Meet Herman, the House Rooster!
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Herman is a Blue Splash Silkie roo who hatched the Saturday that Hurricane Irma hit. His name was, in fact, Irma ... until "she" started crowing! Herman was very sick as a baby. He was the only survivor of a poorly shipped hatchery order of six. We spent a great deal of time and energy pulling him through. So much so, that somewhere along the line, Herman forgot that he was a chicken!
Herman lived in the house all winter. In the beginning, it was because he was too tiny, too sick and needed too much constant attention and treatment. By the time he was well enough to go outside, it was icy-cold. As a newbie, a youngster, and the only Silkie in an established bantam flock, he would have been quickly ostracized and frozen to death. So he stayed inside in a large guinea pig cage, growing bigger and more spoiled by the day.
By the time Herman started crowing, we were used to his being indoors. We didn't even mind his quirky crow. It's a deep, mournful call, which he sounds right before the alarm clocks go off at our house ... so the gentle rumble is a nice eye-opener before harsh reality sets in! Herman's not really sad, he just sounds that way! He's actually the reason for my online name, "MROO." That's short of "The Melancholy Rooster," our Herman!
One of Herman's most lovable quirks is his attachment to his Mompom. Since he was an "only," Herman needed something to snuggle, so we gave him a large pompom intended for my daughter's backpack. He took to it like, well, like a chick to Mama. To this day, he sleeps with it, and carries it around with him. At least twice, we've had to rescue it from the cats. Herman didn't need rescuing, just his Mompom. Herman is fine with the cats ... all four of them!
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On the rare occasion that we can wash the Mompom, Herman goes into full stress mode, calling and fussing like a baby without his blankie. The reunions are positively pathetic!
Herman is a new man, these days! He appears to have found his calling in life. We have a mini-flock of juvenile bantams out back. The four smallest are constantly picked on and forced away from the feeders. Herman has adopted them. He goes out to the pen as soon as we let him out and waits at the door until we let him in. That's what he's doing in the picture, above - waiting for someone to open the run door so he can go in to his babies. He doesn't come out of the run until his charges are safely tucked away in their own corner box at night. Then he'll come to the door to be taken back inside. Heaven forbid we leave him out there!
So, maybe there's hope for Herman. We may yet make a real chicken out of him ... but I doubt it!