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.