Getting our new rooster turned into a nightmare. It’s a long story, so I’m writing it in a series. Be warned, there is a fair amount of cursing in this story, as there was in the real-time events as they unfolded. Statements that are italicized are the ongoing conversation and support from my Chicken Network, and have not been edited for spelling, grammar, or content.
Here is Part IV of…
The Rooster Chronicles
Tuesday, May 10: I was pretty fed up after last night, but I guess I’ll give it one more try today…
So we went for a walk again, and again ran into Dick, the fugitive rooster. Again I had to restrain the dog. Now this rooster is becoming a problem. We can’t just have a rogue rooster, wandering aimlessly around the property, can we? If the dog went after him, which he would if he spotted him, that would be bad. It’d be bad if he hurt or killed the rooster, but this is a huge, strong, full grown rooster and a gangly, goofy, immature puppy- the most likely scenario is going to be Sam losing an eye or getting hurt in some other way by the rooster. Something must be done to get this rooster caught or gone…
I went and got the small crate again and this time set it up without a rooster inside. We thought perhaps he was too intimidated by the large dog crate that was half full of small crate, so maybe a wide open crate without a hen, just food and water, would work. I tied a long rope to the crate door, and sat a ways off, ready to pull the line if he came.
He did not come.
I waited. And waited.
And texted Kyle…
Two hours later, I went home. I give up.
May 11: I’ve spent the day pretending the rooster no longer exists, though it’s difficult with him crowing non-stop. I feel like I can hear him singing, “You’ll never catch me!!! I am FREEEEEE BIIIIIIIRD!!” Mom wants to try one more time.
Around dinner time Mom asked me if I wanted to try one more time tonight. *Sigh*. Not really, but okay. She had a new idea though.
“Wasn’t there a divider for Sam’s crate when he was a puppy? Something that kept him to a partitioned side of the crate?”
There was. I had made it out of chicken wire. It divided the crate wherever I wanted it, so I could make the crate space gradually bigger and bigger as he grew.
“Why don’t we use that to trap the hen in the very back of the large dog crate, so there’s more room for the rooster and it won’t be so intimidating? She’ll be farther away from him and he’ll have to walk in to reach her.”
Okay, sounds like a great idea! We’ll also put food and water back against the very back where the hen is, and maybe let’s also cover the crate bottom with grass and shavings and stuff, in case the plastic bottom freaks him out. Sam’s crate will be a disgusting mess, but tonight is the last night. One last effort, pulling out every stop. For better or for worse, this is where it ends.
Tomorrow will mark one week since the rooster escaped.
Tomorrow Kyle will have to shoot him so he doesn’t hurt the dog or the kids by wandering loose and wild around the farm.
This is it.
Mom and I took the truck up to “the spot” with the large dog crate, the divider, the hen, water dish, jug of water, food dish, food, ropes and motivation.
We set up our elaborate trap. The hen was pushed to the very back of the crate by the divider, the water was half under the divider so she could get it and so could the rooster… if he came into the crate. We pulled out handfuls of grass and spread it all over the base of the crate. We poured a pile of food at the back, and sprinkled more food all over the crate floor and around the outside of the crate. We tied the rope to the crate door, made sure it would slam closed tight with the pull of the rope, and laid the rope out all the way back to the truck.
We were prepared for a long night. We’d dressed up warm, in layers, we’d brought our books so we could read and not be tempted to talk to each other, we wore our work gloves and work boots. Mom isn’t too quick these days to spring up from sitting on the ground, so she sat in the passenger side of the truck with the door open and her legs dangling out the side. I sat on the ground leaning against the truck tire. I was about to open my book when I thought, I’ll just go pee now and then I can settle in better. I whispered, “I’m just going pee”, to my mom and walked around behind some bushes.
Mom didn’t hear me. She didn’t know I’d left.
While I’m obliviously peeing in the woods, THE ROOSTER CAME!!!
He walked out of the woods, saw the hen in the large crate, and WALKED RIGHT INTO IT!!!!
I didn’t see any of this, I’m peeing in the woods.
Mom whispered, “Pull the rope!!!!!” in as loud a whisper as she could.
I didn’t pull the rope.
She looked over, and I wasn’t there! She didn’t know where I’d went. Should she wait? Should she try and move and grab the rope herself? Would that scare him away? She didn’t know what to do…
I finished peeing and as I came around the side of the bush, I registered two things at once: The effing rooster was in the effing crate!!!! and, Mom was up and at the rope and about to pull….
She did it! She did it! She did it!!! She slammed the crate door closed. The rooster exploded again and went CRAZY in the cage! Flapping wings, squawks, everything. The poor hen tried to smoosh herself into the back of the cage as much as she could. The water went flying, the food sprayed around everywhere. I yelled, “Hold the rope!!!” to Mom and she pulled on that sucker as hard as she could. I ran to the crate, and slammed the locks into place! He was our prisoner!!! We had caught him!!!!
Mom and I jumped up and down and hugged and squealed. We couldn’t believe it! We caught him!!!
~ OH MAH GOSH!!! I’m freaking so excited for you!!! That little stinker!!
~ this is an appropriate time to ask for a pic of your….richard?
I sent them a picture of course.
~ Great job!!!!!!
~ Wwwwwooooohhhhhoooo glad u got him!!!!!!
And so ends the Rooster Chronicles. In the end, I decided to name him Harrison, after Harrison Ford in The Fugitive.
Now that we’ve finally got Harry home, he is settling in nicely with the girls.
I’m hopeful for many more days of fun with our rooster, and hopefully ZERO more days of him being out in the world, on the lam!
Ain’t he handsome?