After the horrible loss of our feathered family, earlier this week, I was reconciling myself to the still emptiness of our back yard. We had said our good-byes to the hens, packed away their belongings, cleaned out their house and anticipated a summer of romping around in chook-poo free grass. I didn’t want to rush out and replace the ladies too soon. How could any hen replace Agnes? And what if a fox struck again? I had a plan forming to amass a pile of tasty baked goods with which to bribe our nearest and dearest to help in the construction of a high-sided, roofed, super-fox-proof outdoor run, with work commencing in February.
And then we heard from the happy new owner of Lucy, Snow White and Cinderella. Remember these little cuties?….
A couple of weeks ago they went to live around the corner with our friend and fellow midwife, all looking very much like hens. All was well. At the time I had said ‘If any of them turn into roosters you can send them back’, feeling pretty confident that, at seven weeks past supposed chicken-sexing time, we wouldn’t be seeing them in our yard again. Hmm. Chicken-sexing time? Six to eight weeks of age? Not such a narrow window after all. See our affectionately named ‘ranga chick’ up there, on the bottom right? Well, ranga chick grew into Lucy. Then Lucy grew into:….
Russell. Russell Crow. And he does. Frequently. For the past three hours he has been angrily searching our yard for his flock, cockadoodledooing at every tree, bird, interruption, poop-break, snack-break and drink-break. At four months old he is still just a baby really, but is already impressively larger and louder than a fully grown Agnes. Since his dramatic return after dusk last night I have been laughing maniacally, the beloved has been groaning and muttering ‘I don’t want a rooster’ on a loop, and one of our cats has been having a long, fur-shedding, possum-tailing, bug-eyed freak out. And it’s true. We didn’t want a rooster. I swore black and blue that I’d harden up and kill any roosters for the table. Who was I kidding? How could I kill Russell?