A French woman who had a baby born at my birth center gave me her whole flock of Bantam chicks because she had to suddenly move out of state. The chicks were a great addition, except when they matured; we discovered that most of them were roosters. I already had Armand at the time, and I didn’t want to cause any unrest in a perfectly contented flock…so I tried to give the fledgling roosters away. Nobody, but nobody, wanted a pack of testosterone driven, fowl tempered, teenaged male chickens.
It got to the point where they began challenging Armand’s dominance, as he was an aging rock-star by then. I couldn’t stand the fighting. I decided to drive them deep into the woods and let them go to support the local wildlife. I know this sounds cruel, but my neighbors who are farmers do this all the time. I let all the fuzzy-footed boys go, with a prayer that their demise would be swift and painless.
About four days later, I couldn’t believe what I saw. Two of the young Banty roosters had somehow made it back to the chicken yard. This means they had crossed a major stream, gone up and over a good-sized hill in the forest, and down a very long, overgrown field to get home. Because of their obvious excellent navigational skills, I named them Lewis and Clark.
Lewis could fly, and he wouldn’t stay in the coop at night. He would fly up into a tree and roost there instead of in the hen house. I told him this was a pretty precarious habit, really not conducive to life, but he refused shelter. I was right. One morning, I saw a trail of Lewis’s brown feathers going down the driveway and I knew Lewis was gone.
Clark, however, wasn’t going anywhere. He knew a good thing when he saw it. By now Armand was departed and Clark became the new king of the roost. He was very short and had a nasty temper. I think Clark had Napoleon’s “short man syndrome.” Seriously, he was mean to the girls because they were much bigger than he was. In short, Clark was a little bastard.
People told me Banty roosters could be fierce, and Clark was no exception. He raked all the hens’ backs with his spurs when he mated with them until their backs were bloody and featherless. He was jealous of the big hens and made them cower in the corner to avoid his vicious attacks.
It all culminated one day when I went into the chicken yard and Blackie, a huge black Australorp, came running to me and jumped in my arms for help. Her eye was hanging out by the stalk. Clark had gouged out her eye in a jealous rage. That was the last straw. I decided right then that I was not turning a blind eye to this domestic violence situation any longer.
I asked Tom if he would help me kill Clark. We had never done this before, but Tom set up a log chopping block and got his axe. I held Clark’s neck over the block and Tom took one swift chop, and Clark’s head was on the ground. Here’s where I made a mistake. I let go of Clark’s body. He began flying crazily all around the yard in a frenzied zigzag pattern. Headless. It was quite unnerving.
Tom said, “Holy Fa%ck!…it really is true.”
I buried Clark behind the compost pile but I didn’t have any remorse. He was a terrible example of male macho chicken shit. Good riddance.
The next morning, when I opened my front door, I screamed to see Clark’s head lying on the doormat.
The dogs had left me a trophy.
Coming on Monday!
P. DIDDY, MAINE’S SMALLEST COCK ~Roosters I Have Known and Loved #4