Thursday, January 26, 2006

Lucky the Rooster

As my handle implies, I live on a small farm in Michigan (really small). We have horses, rabbits, dogs, cats and chickens. We moved here 6 years ago and I knew I wanted to have horses and chickens - but NOT a rooster... after all I am so NOT a morning person! The thought of waking up to a crowing bird before the sun is fully up at the crack of noon, just did not appeal to me.

But more often than not, what we would like is not always what actually happens and so it was that Lucky the Rooster came to our small farm. He was found running through the woods behind a medical building in a very busy, commercial area of a high population area. For whatever reason, his previous owners decided to dump him off with his sibling, cages and all. The people who worked in the building let the roosters out of their cages and over the following few weeks, left bits of food out for them. Two weekends in a row we went as a family and chased Lucky through the woods in a feeble attemt at catching him. Both times we went home to our farm empty handed.

Finally, one night after work cleaning the medical offices, my husband came home with a box and asked me to meet him outside... he had caught the elusive rooster. We put our new charge into one of our empty horse stalls, leaving him until morning - with food and water of course.

The next morning, we went out together to check on our new, and first, farm animal. He was quite indignant at being put into a box, hauled 20 minutes in the back of a truck and stuck in a horse stall of all places! We quickly caught him and gave him a full inspection. We discovered that the middle "toe" on his right foot had no claw, only a hole where it should have been. His foot was quite swollen and looked like it hurt. After discussing his injury with several people, it was decided that we should soak his foot in epsom salts. (my neighbor must have had quite a few good laughs over the "city folks" who were going to treat a $2.00 rooster's injured foot!). But, soak we did, two to three times a day for several weeks. During this time, Lucky became quite tame with us. We began letting him out of the horse stall and he would follow us where ever we went. I've since found out that my neighbor "lovingly" referred to me during this period as the "chicken lady", and I am quite sure she thought I was a total nut job!

We eventually built Lucky a proper chicken coop and house, and favored him with about 12 hens. He was quite proud of his flock and really took care of every one of his ladies. He was the most beautiful rooster in the world to us. He was never once mean to anyone in the family. We could go into the chicken coop at any time and pick him up, pet him and show him to whoever came by.

Sadly, Lucky died this winter. and he is sorely missed. We realize with his passing that while Lucky was given his name because he was a lucky rooster... lucky that my husband rescued him from a coworker who was going to make soup out of Lucky... He was lucky that us "city folk" were crazy enough to soak his foot twice a day for several weeks... it was we who were the lucky ones to have been able to share our lives with a once in a lifetime kind of rooster. He was the sweetest, tamest rhode island red rooster you could find and we grieve his passing today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You don't know how much I appreciate reading this story. We have a little white bantam rooster, whom we dearly love. Two weeks ago he was attacked by a hungry raccoon. That left his left middle toe black & swollen. Just yesterday his toe finally fell off, but it's still very swollen. I was looking online desperately for a solution & found your post. Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm going to go get some epson salt today & lord willing that will work. Again thank you so much.