PRATIE PLACE

Friday, April 11, 2008

In which Valentino the Rooster goes to a better place.

Valentino has been increasingly irksome as he has grown into full testosterone-infused glory.

He defines his job broadly. Defending the flock includes attacking people who come to pat Jethro. Defending the food supply includes attacking ME when I have his FOOD RIGHT IN MY HANDS and I'm about to GIVE IT TO HIM! You can imagine how stupid and exasperating this has been.

In addition, (1) none of my friends like him; (2) he is noisy all day long - which makes recording at home somewhat frustrating.

On the plus side: he is utterly gorgeous, with a scarab-like green sheen to his black black feathers, and he lets me rock him in the rocking chair.

Realizing that I will soon need a donkey sitter, and that the previous donkey sitter let me know she would not tussle with Valentino again -- well, I advertised him for sale on Craigs List.

I thought this was hopeless. Everybody who has chickens has roosters they want to get rid of.

However, today a cheerful young real estate agent contacted me and was all excited to have Valentino and came and paid me and took him away in a box.

It was fun to meet somebody who knows less about poultry than I do. The cheerful young real estate agent is PLANNING to build a chicken coop, but hasn't done it yet, and he is PLANNING to have hens, but doesn't have any yet. So he will be surprising his wife and children with Valentino tonight.

Valentino, of course, will be surprised too: he'll have no hens to boss around and, more ominously, no place to roost when night falls. And, therefore, there's a good chance he'll will be gone by the time they get their coop up, because a chicken is everybody's favorite meal...

As part of my recent series of searing personal retrospectives, I mulled over the Java chicken debacle. One desperate night, I ordered fifteen eggs. They were shipped next day air (not cheap) carefully packaged (also not cheap) and they cost more than $50 all told. Then there was the incubator, bought new, with optional fan. That was substantially more than $100. Of the fifteen eggs, three hatched. All three were roosters. I rid myself of the first two hooligans a few weeks ago (don't ask, don't tell) and now Valentino is gone, I was paid $6 for him. Therefore, a loss of more than $150.

Oh well! Not sure what the lesson to be learned from this was. Meanwhile the hens continue with their scratching. They don't appear to miss their lord and master one bit.

UPDATE (posted the next morning): It's very, very quiet out there. I can hear the songbirds. Heh.

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