So a couple months ago, we got chickens. Our friends really wanted chickens but didn’t have space at their place, and Gil had been saying he wanted them since we bought the house, so when spring rolled around we headed over to our local feed store (guys, I live somewhere with a local feed store – wrap your head around that for a minute) and picked up 4 hens so we could share all the eggs amongst the four of us.
They were 12 weeks old when we got them (so, like preteens in chicken years?) and the nice people at the feed store told us they’d start laying at around 6 months old. They also told us they were all lady chickens, because we did ask. Why? Because I DEFINITELY DID NOT WANT A ROOSTER.
I initially vetoed the idea of chickens because I thought you had to have a rooster to get eggs. I must have slept through biology in school because when I said that to Gil he just shook his head at me. Apparently you don’t need a rooster in order for chickens to lay eggs because OBVIOUSLY they come with eggs, just like humans, and you only need rooster sperm if you want little baby chickens in your eggs instead of just delicious breakfast ingredients. Also, I might still need a biology refresher because I just realized I said “they come with eggs” and don’t actually understand how any of it really works.
Anyway, we brought our 4 hens home and everything was going great. We named them Dolly, Shania, Loretta and Reba. Unbeknownst to us however, our redhead Reba turned out to be a total cock. (OK, that was really bad, but there was no way I could get through this whole thing without a terrible cock joke, and I just had to get it out of my system. First and last one, I promise.)
Seriously though, one of our hens is apparently a rooster. How do I know? Well, it crows and it has sex with our other hens and doesn’t lay eggs. So either it’s a rooster, or a barren and very vocal lesbian hen. Either way, all that noise isn’t really working for me. Especially since it apparently didn’t get the memo that THE SUN ISN’T EVEN OUT AT 4 AM, SHUT UP YOU STUPID BIRD.
So once we figured this out, my first thought was “We have to kill it.” My second thought was “Whoa Courtney, the country has hardened you.”
This was all about a month ago, so since then we’ve been waffling over killing it. My boss grew up on a farm in upstate New York so he had an endless amount of tips for the proper way to kill and prepare it so we could eat the freshest chicken in the world. Turns out, that is A LOT of work. Like, you have to pluck all the feathers and cut all the nasty parts out and it really just sounded like “and then Gil has to wahwahwahwah, and then Gil will need to wahwahwahwah but Gil will also have to be careful to wahwahwahwah.” Because I’m really more of a supervisor when it comes to this kind of stuff – I’m not trying to get chicken guts on my new summer maxi dresses.
So the other day we decided to see if we could even catch it. We had put it in a different part of the yard because it would not stop mounting the other chickens and it was getting aggressive. Gil and I tag teamed it and chased it around the yard until we could corner it. It took a couple tries because that thing is FAST but we finally caught it with the help of a trusty bucket.
Gil pulled out his knife and looks at me and is like, “Well? You ready?”
No. I was not ready. I was not ready to be an accessory to chicken murder. Especially because Gil wasn’t sure he wanted to do all the work required to actually be able to eat it. Beheading it and burying it in the yard just felt very backwoods mobster to me.
So we let it go and put an ad on Craigslist, as one does. We live in the country so it didn’t take long for someone to hit us up and arrange a time to take it off our hands. We both felt relieved, and were looking forward to the weekend so we could close the chapter on the big red cock that had been causing so many problems. (OK, I lied that I was only going to make one cock joke, but you knew that, right?)
So on Sunday, we were heading to the airport to pick up friends and decided to drop the rooster off with its new family on our way. We just had to catch it and get it in a box for transport. No problem, right?
Wrong. So wrong. We should never have practice caught it before. Because as soon as it saw both of us it took off in a dead sprint. Gil and I are a lot of things, but “speedy” is really not one of them. So there we are, chasing this thing around the yard, each of us grabbing at it as it zooms past us and just laughing hysterically. I’m in a crouch, basically the same way I used to play 3rd base, trying to shuffle around and block it as it shoots past. We finally cornered it on a woodpile and Gil got a bucket over it, but then we had to figure out how to get it in the box for transport.
Guys, I am a badass country girl now because I just told Gil to hold the bucket up a bit while I reached in and grabbed this big ol panicked rooster to safely transport him to his little traveling container. BOOM. Rooster apprehended.
Your next question is probably why is that box INSIDE YOUR HOUSE? That’s a good question, you should ask Gil. We were running late to get the airport and were trying to get out the door and for some reason he decided to come through the house instead of around it and dropped the rooster IN OUR BEDROOM while he changed.
When the box started rocking, I turned around and told him if that rooster got loose in our bedroom he was going to have a whole new problem to deal with. Although, if it DID, I’d have way more material to share with you guys, so, silver lining?
Spoiler: it didn’t. So Gil still gets to sleep in the house instead of the barn.