Dark Days Have Arrived: The Classified Advertisement I Placed in WashingtonFlyFishing.com

I feel bad for feeling compelled to do this, but I had to place this classified ad.  I figured Tuppence would get at least a year or two of life as a pet before becoming someone’s dinner and a means to catch trout.  It’s just that Edie and, especially, Henny have had enough of Tuppence.  Plus, the other girls are looking kind of beat-up.  Damn!  I had high hopes for this rooster.  Read on…

I’ll bet you jokers have been waiting a long time to see a post like this. So here it is: I have a Rhode Island Red rooster who needs a new home. He arrived as an accidental when we purchased four new chickens to fill-out our original flock, having lost two hens the previous year. The reason “Tuppence” has to go is because he has become a bit “rough” on the girls. Understandable, given that he is a rooster; however, three of our five hens are looking a bit thrashed and minus feathers in certain spots. On top of that, our two older hens don’t like him.

These two sisters (“The Nuns”) never had to deal with roosters before, so the bolder one fights him off while the meek one lives in terror. That’s the literal nut of the problem. Henny spends her days hiding from him as best as she can–either in the roosts of the hen house or under brush where he can’t see her. If he’s after her, Henny will run to her sister for help. Today, she even flew up to my shoulder to escape.

My problem is that Margaret is really bothered by the scene, but is torn between wanting to kill him for dinner and the bloody reality of having to do the deed. Sure, I could do that myself, but the idea of knowing it’s happening is still an issue for her. See how this is winding up? What a bloody mess! And stressed-out hens don’t lay eggs: Production is down!

About Tuppence: He’s barely a year old, so he’s probably not quite “hackle ready” yet. So if you want him for his feathers, you’re going to have to wait at least another year or so. The older a rooster gets, harder his hackles become. Now you understand why capes and saddles cost so much? Still, I suspect that his current crop of feathers are probably good enough for many applications.

Catching him might be another matter all together. If you’ve never tried catching a chicken before, you might want to have someone video your attempt: Great for laughs if you suck. Impressive as all hell if you have the knack. Just be relaxed, don’t look directly at the bird, and move slow and steady towards it. At some point, it will get confused about going left or right, and you can make your move. It’s either that or a long-handled fish net with a large basket. A fine mesh net will minimize injury.

Overhead? It really doesn’t cost that much to keep a chicken in feed. You can either keep him in a large cage, or you let him forage for bugs and grass in your backyard (pooping all the while where ever he goes, though less of an issue than if you had a dog…) if you want to save money on feed.

Is he aggressive? No, not so far towards humans. He did “kick” me once, but the blow was so light to my leg, I thought one of my cats had run up against the back of my calf. Before and since then, nothing. Then again, I’ve kicked him a few times for freaking out Henny. Nothing hard. Just enough to get his attention.

So here’s a picture of Tuppence, taken a several months ago.

Wow! Look at that cape! I’ll bet you can tie a lot of flies with that bird! If you have taxidermy skills, you’ll be set up with quite the selection of feathers. If you wish to eat him, consider stewing. Low temperature over a long period of time will make the meat tender and tasty. Think about it. We’re talking about a two-fer!

I’m thinking of charging $15 to cover some of my own expenses for the past 10 months of raising him. How does that sound to you? Compared to buying a full cape and a saddle, this is cheap.

I live in Shoreline.

–Dave

(Doesn’t this blow?)

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About magdave

Two people passionate about the slow life of creating tasty food in our little kitchen, with the help of our greenhouse, the garden patches
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