The Hen and the Rooster

Earlier this week I went out to gather up the escaped chickens from the orchard and found them down the driveway chattering away with a beautiful black rooster!  This rooster was very interested in my girls and followed us back to the coop.  I didn’t let him in the pen and tried to shoo him away, but he had other ideas and promptly jumped a good 15 ft straight up into the tree that shades the pen.

At first he was a novelty.  He had glossy iridescent black blue feathers and a bright red comb.  But his glamour quickly wore off afterI spent the rest of the day repeatedly chasing him out of the pen and down the road.  We finally came to the realization that he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  But night was falling and we thought maybe he would go back to his own coop when our girls were put away.

It was not to be.

Tom let the girls out of their coop early the next morning and by the time I got up at around 8:30am and headed out to feed, the rooster had beat the crud out of our favorite hen Betty White.  I found her huddled in a corner of the pen, covered in blood, eye swollen shut, and missing dozens of feathers from the back of her neck.  Our poor hen had been brutally raped by that evil rooster.

I spent the rest of that day tending to Betty’s wounds and chasing the rooster away from the coop, only to have him run straight back.  I even had Chaser, a trained birding dog, out to help chase him away, but that rooster wasn’t fazed.  That evening we went around the neighborhood asking if anyone was missing a rooster and no one was.  Several people knew of him and a few even expressed a bit of hatred toward his tendency to crow at 5am from the road.  We decided that he must be feral or had been dumped by someone who didn’t want him anymore.

The next day he still hadn’t left and the neighbors gathered to discuss what to do with him.  We decided that because of his aggression there was no choice but to end his days.  I felt bad for the rooster, but also felt justified.  Without an owner to claim him he was just going to keep terrorizing the hens and the neighborhood.  We really had no choice.  I promise it was swift and as painless as possible.

Betty has medicine for her eye and will hopefully be as good as new in a week or so.  Fingers crossed.

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About Melissa

I live in beautiful Sonoma County, California with my adorable 9 year old daughter, my 18 month old son, my devoted husband, 3 falcons, a hawk, a rabbit named Rosella, a flock of pigeons, and a dog named Chaser. I am an avid knitter, our family chef and a passionate photographer.
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10 Responses to The Hen and the Rooster

  1. lovestitches says:

    Poor Betty! I hope someone had a nice roast dinner from the rooster. Perhaps you’ll get some fertile eggs and hatch some chicks though?

  2. Tanya says:

    Gee, that was *especially* brutal, and I’m sick to my stomach for poor Betty White. We had chickens when I was a little older than Brae. Our rooster was mean, but not viscious like that {expletive}…..after seeing Betty’s photo, I think you were especially kind to dispatch him in a “quick and painless” way. He really was a menace — you did the right thing, Melissa!!

    • Melissa says:

      We all actually considered that he could be someone’s fighting rooster. It’s not unheard of here, he was really aggressive and his fighting talons had been cut short or dulled. People who fight them will do that to attach sharper artificial ones. It may also have been why no one wanted to claim him. I’m just glad he is gone and Betty is doing so much better!

  3. Carole in Queens, NY says:

    I sure hope you made a good soup with him. Sure everyone has a rooster story; I do. I grew up on rural Long Island and we had both chickens and roosters. Never realized until adulthood that you do not need a rooster for your chickens to lay eggs and I’m not sure why my parents didn’t know this either. Anyway, one of ours was also very aggressive and one day jumped on my back as I entered the coop to gather the day’s eggs. He started pecking at my neck and I screamed bloody murder. My dad ran out and strangled him and we definitely had delicious chicken soup with him and I said yummy, yummy the entire meal. Poor Betty White. I hope she gets better real soon. And obviously some other family evicted this tyrant.

    • Melissa says:

      We didn’t cook him. Tom wanted to but I didn’t know where he came from, what he has been fed, if someone gave him medication lately. Since I’m pregnant I didn’t want to risk it.

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  5. Jenny says:

    How awful. I hope Betty White gets better quick!

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