Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Introducing Our New Rooster...

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
A day or two before the Xeriscape Garden Tour our native-plant co-conspirator, Orchid Black, e-mailed us that Jordanne, at Path To Freedom, had a young Bantam Golden Laced Cochin rooster who needed a home.
Here's what Jordanne had to say about this little fellow who we've named Boris Minor.
"This little guy is very special roo...which is why I've hung onto him for so long. I wanted to place him in a good home, personally, as I would love to hear about him from time to time.
I'm attached to him - this is his story:
When he was a week old chick, he was dying and was pretty much on his way out... gasping for air and his crop was filling with fluid. He was weak and was being picked on and couldn't stand up and wasn't eating. He would fall over or just stand with his eyes closed, his little beak just gasping and gasping and gasping....
It was pretty awful to see.
I was doing everything I could do. I would hold him upside down and squeeze out the contents of his crop. Generally, I wrung him out like a wet rag and all this nasty smelling stuff would come out and he would gag and fall over. I would give him nutri-drench, electrolytes, collidial silver and egg yolk for protein. Finally, I did resort to a low-grade antibiotic (terramycin) to see if it would save him. I usually don't do that but he was struggling to live and I wanted to give him a chance. It didn't work. So I kept trying different stuff as I would hold him and cradle him and try to give him comfort throughout the day. I was beginning to accept he wouldn't make it.
Finally, out of frustration because nothing was working and because we were feeling very upset watching him struggle to live, my sister decided one night that she'd give him a whole dropperful of vodka.... her reasoning was that if he was going to die, she'd rather him not feel anything.... be drunk, actually. None of us actually learned the art of putting a chick out of its misery. I just can't do it any physical way.
So this little chick quite practically fell over and looked like it had fallen asleep (or passed out?) and we felt better. If it was going to drown to death, it wouldn't feel it. But imagine our surprise that morning when he was up and running around and being very chicky. His crop was completely clear and he has thrived since.
He's very special and sweet and loves to be held. I think he knows that he wasn't going to make it and loves humans."
Jordanne Dervaes
Well how could I resist a rooster like that, and a new drinkin' buddy to boot??
So, we named him 'Boris', a good ol' Russian name because he was nursed back to health with love & vodka, and 'Minor' because of his somewhat dimunitive stature (and also, partly because my beer brewing buddy Craig is making a lifetime project of not restoring his ancient Morris Minor Station Wagon).

Anyway, for the time being we are keeping Boris Minor in a separate enclosure from our big hens, giving them a chance to become accustomed to each other.

His pen is sheltered from the heat and rain, out in the main chicken yard, where all the birds peck & scratch throughout the day, and when it gets dark he's got his own safe perch where he spends the night.

Boris seems quite healthy now and crows with great confidence in the early morning hours even though he still sounds more like a baby lamb bleating than a rooster.

He is rather feisty with the hens when they confront him at his wire fence though, he puffs himself all up as if to let them know who's boss around here.

I have a feeling that, once he's matured, and learned to cope with our 14 hens, we'll be re-naming him Boris Major.
But right now he still whistles, coos, & chortles in his cheery sing-song way and seems to enjoy being held and hand-fed little delicacies like fresh tender greens from the garden.
Boris has big shoes to fill if he's going to take the place of 'Arnold The Roosternator' who died last December. Arnold was already quite old when we got him so he only lasted for a couple of years with us. I guess those fourteen hens got the best of him, but what a way to go!


JULY 24TH, 2007
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
Jordanne- I promise I'll never give Boris another shot of vodka, unless of course, he keels over and acts like he's dying, which doesn't seem likely at this point.
You, and Anais too, did a great job raising the rooster and we'll do our best to give him a good home.
But I'm guessing he'll have his Banty feathers ruffled by these gals for awhile.

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Blogger Tim Hodgens said...

Go Boris, Go!

I think ya got a sweet deal there!

4:35 PM  
Blogger arcolaura said...

There's something delightful about the idea of a rooster that likes to be held.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Madcap said...

A bit stunted? The sad effects of an early taste for the bottle... my mother always warned me.

5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a super story and day-brightener!

9:19 AM  
Blogger Mysti said...

Sweet living at Earth Home Garden. Boris is a lucky fella!

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I love your blog. I used to live in the Himalaya for a long time (& years) as a nomadic horse woman with the Kahmpa tribe. I learned to fall in love with the dimple life, and animals and the earth.

While your life is different in many ways, I see that love for animals and nature coming through so brightly, this blog feels like coming home. Superb folks. Have a fantastic life!

9:59 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What a sweet story.....and what a handsome lil Roo he is....you are lucky to have each other .....good job Jim! Cheri

12:08 PM  

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