he's never seen it before.  Even if I hid it behind my back, he still wouldn't come in net range.  Cow ran back to the road side of the pen again, and that was when Stewie made me love him. 

Stewie charged at Cow like he was going to kill him through the fence.  That drove Cow in my direction.  I missed with the first swipe of the net, but Stewie wasn't finished.  He kept driving Cow along the fence line until Cow hit a dead end and I could smack the net down over him.  Stewie not only looked very pleased with himself, he shook his feathers in a rather satisfied manner and crowed triumphantly.

So, Cow is safely back in the coop.  Stewie is safely off the cull list (as long as his chickenality doesn't change radically in spring).  Trouble still has a chance to redeem himself, but he's going to have to work for it.

Here's Stewie with some of his girls.  Gorgeous boy!

For those of you who are wondering about Beautiful Sweet the Broody Silkie, she's breaking up nicely.  I actually carried her around the house on my shoulders today.  What a great ambassa-chicken!  I can't wait until she lays me more of her perfect little tiny eggs!

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