Day 187 of 365

Tonight was tough. I had to say goodbye to Rostropovich. I am going to miss him very much. I cried all the way to the house where we delivered him. I hope he’s going to be okay. Their last rooster was killed by a predator. I hope, hope, hope he’s going to be okay.

We really wanted to keep him, but we do not have a large enough flock for three roosters. We have Rooster, and I have to keep Dvorak, as he was always such a mama’s boy. I just wanted to keep Rostropovich as well. But he was starting to bother the girls who were low in the pecking order, and just a few were getting all of his attention. He wasn’t too rough, but there just aren’t enough hens to go around. So Ruby and a few of the younger girls were being bothered by him. I learned a long time ago that, when a rooster starts picking on a favorite or two, you have to make a change. He will wear her down, and it will impact her health big time. I decided a few years ago that I would be way more proactive and never let that happen again. Plus, it was Ruby. Ruby is the special.

On top of this Rostropovich really loved to sing! He would get on top of the rocks and just crow and crow and crow and crow. Then he would get Rooster going. Then Dvorak would join in. We live in out in the country but do have neighbors fairly close. Last weekend, Ron said, “You have one week to find a home for that rooster.” I understood.

He’s so absolutely beautiful, and he’s a very, very good rooster. In the photo, he’s the rooster on the right. Just look at that tail. Both of these birds are magnificent. I knew I would be able to find a home for him, and I did within a few hours of posting his picture and telling his story. The lady wrote me though and said she had to be honest because she could tell I loved him. She told me their last one had been taken by a predator. This is so common. It would be impossible for me to find a rooster a home if I held everyone to my standards for chicken safety. I mean, we have Great Pyrenees. They help more than I can say. So I told the lady that I would just be thankful for him to have his own flock and have a chance. She also seemed to really love chickens.

Still, I cried and cried taking him over there tonight.

When I scooped him up to kidnap him, he didn’t even fuss. So I snuggled him and told him to be brave, to be tough, to be smart. I hope he understood. I tried to think about what I was saying so deeply, hoping he might read something from me about what was about to happen. Most of my chickens don’t study me very much though. I study all of them, but only a few have deeply studied me right back. One was Poe.

Anyway, we drove him over and played Tom Petty for him for the drive. Birds always like music, I have found. I sure hope he makes it. The good news/bad news is that it’s not that far from here, and they free range their chickens. This means I can drive by and try to see him. You know I am going to be doing that.

I should add a small side story at the end of this one. Ron and I drove Rostropovich over to his new home, but our teen wanted to stay home. We wouldn’t be gone long anyway, but we told him he would have to watch Bairre, who has been a little terror all day long. Boudica was very frustrated with her new little brother today and has been staying away, refusing to play with him. But when we got home from delivering the rooster, I found our teen on his computer playing video games with Boudica fenced into the front of the house via a baby gate, stuck babysitting Bairre. I swear, when she saw me, it was like “thank goodness your home.” I told her I was so sorry.

I grumped at our son for making Boudica do his work, and he said he only sort of felt badly because Boudica is a better babysitter. Teenagers.

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