Monday, May 9, 2016

The one where we say good bye to Weezel

You may remember last fall when the chicks arrived. We had ordered 12 Australorp female chicks, but when we picked up the box, we were told they threw a few males in there for free for added warmth. We'd ordered 12 expecting 8 to survive- we'd done our research and made peace with the fact that not all the chicks would live to see adulthood- so were seriously surprised to find 21 peeping chicks when we opened the box! There were 13 little black Australorps, and 8 yellow chicks.

Every single one survived.

We figured the yellow chicks were all male, and as it turned out, the extra Australorp was, too! Denzel is quite the handsome devil. At the moment my camera is vexing me, but I'll try to get a great photo of him in the sun soon. He's also huge! He comes to about my knee, and looks down on our Cairn terrier mix, and all the neighborhood cats!

As for the yellow ones? Well, that's farm life, and they were quite tasty. I've never had meat that we raised and butchered ourselves, but I highly recommend it. There's something satisfying in knowing that your food had a great life.

When we butchered them, though, there was one that was just too small to justify killing. There was no meat on him! I'm pretty sure he was the little runt that I'd had to treat for pasty butt a few times. We made a rapid fire decision to try to find him a home. I named him Weezel, and posted "Free Rooster to a good home" on some of the online boards I'm a member of.

It wasn't until after I posted that I realized what a stupid thing it is to post a free rooster to strangers. I'd rather butcher him than submit him to possible cock fights!

So I went to take down the post, and already had a hit. I had a look at her profile, and she looked like a decent person, lots of chicken care posts, how to pamper your chickens, the whole thing, so I messaged her to arrange for pick up of Weezel.

She never got back to me.

There was another person interested, and she looked really nice, too. Young couple just getting started, born and raised in farm country.

She never got back to me either.

Then one a home schooler claimed him. She had to finish their coop, so I agreed to hold him for another week. But then she realized she'd bitten off more than she could chew.

Meanwhile, our girls had started laying eggs and Weezel was getting more and more frustrated. Denzel was nearly twice his size and so was the dominant male. Weezel was not allowed to mate with the girls, and they would squawk and fight him off until Denzel came over and beat him up every timed he tried. We were getting worried that he was going to get hurt.

Another home schooler, who already had two hens and wanted to start breeding them was interested. So, we arranged for pick up. She lives a fair distance away, but I had to go to Costco (70 miles away from us, but only a short drive for her) anyway, so I packed Weezel in a box, and off we went!

She loves him! She didn't really get a great look at him when she picked him up because he was in a cardboard box, but a few minutes after picking him up I got a text from her: "This rooster is gorgeous! Thank you so much!"

Weezel gets to live happily ever after.

Sometimes stories do have good endings.