***NOTE...I can not figure out how to post a photo of The Colonel. I wish I could share him with you. If anyone can help...
This is my “throw away” rooster. His name is The Colonel. He is a Bantam Rooster, but I am not sure of what breed. I just know he is beautiful.
I discovered him on the road in front of my house. Someone had tossed him out of their vehicle. I saw no movement and thought that he was dead. But I couldn’t just leave him there, so I went out to examine him. To my surprise, he was weak, but he was alive. I brought him in our fenced front yard and placed him under a tree with some chicken feed and water. It didn’t take long for him to take advantage of the food and water. Then he rested.
A couple hours later, I saw him walking cautiously around the front yard. When he heard me talk to him, he raised his head and slowly made his way to me. He would let me hold him and pet him. At first I told myself it was because he was weak and sickly. I truly didn’t think that he was going to survive the night. Many of his feathers were missing and those still on him were dull. We suspect that he had been used for Cock Fights, but with his passive nature, that he was used to train more aggressive birds. His comb has been cut off and cauterized. I've been told this is a practice to minimize bleeding in fights. That their combs bleed profusely when injured by another rooster.
Over the next week we realized that The Colonel is completely blind. I noticed that he uses his beak like a walking cane as he taps the ground in front of him when he walks, or the side of the feeder/waterer when he eats.
The neighbors had ALOT of chickens gone wild. Their roosters would come over into our yard with the sole intent of attacking the Colonel. I shot serveral of them with BB guns (didn't kill them), but not before the Colonel had suffered the pain of running blind into the fences, pens, feed barrels, horse trailer, and the ruthless pecking and clawing from the wild roosters. We soon built a small pen for the Colonel that he is totally comfortable in. It is small and he knows where everything is, including his custom made roost that is about chest high for him. The Colonel loves it. He gets to roost on his own branch! It gives him confidence since he does not have to sleep vulnerable on the ground. We don't turn him out anymore, but he doesn't seem to mind.
I endured alot of teasing over my little rooster from my husband, his friends and my son. But quickly they all watched him and admired the Colonel's spunk. We rotate young birds not yet ready for the main coop in with the Colonel. One time a young hawk found a way into the pen. Realizing it was trapped it had no interest in the chickens, but it swooped back and forth trying to find a way out. And there in the pen, in front of the babies in his charge that were huddled together in the corner, was the Colonel. He had his feathers standing on end and lept up aiming his spurs at the young hawk every time he sensed it swoop close to his young flock. It was shortly after that that the Colonel began crowing. There was no doubt, that if left in the security of his own little pen, he is the bravest of all my birds.
I am so glad to say that that was more than three years ago and The Colonel is healthy and strong. When we go in his pen he leans against us with one foot on ours while he makes soft noises. If I pick him up and take him out of the pen he is perfectly content and will nap in my arms. After a few molting sessions his feathers came in and still are very beautiful. The tail feathers that you see in the picture will get even longer through the summer months.
In the morning, I love to hear him crow...although it would be nice if he waited for the sun to come up. But none of my roosters seem to have read that myth about roosters. But the Colonel has a distinct voice, and it is music to my ears.