Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Just a Pedicure, Please

I look at this picture and am amazed.  I don't really know why, as it's me with the nail file in hand.  I was there.  It's just that roosters get such a bad rap for being little two-legged monsters.  Tiny T-Rex's.  I guess they could be, considering the sharpness of their beaks and the lengths of their spurs and nails.  

Chicks at our house have no choice but to be cuddled madly.  They have been known to be found on a child's lap, watching T.V.  Tuesday was no exception.  When it became apparent that Tuesday was a roo, I worried what sort of roo he'd be or whether we'd get to keep him at all. I'd heard horror stories about children, other animals, and grown-ups being chased and sliced open with spurs and beaks.  Extensively enough to need stitches.  

Like all things that I have no experience with, I began researching in books and online.  I came across a website---http:/shilala.homestead.com/roosters.html, that tells you what their wee little rooster brains are thinking.  It follows that the roo just wants to be boss.  You have to become boss and it shuts the whole terror-rooster thing down.  I continued to pick him up and carry him around.  I picked him up when he really didn't want to be picked up.  I would sit in the chicken run and when he would approach a hen with amorous intentions, I'd shoo him away.  I would have the hens follow me when they free-ranged in the afternoons.  I'd announce to them when I'd find particularly yummy snacks.  In other words, Tuesday is playing second fiddle to me.  Occasionally, he'll test his status with me by doing his little "I'm the boss" dance. He quickly finds himself in my arms on his back getting a belly rub.  He also gets kissed, which makes him wonder if I'm about to peck his head off.  

I'm not a chicken expert.  I just learned from people that have giant flocks and know what they're talking about.  It's that sort of expertise that allowed me to keep Tuesday and sit with him in my lap, giving him a pedicure.  He's completely unconcerned.  I think he's secretly glad that I trim his nails, leg feathers and especially his enormous spurs.  I don't know how he walks or roosts, the spurs are so long.  I cut and file them because in the spring and summer, he spends way too much time trying to make little chickens.  One of my hens is his favorite and she is now down to the bare skin on her back---a common occurrence.  That doesn't mean I have to like it or support it.  Trimming nails and spurs makes it more difficult to get purchase on the hens.  Everybody wins---he gets a great spa treatment, the hens get a break and I get to prove again, that I am head roo.  


  1. :-) :-) This is a great post! Love the picture, love the details, *love* the result!! The picture cracks me up! He is quite the gorgeous roo, isn't he? Wow! He actually looks like he's just thinking his own thoughts while getting his nails done. How funny! How much do you cut off his nails and spurs? Is there a "quick" to watch out for?
    Good job, ceecee, on being the alpha-chicken! :-)

  2. Hi ceecee!

    LOVE the blog....very interesting!

  3. Danni, yes there is absolutely a quick and hitting it in the spur can be a bloody mess. It takes more than an hour for chicken clotting to begin. Be sure to have some Quick Stop on hand if you do it. Just like with dogs, the quick stays back further in the nail if you cut them frequently. I made a mistake and didn't start trimming his spurs until recently. They are now well over 2.5 inches long. The nails will bleed like crazy too, but the quick isn't as big.

    Hi to you Punkin! How are the calves?

  4. It's interesting that one of the books you listed on your blog was Cesar's Way - I just saw that when I was about to leave a comment about the fact that it sounds like you train roosters the same way as dogs!


  5. Way to go, Head Roo!!

    As you know I'm impressed with your gorgeous rooster and that he is so trained and under control.

    You've given him a wonderful home, you Chicken Whisperer, you! :)