Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Right Thing to Do is Often the Hardest

July 5, 2005-July 28, 2010
Tuesday is dead.
By my own hand.
It had to be done.
I had it in my mind, he was three this month. He turned 5.
Time passes more quickly as I age.
I aged a bit yesterday.
I cried a bit, too. I sobbed while digging the hole.

Why, you ask?
Tuesday has always been fair and friendly to his hens.
He was unusual in his beauty and his ability to be picked up and petted.

What he was not, was fair and friendly to my new hens.
The hens I raised to begin having a regular supply of eggs again.
For some reason, once they began laying, he started attacking them.
One hen in particular, was taking the brunt of his attacks. Unfortunately for her, she is terribly submissive and would just lay there and take it. The back of her head has no feathers, and I can see her skull. Not just holes, but split open. Just as she would begin healing, he'd attack her again. Her comb and wattles are battered as well.
I tried many different approaches to the problem.

Plan A-- I would herd my old chickens out of the run each morning, with Tuesday leading the way. Most often, one or two of the newer hens would get out and I'd have to catch them.

Plan B--I tried letting them all out--figuring the one hen would have a fighting chance if they had 4 acres to be away from each other. Each night I would have an Easter egg hunt, looking for the eggs I wanted so much. Tuesday still found that hen and would pummel her anyway.

Plan C--As much as it pained me, it was time to find Tuesday a new home. I would have to be careful. Craig's List wasn't an option. In the state of Texas it is illegal to fight roosters, but not illegal to raise 50 or so on one piece of property and tell folks you just like roosters. You can see why I couldn't sell him in an open market.
I tried giving him away on a forum here in Austin of chicken lovers. Backyard chicken owners like myself. People who name their chickens. No luck. They all had roosters to give away as well.

Each day, I would witness an unprovoked attack on the little hen. I'd doctor her wounds and send her back out. I had many, many discussions with myself:
She lays eggs.
He's eye candy with a side show of being able to be picked up.
Maybe I should cull her.
That would stop the problem. But she lays eggs.
He's soooo beautiful, though! Wait just a while longer, maybe someone will want him. He'd make beautiful chicks.
I raised these new hens so I could have eggs, why would I kill one?........on and on.
Last night was the last straw. As I sat at my computer, I looked out and saw Tuesday pecking her again. He wouldn't stop. I went out to break it up and discovered that my little hen was not only bleeding from her head again, but one side of her face was bloody. Her eye was involved this time. I cleaned her up the best I could and put her in the coop. I do know the eyelid was split in half. Healing will be questionable. Did she lose an eye? I don't know.

I do know that I made my decision.
Was it easy to kill my own rooster? No.
Was it the right one? Yes, it was.
Will I miss him? Yes, very much.

Rest in Peace, beautiful boy.

8 comments:

  1. Oh CeeCee! My heart breaks for you. I still remember the post about Tuesday where you talked about cutting his nails and held him in your lap, and I remember being amazed. Hugs to you.

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  2. Awwww, I'm so very sorry. I know how much you loved that handsome boy. He played a prominent part of your blog as your blog header for so long. He really was eye candy.

    So was my Sid Vicious. And I also kept him longer than I should. He was chasing my kids and he'd charge me sometimes. But he was so beautiful! Why do roosters have to flip out and do such crazy things sometimes?
    Sure wish we could be chicken whisperers and find out what's in their head to make them do the crazy things they do.

    Anyway, I'm very sorry and I hope your poor injured hen pulls through alright. I'm sure she's grateful that Tuesday is not around to attack her anymore.

    (((hugs)))
    ~Lisa

    word verification: bless

    How unusual. I rarely get a real word. And this one's perfect for this post.
    Bless you CeeCee, for having to make such a difficult decision for the benefit of peace and safety in your flock.

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  3. Wow...tough one. But I understand. It sounds like you had no other options. Sort of like drowning kittens and shooting rabid dogs. A part of animal ownership that really stinks.

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  4. Sorry to hear that you had to put Tuesday "down". It does sound , to me at least, the best solution to the problem. Tuesday was a beautiful rooster and will be remembered. Hugs!!

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  5. I'm so sorry CeeCee. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult making that decision was. Right decision, hard to do.

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  6. I'm so very sorry for your loss and even more so that you had to do it yourself. Of course you would, that's you. I love you so much! nj

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  7. I commented once and must have done something wrong, because it's not here now :(
    CeeCee, you are an amazing woman. I cried through this whole post. I know how hard this was for you. It just breaks my heart thinking about how hard it was. I think you did the right thing. I wish I was as brave as you. No one told us raising chickens could be this hard, did they? (((hugs))) You are my hero.

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  8. I know how hard that is. The right thing is rarely the easy thing unfortunately.

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