Monday, May 20, 2013

Something waxed the rooster...

"Something waxed the rooster"...and other strange things said in my house.

We often laugh about some of our conversations, thinking that if someone were listening in, we would either be committed or arrested.   In our attempts to find humor, we sometimes have strange conversations or choose strange phrases, like referring to a dead rooster as getting "waxed."  On my commute to work that day, I kept thinking about how many professional women in our country had a conversation about a dead rooster before 7 a.m., let alone any time of the day.

Last Thursday morning, my husband finished morning chores and returned to the house.  He let me know that our one, lone, survivor rooster was dead by telling me that "something waxed the rooster."  This is the same rooster that escaped the gathering of the roosters for butchering last fall...the one that was last seen that morning running down the middle of our paved county road towards our neighbors.  This is the same rooster who returned to the yard and roamed around the pen until we took mercy on him and let him back in the pen.

At the time of his passing, we thought that he might have died of a heart attack after chasing our new chickens around the pen.  We had decided the night before to put the new chicks, now adequate size to hold their own in the coop with the other hens and this rooster.  We thought if we added them at dusk, the old chickens would be a little groggy and by morning, they would just think, "hey, have you been here this whole time?"  We would save the new hens some of the annoyance of the expected establishing of the pecking order.  Maybe the rooster went a little crazy with all of the new hens invading his space.

In actuality, we now think that the rooster died a hero's death trying to protect his flock.  We woke up Sunday morning to 60 percent of our chickens dead or missing.  Something got into the pen and took out nearly all of our new chicks and left the survivors a little rattled.  We found where the varmint (of some sorts) broke through the chicken wire.  The postmortem on the situation was that we lost the prettiest of the new birds and we spent Sunday morning cleaning up and fixing the fence.  We think that the wind from our little thunderstorm kept us from hearing anything.

My husband was pretty bummed that he had worked really hard to raise our little chicks and to see them through.  We also counted ourselves pretty lucky that we haven't had this problem before. Now, we are being extra cautious about keeping the hens locked up in the coop at night and I am sure my husband's repair job on the fence will hold.

The ups and downs of farming...

No comments: