It has been a harrowing 24 hrs here on The Ranch, as two of our Roosters decided to fight it out to the almost-bloody end.
Rodney, our original chicken, and his son, Cowlick, thoroughly got into it in multiple locations on the property. Blood and gore abounded. When I finally found the ruckus, it absolutely looked like the end of Rodney. He was so bloody, and just a lump of feathers --- motionless. Not even breathing movement.
So I shewed Cowlick away, and quarantined him in the chicken coop, alone. (I didn't want him thinking he needed to come back and finish the job, which was already done.) It took quite a bit to get Cowlick corralled, and to get all of the hens out of the coop. Hula & Willow had to help herd them all (which they did a mighty fine job of --- Hula was on cloud 9! She loves herding any and all of our critters).
Once things were settled in the coop, I went back to the tack shed to collect Rodney's remains so as to avoid the heartache of any of the four mutts dragging his carcase around the yard. When I got back to the place I'd left him, he was gone! G -O -N -E.
No lie, plenty of sailor words came flying out of my mouth in the direction of the dogs, for I was certain they'd dragged him off when I wasn't looking (think about it, lifeless body that stank of blood & feathers? Yeah, to them that = new chew toy to play tug-of-war with).
After giving the dogs what-for, my gaze shifted towards the distance, and sure enough there was Rodney STANDING motionless as hens raced past him!
He looked like a mannequin, or something gruesome back from the taxidermist.
Creepy though he appeared, he was 100% alive. Like the chicken Terminator or something. I wandered over to him, cautious so as to not provoke whatever rage/emotions almost dead roosters encounter in such instances. He didn't seem threatened at all, so I scooped him up and took him & his old critter carrier into the house to start the clean-up process. He was trembling, and bleeding all afternoon.
No matter what I did, I couldn't get his wounds on & under his waddle cleaned up enough to the point they would actually clot. So, without Mr LKP's extra hands available at the time, I just wrapped Rodney in a towel, turned on "The Natural History of Chickens" (a slightly obscure but fab PBS documentary), and rocked Rodney in the rocking chair.
Call me a sissy all ya want, but think about it. If you or I were in Rodney's situation, all we'd want is warmth, comfort, and to be held. So that's what I did, and he seemed content. :)
Mr LKP left work a little early, made a stop at the nearby ranch supply store & picked up some chicken anti-B's + feed, and then hustled home. He helped me get some flour on to the waddle wounds to help stop the bleeding, and then we got him re-nestled back into his critter carrier near the sliding glass door. Rodney had been resting his eyes as much as possible that day with me, but we figured if for some reason he couldn't keep his eyes shut (Heaven's knows I can relate these days), at least he could look out on the hens & The Ranch he loves so much.
This morning, he crowed several times in a row, as if it were any old day! Won't lie to ya, I cried. They were beautiful to hear, especially from a bird who could barely breathe the day before!
So there's the account. Now here's some photos of the carnage.
If you have a weak constitution, no need to see the pics. Yes he DOES look more like a burn victim, especially with the majority of his head feathers missing (I was worried part of what I was looking at was his brain, at first). But I assure you, no lighter fluid was involved. Just two pissed off roosters - a son thinking he knows more than his dad. We probably all know some HUMANS who behave the same or worse!
Happy Tuesday to ya'll, and Happy Birthday to my mom! ::hugs::