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Thursday, May 17, 2007


Yesterday Mr. Chalmers called from work and asked if he could bring a rooster home. Of course I said of course. We'd told a coworker of his a while back that we'd take one off her hands (she had about half a dozen too many, especially since she lives right in town), figuring we'd feed it for a while and then make coq au vin or something, and to my surprise she remembered. So the bug and I got started setting up a little place for the bird that will remain nameless. Amazingly, it was still there this morning when I went out to check on it. It can sort of flop-fly out of the enclosure—which I plan to move around the yard a bit if I can figure out an easy way to raise the crate up off the ground with each move—but I think it'll basically stick close to the food and water.

I'd sort of been picturing a full-grown rooster, but this is still just a little chick. I honestly don't know if I'll have the heart to kill it. Maybe if it's crowing a lot in the mornings—although it's not like it could possibly wake us up any earlier than the bug does . . . In fact I think I woke it up when I went out there this morning in the dark. But what kind of (law-abiding) person keeps just a rooster around? I suppose if it survives the chopping block we'll have to get a couple of hens, too. Mr. Chalmers is the best. He brings home animals for us.

The set-up is hard to see in this picture (taken from the dining room through a dog-nose-smudged window), but it's just a dog crate with some straw in the bottom and a smaller cardboard box inside, set up on a thick block of granite, with a piece of wood for a roof/roost, a ramp, and a part-circle of 1-by-1 wire fencing. The fencing is attached to the ground with long, sturdy steel staples. I'll be surprised if our bird manages to stay out of reach of hawks, neighbor dogs (ours, of course, are fenced in themselves, away from the coop), and racoons. If it does, it's sure to be tough and flavorful.


Courtney said...

Hope Coq is still hanging in there. Or delicious for y'all, not the critters nearby. I think Anne's chickens are at least part Banty, so they're a little smaller. But when I saw Coq at work, she said he was eight weeks old, and I am pretty sure that's how old "broilers" are that go to processing plants, but those are a different breed, based on the Leghorn, I guess.

Want more random facts about the poultry industry? I'm your gal!

Deborah said...

wait until the baby gets attached to it, get some chickens and just raise eggs.