CLUCK, CLUCK, CLUCK!!!
That's right everybody...it's official. Chaz and Foghorn Shawhan will be, in the not so distant future, Amish roosters. Though to be fair, their last names will not be "Yoder", it will in fact be "Stutzman". The boys have been given an opportunity of a lifetime....literally, a LIFEtime since at 7:30 this morning I decided they would be a Sunday dinner. The man upstairs was listening and an answered prayer came riding in in a buggy at 6:30 this evening. Oh what can change in a matter of a few hours....
Let us rewind to 7:15 A.M. It was a lovely Monday morning as I walked half awake out to the barn to do the morning routine of feeding and letting out and bringing in. I normally make my way logically through the barn during the morning rituals. I begin by opening the kennel to let the chickens out. Easy enough, one simple step in chicken maintenance...plus the opening of the kennel door is like Jimmy and Charlie's dinner bell. Since my first chase with Foghorn in the coop, I take my pink cattle stick in with me so I feel a little bit safer. I also keep the kennel door open in case I need to escape. This morning it was a GOOD thing that door was wide open!
Try as I might I can't quell the butterflies in my stomach. Darn animals and their way of sensing things. You do not want to be nervous around a cocky rooster, nor do you want to be bent in a vulnerable position. In order to open our coop door, you have bend down with your freckled face in the door and stand there even longer as you prop the door open with a two by four so the wind doesn't blow it shut. I was in this stance this morning as Foghorn comes charging out and in my face. I quickly drew back and extended my stick, waving it frantically in the air, keeping it between me and the testosterone-loaded fowl. I figured he was indeed coming at me since no one else followed him out. I think he was waiting for me....hopping in place listening to his iPod playing "Eye of the Tiger" while Chaz was wiping his brow and feeding him sips of water with a water bottle that had Gatorade written on it.
So he comes barreling out and keeps on chasing me clear out of the kennel until I end up in Jimmy's stall. (I couldn't decide if I should go in or climb the gate like a rodeo clown during bull riding.) As I'm deciding this, he's getting closer and closer, all the while I'm waving my awesome pink stick. It was like a fencing match for crying out loud! Finally he quit chasing me after he realized he was outside the kennel and his ladies were inside. That distracted him long enough for me run by and up to the house to awaken a slumbering husband by the shaky words, "Will come outside and take care of this d@*n rooster! I'm done! You can deal with him from now on."
Three strikes and you're out. It was then we decided to put the hammer down and take the necessary steps to rid the roosters. Strike One: You broke our respected relationship and now you know you own me. Strike Two: The hen humping is so bad they're bald. Strike Three: I don't want my new chickes physically hurt by constant coitus.
I made this decision with a very heavy heart. No mother wants to send her troubled son off for good no matter how bad he screws up. Plus we had decided to let go of Chaz too. (Too bad for him, talk about getting the short end of the stick by association alone!) No, we don't know that if Foghorn isn't around that Chaz would become a problem or not. Plus the new chicks getting closer and closer to being intergrated into the flock and we have the potential of a new rooster...
All day I was depressed and thinking of funeral arrangements. I was going to have people over for a baked chicken dinner and send out invitations for Chaz and Foghorn Shawhan's Going Home Party. Then I heard a buggy turn in the driveway this evening as I was weeding the strawberry patch. It was Eli Stutzman, the Amish chicken farmer who lives maybe a mile down the road, and who has been referenced before in this blog.
To wrap this up, we are giving him an old fuel tank and two roosters. He was interested in Foghorn and Chaz because they are just a little over a year old. He has two roosters that are a few years old. So instead of him killing ours and giving us the meat, he's going to kill his and give us the meat, take the fuel tank and keep Foghorn and Chaz for HIS ladies! Talk about a win-win solution! Hopefully my hens will become pretty again and the newbies won't get mauled by over-sexed roosters. Then, IF R.W. really is a rooster he will have almost 30 hens to himself.
Want to know the real-kicker to this story....Foghorn and Chaz will still think they have died and gone to chickie-heaven. The Stutzman farm has 200 hens!!! That's 100 a piece!! Or, if I know Foghorn, that's 189 hens for Foghorn and 11 for Chaz.... They had already thrown away their razors tonight and are starting to grow out their beards. They also want a ride into the library tomorrow to get English to Dutch dictionaries.
The only thorn left in my side is that Foghorn gets to screw up here and is rewarded for his bad behaviour with 200 new ladies..... but I guess it is what it is, huh?
...cluck... cluck... cluck...