We lost one of the good ones this week. Henry was the pint-sized ambassador of 5R Farm. He was one of our two banty roosters, the bachelors as they became known, who spent most of their lives living separately from the rest of the chicken flock. Henry and Lil’ Red Rooster could often be found up by the fenced pasture for the chicken flock, gazing longingly at the ladies. Any time Henry would see me come out the back door and walk onto the porch he would run over to see if there might just be some treats to be had by such a charismatic little rooster. I had a soft spot for little Henry, so the answer to this question was usually yes. Although he wouldn’t let me pick him up, he would eat out of my hand, so the treats were on his terms. In fact, most of Henry’s life was on his terms. When we first moved the bachelors into their own coop and run, I had hoped that they would stay within its confines to give them some protection from predators. It wasn’t 10 minutes before Henry escaped from his new run (read about it in the Oh Henry! post). Henry was so cute strutting along the back deck and in the flower beds that I didn’t have the heart to confine him in a fenced run, although he would probably still be with us if I had. In the mornings he would stand on the roof of his coop, crowing for all he was worth in response to the crowing of the full sized roosters. I imagined he was saying “I’m a rooster too!” with every cock-a-doodle-doo.
As time went on, Henry expanded his daily roaming grounds, and he would often bring a smile to my face when I would come across him in various locations around the farm. I knew one day he was bound to become dinner for one of many potential predators, but I always thought it would be a hawk who would get him and carry him up and away. We think it was a cat that did poor Henry in, based on recent sightings of a cat prowling the deck where Henry could often be seen making his rounds. I buried Henry in his favorite grotto underneath the weeping cherry tree. He brought a lot of joy into our lives, and I’m pretty sure he enjoyed his life at 5R Farm too. In the end, I guess that’s pretty good for a pint-sized rooster.