Photo by Audrey Pavia
When one of my colleagues at work told me he had a friend with a rooster he didn’t know what to do with, I knew I was in trouble. This friend kept reptiles, not birds, and somehow ended up with this chicken. He had no clue how to take care of him, my colleague said. So, of course, I had to get involved.
So a couple of nights ago after work, I drove to the reptile guy’s place to take a look at this rooster. I was secretly hoping it was a hen that I could just rescue and add to my flock. It didn’t take long to realize that even though the guy kept snakes and lizards, he knew the difference between a rooster and a hen.
A white Araucana, the rooster was huddled in a Have-A-Heart humane trap when I saw him, with no food or water. All rational thought left me at that moment. All I knew was that I had to help the rooster. I had no idea what I was going to do with him since, my two roosters barely got along with each other, never mind an outside rooster.
When I got home, I put the rooster in an empty poultry hutch I had in my yard just for such occasions. It was dark out, so he didn’t eat the food I left for him, but I knew he’d devour it in the morning.
The next day, I racked my brain trying to figure out what I was going to do with this guy. He was a rare Araucana. Perhaps someone on my local chicken message board would want him? I posted something, but all I got was wishes for good luck. I would need it since roosters are so hard to place.
Then it dawned on me. Maybe our next-door neighbors would take him. A wonderful animal-loving couple, they had a pair of free-ranging Chinese ducks they kept as pets. Maybe they’d like a rooster to hang out with them.
Sure enough, my neighbors quickly said yes to my offer. The husband told me he would come over that evening to get the rooster and would follow my strict orders to keep him confined to a coop for a few days to get him to settle in.
I assumed I would be home to help the new rooster owner retrieve his bird from my hutch, but seems he was too eager to wait. Instead, he enlisted the services of my husband, Randy. Born and raised in Manhattan, Randy’s chicken-handling skills aren’t the greatest. My neighbor was born and raised in downtown L.A., and also had absolutely no chicken-handling skills. So I wasn’t surprised when I learned that the rooster got past them pretty quickly once they opened the hutch door.
“He flew at us and then ran off,” my husband later explained.
The rooster spent that night roosting in a bush. The next morning, Randy and I cornered him. He was delivered to our neighbors, who promptly named him Drumstick.
Every morning, Drumstick is crowing like crazy when I go outside to let my flock out of their coop to roam the yard for bugs. I get a warm feeling whenever I hear him, knowing he’s in a good home because I just couldn’t help myself.