As a child I grew up on a “hobby farm” way up north. We had a smattering of most barnyard animals represented on the farm. Some were intentionally sought out and some found their way to us through rescue or chance. The most endearing critters (in my mind) were the chickens that we had through the years. Ordered through the local hardware store, they would come in flat cardboard boxes with holes in them just big enough to peek through. We would bring them home and me and my sister would immediately take them all out and put them in the hay-covered area designated for the chicks, by the brooding lights.
While many of the chickens were raised to feed our family, we always kept a few of them as a source of eggs and for the sheer pleasure of their company. Even though we raised quite a few with the intention of supplying our dinner table with much needed sustenance, we fully respected them for the wonderful animals they were. As such, we provided them with all that we, as fellow critters, would want to stay happy during our lives. This included substantial time in our vast yard “free ranging” on the delicious grass and keeping the insect population down for us.
One afternoon we were corralling them back to their coop for the night. This was a necessity as they would sometimes try and roost in the trees which was a distinctly bad decision on their part, due to the number of predators that made our 90 acres their home. Even though we had the help of a very eager Australian Shepard, one lone rooster was adamant on staying out of the coop for the night. We tried for about an hour to get him into his home but to no avail. He escaped into the woods and was long gone.
We hoped for the best but didn’t think a brown domesticated rooster would stand much of a chance against the weasels, foxes, hawks, etc. for very long. When he didn’t show up by evening we went in and went to bed feeling sorry for the poor little guy.
We got up the next day and while doing the morning chores I stopped in amazement. Far, far in the distance I could hear crowing! The little bugger had made it through the night! We hoped that he would return home by the end of the day but, alas, he did not. Again, we assumed he had met his end. But, wouldn’t you know it, we heard the same crowing again the next morning as well. This was one plucky chicken! This went on for five days — surely this couldn’t last forever! On day 6 he turned up in the yard. He had fought the good fight and lived to tell about it. From then on he was our resident rooster — how could we send such a hero to a fate as mundane as the stew pot? He never did wander very far from the coop from then on, but I am pretty sure I saw him look into the woods from time to time with a knowing look in his eye.
Contributor Bio: I spent my wonderful childhood years on our amazing 90 wooded acres. The freedom to roam and the responsibility for our critters led me to a life of environmentalism with a strong passion for animal rights. I now have converted to “city life” but I have found immense enjoyment in it via a large garden and edible landscaping. Chickens are to be added to our menagerie by the end of this summer 🙂
What kind of Chicken person am I: Rural Community – 25 Chickens or less
This post was submitted by Amanda Bradshaw-Burks.