Wanted to tell you a story about a chicken.
His name was Jake.
We raised 60 roosters this Summer.
20 Silver- laced Wynadotte
and 20 Rhode Island Red’s.
Every morning I would open the door to the brooder house. The young roosters would rush the door like shoppers on Black Friday….
all except the Rhode Island Red’s. Only two of them were ever determined enough to go outside to put up with the constant harassment.
The Australorps and Wynadottes’s would simply not allow the Rhode Island Red’s to leave the brooder house to forage…
even in the 100 degree heat this past July.
Chickens really do have a “pecking order.”
Normally, once that has been established, the pecking will taper off.
Unfortunately, it didn’t.
One of the two Rhode Island red’s I would see outside on occasion was missing all of his long tail feathers and many of the feathers on the back of his wings. (the other chickens had pulled them out)
In spite of the constant pecking, this red rooster would come outside and make the best of it.
He became very aggressive, even with me.
4 weeks ago, when I opened the door of the brooder house. I noticed a Rhode Island Red rooster giving me the evil eye.
7 feet away, on a perch .
He caught my eye, because of the way in which he was moving his head back and forth…
It felt like he was trying to judge the distance between us.
I imagined him thinking…
“Can I reach him if I really go for it?”
The next thing I knew he was in my face.
Sure enough, the red rooster without any tail feathers.
I decided right then and there to take him out of the mix and put him in a building by himself. As much as I wanted him to have the freedom to run around outside, it was either that, or continue to allow the other chickens to pick on him and he become even more violent.
He reminded me of a young man I met a few years ago.
His name was Jake (not his real name)
I taught a construction class @ the local community college/ started out with a dozen young roosters, I mean men..
Two weeks into school, two of the roosters, I mean students, decided to challenge my authority.
It wasn’t pretty, but when the dust settled, they knew who was in charge.
I found out later, one of them, had lost his mother two years before to cancer and had been having run-in’s with authority figures ever since.
Just knowing that, changed my attitude. Instead of wanting to kick him out of the program so I wouldn’t have to deal with him, I was challenged by a friend to pray for him.
When someone knows you respect them as a person, but will not tolerate their crap, it is amazing to watch their heart change. I saw it in Jake the student, and I was beginning to see it in Jake the rooster.
Yesterday was “butchering day” on the farm.
It’s pretty quiet outside this morning.
I debated what to do with Jake.
I’m sure he would have attacked another person if he had the chance
Since he’s a rooster, there are no eggs.
Plus I already have a pet Rooster…
his name is Little Moe with the gimpy leg
Economic sense told me the best thing to do was butcher him with the rest of them….
I could have went either way.
If you’re ever in the area, (we live in Iowa) I’d love to introduce you to Jake and Little Moe
Sometimes stories really do have a happy ending.