Thursday, June 25, 2009

Some People Can't Handle The Truth

Since the #1 son has apparently recovered from his noggin-bustin' wood-floor gym-echoing head injury, we went outside this morning before it got too hot so he could practice a bit. It was already 8:30, but the boy is a late sleeper.

As I was feeding him the ball, I saw several small tumbleweeds rolling across the patio. No so much tumbleweeds as tumblefeathers. Black and fluffy tumblefeathers. "Hey, where did all these feathers come from?" The #1 son stated matter-of-factly, "Oh, the dogs killed a bird. It's all over the front porch." That did not sound right to me. "These don't look like bird feathers. They're black. Are both black pants roosters by the pen?" That put The Pony into a panic. He had been sitting in the shade on a log, reading a book until we needed him to stand in as defense to get elbowed and shoved. "Where? What bird? I'm going to check on the roosters." He came back quickly. "There's only one. But I'm putting on my glasses to go look again." That boy loves him some chickens.

Of course there was still only one rooster by the pen. The Pony went up on the porch to investigate the piles of feathers. He came back and sat down on his log. "The other rooster is on the porch." He put his nose in his book again. Which was just too much suspense for me. "Is it alive?" The Pony didn't look up. "Yes. It's on the back porch now." Which was probably not a good thing, because Grizzly was laying on the front porch, napping, with chicken feathers all around him. I said we would take him back to the pen. Of course we couldn't put him IN the pen, because Survivor the main rooster would attack him. First of all, though, we had to catch a chicken. I will be the first to admit that my chicken-catching skills are not first-rate. In the arena of chicken-catching, I would be sitting way down at the end of the bench. I asked The Pony if the rooster was OK. "Well, he's missing all of his feathers on his back, but I don't know if he has teeth marks."

I found that rooster sitting in the corner by the kitchen door. He didn't run away. I think he was in shock. One of his pants legs was gone as well as the back feathers. Noticing those enormous feet, I did not particularly want to pick him up. I despise a floggin' rooster. I sent The Pony around the house and in through the front door to get a towel. Then I dropped the towel over the rooster. He tried to get away at a slow walk, but I pinned him against the kitchen door and scooped him up. The feet were covered, and the wings, but the head was free. I tried to be the chicken-whisperer and sooth that savage beast. Poor, pitiful thing turned his head toward me and laid it on my chest. I took him out to the OLD chicken coop, which is not inside the pen, and set him inside the open picture window area. He just sat there. His buddy, the other bachelor black pants rooster, started walking around there after I left, stretching his neck and crowing, looking at his pal sitting in that coop.

Farmer H came in from mowing the barn field, and I told him that his dogs had got another chicken, and that The Pony and I put him in the coop. Farmer H said, "I know. He's dead. The coons got him." Which just goes to show you how much Farmer H listens to me, or his need for an industrial-strength hearing aid. "You mean just now? They got in the coop and killed him?" Farmer H explained to me, like I was a slow child, "Nooo. Last night. They killed him last night. There's feathers all over the porch." Like we have coons laying around the porch at night instead of three dogs. "Did you see the body?" Farmer H sighed. "No. I haven't found it yet." I don't know why I haven't snatched out all my hair since meeting Farmer H, as this kind of conversation is a daily thing. "That's because the body is very much alive and sitting out there in the old chicken coop where I just put it 30 minutes ago!" Farmer H started out the front door. "Oh. You found it? Where was it?"

Farmer H the animal group-dynamics genius took that poor rooster and tossed him into the chicken pen. Where Survivor attacked him. Farmer H had to enter the pen to intervene, and moved the victim to an old camper shell get-up that housed the rabbits when they first came to us from the auction.

I hope the coons don't get him again.


Chickadee said...

I think The Pony needs to take care of the Roosters and Chickens and ban HH from buying and caring for the aforementioned feathered animals.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Some of the deaths may not be attributable to Farmer H. At the feed store this morning, a dude told him how hard this heat is on the chickens, and said a lot of people have been losing them.

It seems to be harder on the leghorns. We have not had any white eggs in three days. The brown egg layers and the guineas are still at it.

Oh, and Farmer H, the not-angel of death, drove over a black snake in the gravel road right in front of our barn field and killed it yesterday. I saw it a few minutes earlier and went around it. This snake was only about 3 feet long--not the superduper skin-dropper from the cabin. Farmer H SAID he tried to avoid it, but came up on it too quickly. It's a straight, level stretch of road. Thank the Gummi Mary there was not a child playing there.