Monday, February 6, 2012

Rooster Review

Paul kicked the injured rooster out of the Rooster Recovery Room last weekend because I couldn't manage to be so mean.  And I suppose it's good for him to get out and about, soak up some sunshine and stretch his chicken feet, although he is definitely still limping.  His left foot must have been broken and the middle toe is bent a little out of wack, but I still can't believe that is making him hobble around so much.  Maybe his leg or hip joint is also messed up, but I really can't tell.

He hasn't crowed yet, and is still really underweight.  And it doesn't help that the the juvenile roosters are chasing the poor guy around the goat pen.  So he spends a lot of time by himself:

How sad; the rooster's only friend is the stinky buck goat.
Yesterday I closed up the chickens for the evening and noticed that he wasn't in the coop with everyone else.  I looked under the barn and in the kidding pen but didn't see him so figured he was either driven off or eaten by our local coyotes / bobcats / hawks / owls.  The next morning I went to open the barn and heard some scratching in the milk parlor, and there he was.  When I was milking Ishtar the day before, the parlor door was open and the rooster came hobbling up to me so I threw him some goat food and even made him a little bowl of scratch with fresh goat milk in it.  When I finished milking I closed the door and he was obviously still in there.

Paul says I'm babying him, and I'll have to admit that I am.  When I feed the chickens I'll sit down away from the flock and call him over so he can eat out of my hand or covertly dump some scratch on the ground in front of him, away from the prying eyes of the other chickens.  I don't know how much longer I should continue trying to nurse him back to health.  I'd feel a little more confident if he weren't limping, of even if I heard a crow from him (what rooster doesn't crow???), but in the meantime I'll just keep trying to get some weight back on him and hope his health improves.

I've also got a rebel pullet that will not go into the coop at night.  And the coop even has light in it now!  She hunkers down underneath the barn, usually next to a goat and I can't shoo her out from under there for nothing.  I keep telling her that she's going to be a 'possum dinner, but she's certain that she can manage.  I may as well consider her a goner I suppose.

Post on the illumination of the poultry sleeping chambers tomorrow at 7!


  1. I had to laugh at your comment "rebel pullet." Yesterday we could not get any of our hens or roosters to go back in their coop. It was the first time they were being "rebels" too.

  2. Carolyn, thank you for the update on this rooster. I think a goat and a rooster make a perfect pair!

    Love the pic of your critters. :)

  3. I am guilty of babying injured chickens for as long as I possibly can. And why not? You can only do so much, but I wouldn't feel guilty if I were you. He'll either make it, or not. I bet your rebel pullet has found that goats are pretty toasty on a cold winter's night.

  4. Well, I have to say, I'm rooting for the injured guy simply because of how caring-ly (that's not a word, is it? lol) you write of him. How can we NOT think it's great that you go out of your way to make sure he eats?

  5. I agree with you about seeing that they have access to feed and water and shelter.....then you just have to let Mother Nature do her thing. I had a Buff hen that was sick for a month. She just stood in a corner or under a nest with her neck drawn I can't find her so I am assuming she got well..........or just evaporated into thing air...

  6. It's always hard to know how much "doctoring" and pampering you should give an injured animal. I sometimes think we spend too much time on it. I mean they are animals and there are laws of nature. Survival of the fittest and all that. But all the same none of us wants any of them to suffer. I think it was time Sick Rooster got tossed out of sick bay. You're still giving him extra attention so if at all possible, he just may make it. You've done all you could.

  7. I kept a gimpy chicken (she had a crippled foot) in a separate pen for over two years so I'm probably not the best one to offer advice on how long to give them special treatment! LOL!! I am glad your rooster is doing some better and I hope he continues to improve.

  8. Kristina, that pullet is still sleeping under the barn. Granted, she is the first one up in the morning (because I'm not up at dawn all the time to let the others outside) so I guess she gets earlier access to the leftover feed from the night before....that is until SHE becomes "feed" fro an opossum.

    Mooberry, those chickens really do like the goats. Instead of companion planting, companion livestock, hugh?

    Susan, if it weren't for the whole "going to be opossum supper" thing, I wouldn't mind them snuggling up next to the goats. Although one of the goats does end up with an occasional chicken turd on her.

    Tina, normally I wouldn't give this much attention to a rooster, but he's nice & big (good for offspring!) AND nice. If he were mean, I wouldn't give him a second thought.

    gld, Hugh. Some of your chickens just "evaporate into thin air" also? I though it was just at my place!

    Mama Pea, yeah, Paul gives me that figurative slap in the head when it comes to having to deal with the critters.....which I appreciate. Eventually. :)

    Candy C., Hmm. Two years, hugh? Can't say that I've ever had a chicken that lived two years around here. But probably because they aren't in a pen. I'm sure you gimpy chicken appreciated it, and if god is a chicken, you're going straight to heaven for that I suppose!

  9. I had a pullet who refused to sleep in the coop too. She insisted on bedding down in the goats' hay rack. I finally had to get her after dark and put her in the coop with the others. She didn't like that but it didn't take long before she started going into the coop at night by herself! I like your idea though, of companion livestock. :)