Remembering Hawkeye...One Year Later (LONG)

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by speckledhen, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Some think it's silly for a middle aged woman to grieve for a rooster. Maybe it is, but Hawkeye touched our family so deeply, he will never be forgotten. Today, April 15, is the one year anniversary of his unexpected death.
    For those who don't know, Hawkeye was our very first rooster. After we found out that our BR, Lexie, was a pullet in cockerel's clothing, we realized that we really did want a Barred Rock rooster. I tried and tried to find one! It's how I met helmstead, calling on an ad for her extra rooster. He was already sold, though. After posting wanted ads on BYC and reading classifieds in the paper, I saw an ad that said "Chickens, all shapes and sizes". I called, left a msg, and the owner of the birds, a FFA kid, called me back and said he did, indeed, have a BR rooster.
    When we went to see the rooster, the kid put on these muck boots and took us behind his house, down a path into the woods, where there were several cages and pens. It was a swamp and every pen of birds had a trough full of black water. An empty bag was on the ground, just corn, which was apparently what the birds were fed.
    This poor filthy rooster was in a pen with a huge turkey three times larger than he was. The kid had to use a butterfly net to catch him. Said he was ten months old, the exact age of my own pullets. He brought him out by his legs and upended him so we could see. I was disgusted by how filthy this poor bird was. He had recently lost a chunk out of the back of his comb, certainly from the turkey. One wattle was drawn up and thickened with scar tissue. His face was pale.My DH said, well, do you want him? I felt a bit rushed, but said yes because I wasn't having luck finding one any other way.
    So started Hawkeye's quarantine, that lasted almost five weeks. He has favus and lice, and at one point, we thought he might have canker. Thank goodness, it was just food stuck on the sides of his throat when we double checked! His hackles were completely gold from all the corn he was fed--couldn't have been brassy from the sun because he never saw any in his damp, dark pen. Within 3 weeks, the brassiness was gone. He gained weight on a good nutritious diet. Though the kid said oh, he'll never sit in your lap, by golly, this was a very sweet rooster and he did indeed often sit in my lap, calmly and quietly.
    From the second day he was with my girls, Hawkeye was in charge. He was a gentleman, so much so that it took five long months for me to get the first fertile egg! When we had chicks, Hawkeye was gentle and fatherly. He calmly broke up fights between the girls, saved them several times from hawk attacks, and always stood out in the open when he got the girls to safety, making himself a target. Hawkeye was very sociable with me, showing me things to eat on the ground. He never took food for himself, always gave it to the girls, unless we picked him up and offered it to him. He never once offered to bite us or seemed concerned when we had to do things to any of his women. He seemed to know that we would never hurt them or him. Hawkeye was what every rooster should be. I'm blessed to have his sons today. He produced sons that were better than himself. Dutch, the main flock leader, is the spitting image of his father, without all the battle scars of Hawkeye's rocky start in life.

    Hawkeye was a simple hatchery rooster, but he will always have a special place in our hearts. Last April 15, after trying and trying to keep some of the girls from pecking at wounds on his comb and wattles, we used a veterinary wound care ointment on them that had lots of all natural ingredients. Unfortunately, either he had a reaction to one or more of those or he just coincidentally had a heart attack after fussing with my Orp rooster at the fence, but within 5 minutes of rubbing the ointment on his wattles and comb, he sat down suddenly right in front of my eyes and collapsed. I grabbed him up, ran to the house, yelling for my DH, and try as we might, we could not revive him. He is buried next to several of his older girls who passed on before him. The bar is set very high for any rooster here, thanks to Hawkeye.

    Here are pics of my Hawkeye, first looking very pitiful after being bathed in our laundry sink. Then at the end of quarantine, when he was looking so much better, then later, when he was at the top of the flock as a benevolent ruler.
    First night home:


    After three weeks quarantine:


    In his prime:



  2. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    He was one in a million - we all cried with you last year! [​IMG]
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Quote:I know you did. Only you wonderful people would understand.
  4. karen71

    karen71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Bear, DE
    What a touching story -

    I cried now-
    He was very pretty- what a lucky boy he was that you found him and rescued him
  5. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    I enjoyed Hawkeye and the stories you have been telling about him and his girls. Thanks for the memories!

    RIP Hawkeye, may your offsprings and your lines continue for many more years to come!
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I [​IMG] you, Cyn. I know how much you miss him.
  7. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Such a handsome and noble bird... He is the kind that will never be forgotten. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Thank you all so much. Dutch is a credit to his father and I'm so happy that at least, I have him and Zane, too. A couple weeks ago, I started calling Dutch by his daddy's name. For three or four days, I caught myself doing it over and over. I think maybe it was the anniversary coming up because I have never done that before. Hawkeye made an impriint here, that's for sure.
  9. Dread Pirate Roberts

    Dread Pirate Roberts Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    Wow, that's a really touching story.

    Thanks for sharing it and I'm sorry for your loss.
  10. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    I'm sorry about Hawkeye Speckledhen. From the way you describe him, he sounds like the most desirable rooster that any chicken hobbyist would want.

    He would be proud of his two sons. [​IMG]

    I also have to comment on how well you got him out of that slump of a mess. He really turned out great!

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