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Negotiating with a Rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HopeMissouri, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. HopeMissouri

    HopeMissouri In the Brooder

    He arrived as a stray last summer. We'd seen him grazing along our southern fence line. Assumed he belonged to the neighbor to our west, perhaps kicked out of their coop by another rooster?

    When he discovered the barn, he strayed no more. Free ranged during the day, then roosted above the horse stall panels. His crowing amplified by the metal barn. Repeatedly, he told us his name was, "Doodle Do!"

    We've never had a chicken. Weren't prepared to keep a chicken. Figured out from this board and suggestions from my horse board, what to feed him. How to make him a little more comfortable. Many suggestions to provide him with lady friends, but we just didn't have a good place to put them. So he was an only.

    He did seem to be interested in the girls (hens) next door, but he always returned home to roost in the barn...until right before Thanksgiving. He disappeared. No feathers. Greeted me in the morning with his chortling, admonishing me to hurry up with his breakfast. No Doodle that evening demanding his dinner. Gone! We were sad, but knew that the life of a chicken could be short. If he was to be gone, then perhaps it was just as well since our temperatures were dropping into single digits overnight.

    Two weeks later: HE'S BACK!!! What?? Called our neighbors to the east to see if they knew what had happened, to find that they had caught him and put him in their coop. Good thing. He'd found warmth! But, then he escaped! They had no idea how he could have gotten out, but he had flown their coop to return to our barn. So we decided that if he wanted to leave the girls for us...then, we were glad to have him back and would figure out a way to keep him warmer.

    Plan A was to put him in the raised rabbit hutch overnight. Not much room in it, but it could be set up in a draft free part of the barn to give him more warmth. But, the door was small and Doodle had never allowed me to pet him, much less pick him up to put him in a tiny cage.

    So on to Plan B: let him roost on a divider in my enclosed horse trailer. Great idea, but I still needed to pick him up to put him in. Turned out the barn lights where he was roosting. I didn't want to sneak up on him and grab him...so I waited for him to roost up on the stall panel rail. Pulled out my step-stool. My husband did not give me a vote of confidence. He was sure I'd be sliced in two by Doodle's spikes. Nope! Said, "Hey, Doodle! It's bedtime!" Scooped him up under my arm and took him to the emergency door of the trailer to set him down. I'd already covered the metal trailer divider with several layers of packing quilts to insulate his feet from the metal and to make his perch wider. He readily made himself at home.

    After several weeks of climbing up to pluck Doodle from the top rail (probably 7' to 8' off the ground), he started getting the hang of going into the trailer at night. Often, if he hadn't already roosted, I could call him from the trailer door to ask him to get in for bed. He'd come...perhaps thinking he was going to be fed...but, upon arriving seemed to be agreeable to getting into the trailer without an assist from me.

    But, this evening he'd already made himself comfortable on his stall rail roost. Ugh! I was going to have to climb up to get him. So, while I was putting feed buckets together for the horses, and bowls for the barn dog and cat, I kept suggesting to him that he get down and go to bed. That it would be so much easier for us all, if he'd just hop down and get in his house. He'd be more comfortable, warmer and safer in his house than in the open on the rail. When I returned from putting buckets out for the horses, Doodle was gone! Oh, no!

    Did he listen to me? Did he go across the barn, to the trailer, to get into the trailer on his own? YES!! We're so pleased he strayed to rule our barn!

  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    Aw, that's so cute. [​IMG]
    You really can't beat a sweet, smart rooster.
    I'm glad he found a good home with you.
  3. PatS

    PatS Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    Gotta love a happy story like that!
  4. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Songster

    Sep 4, 2008
    Wow, what a great rooster story !

  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    That's one lucky and pretty darned smart rooster. I'm so glad you gave him a good home. And that you interact with him so wonderfully.

    I love my roosters. They are such characters.
  6. taprock

    taprock Songster

    Nov 1, 2010
    Northern L.P. Michigan
    Great story and sounds like a great rooster too.
  7. kitkatnoah

    kitkatnoah Chirping

    Sep 26, 2010
    Houston, Texas
    That's a wonderful story! Doodle knew his real home was with you, since he flew the coop next door. Now he can visit the girls next door & come back home to his new bachelor roost [​IMG]

  8. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Gosh, I think that is one of the sweetest roo stories I've heard. And you tell it from the heart. Nice. I'm glad he found your family.
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Will the follow-up spring time story be, "Brides for Doodle Do?"[​IMG]
  10. HopeMissouri

    HopeMissouri In the Brooder

    Can't imagine how I would manage more than one chicken! On the otherhand, it would be nice to have the eggs.... I'm always seeing ads for folks giving away roosters on Craig's List. Perhaps my calling is to rescue roosters? NOT!

    Doodle roosting over the stall rails. I wrapped the metal rails with foam pipe insulation, covered with vet wrap to keep his feet warm:


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