Where’s Brown Rooster?
I felt the worst had happened to Brown Rooster. For those of you that haven’t been introduced to Brown Rooster yet, he is one of the two chicks that Millie hatched for us this spring. We didn’t need another rooster, but as one of the first chicks to be hatched from our own fertile eggs I just couldn’t part with him. Also, his feather coloration was quite beautiful with many shades of brown, orange, black, and green. We’ve been making some adjustments to our chicken housing over the last several weeks to accommodate Brown Rooster as well as the four 3-month old roosters we adopted from a batch of chicks hatched out in a friend’s grade school classroom. Our five young roosters had been living in the secure run next to the ladies’ coop and pasture, but with the roosters growing fast and getting rambunctious I wanted to move them into more spacious quarters. I also wanted to give the ladies access to their secure run again so that they could go outdoors in the morning before getting let out into the pasture.
Yesterday afternoon we split the new bachelor pen in the lower pasture in two, and moved Brown Rooster and the four other young roosters into a new pen next door to Ramon and Reuben. When I checked on them after dinner, all seemed to be going well, and the roosters were enjoying their new spacious accommodations with free access to grass and bugs. When I went outside about 40 minutes later to lock up the ladies coop for the night I heard some chicken noises that sounded like they were coming from our neighbor Clancy’s property. As is often the case, at first I thought it was just the the echoes of the rooster’s calls bouncing off the large trees that border our property. I made a quick trip to the front pasture to do a head count of the young roosters. I saw one, two, three young roosters, but Brown Rooster and one of the barred roosters were missing. I dashed into the house to make a quick announcement about the missing boys and grab a flashlight because by now it was getting dark.
I went over to the barbed wire fence between our property and our neighbor. I shined the flashlight into the trees, and right away I saw one of the barred roosters standing on the base of a large tree. I found low spot on the ground where I could slide underneath the barbed wire fence. The rooster had started to move further away from the fence by this time, but I crouched down and started calling here chick, chick, and thankfully he made his way over to me and I picked him up and handed him over the fence to Sean to put back into the secure run. I continued to search for another half hour for Brown Rooster with no luck. By this time it was completely dark, and I tried to convince myself that he had found a safe place to spend the night and would return home in the morning.
This morning I lay in bed listening to the roosters crow one by one, Ramon, Reuben, Lil’ Red Rooster, one of the young roosters, but no Brown Rooster. I got up and sat on the back deck hoping to hear a faint call or a rustle in the bushes that just might be Brown Rooster, but there was nothing. After breakfast I searched in the trees on Clancy’s property for any sign of Brown Rooster, fearing that I would find a telltale pile of feathers. I walked the property line scanning the tall grass and bushes, and then I walked the edge of the rooster pen scanning the tall grass and talking to the boys a bit, asking them where Brown Rooster had gone. I had just about given up the search when I heard Brown Rooster’s distinctive crow coming from the tall grass and shrubs along the property line where I had walked past not 5 minutes before. I ran toward the sound trying to see where he was hiding. I couldn’t see him, but I kept calling Brown, Brown, and he kept crowing and finally I saw him standing in the tall grass under a few blackberry vines. I picked him up and inspected him for any injuries, and he appears to be just fine. He gave us quite a scare, but I’m happy to report that this chicken story has a happy ending!