Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Loyal Pets

I'm not sure if I am describing the loyalty of this little hen and rooster, or that of my husband.  I'll let you decide.  When we first started getting involved with the chickens back in 2014, I ordered two trios of Serama from a well known breeder in Florida.  This man was very friendly and kind, and with my order sent us two Cochin Bantams ( a hen and a rooster) for our son to have.  These little birds quickly won our heart.  My husband immediately grew fond of them and named them Kong and Annie.  Kong was a feisty little guy.  He was blue in color and Annie is black.  They were both very small Cochin bantams.  We fed them meal worms daily.  Annie quickly reached a point that when we whistled, she came and jumped in our lap for her treats.  Kong was always somewhat cautious.  She loved Kong, and stayed right with him when they free ranged.  Kong developed some sort of irritation on his neck and the feathers came out.  We tried and tried to find ways to help him heal, but nothing helped.  Soon we lost Kong.  Annie was our only Cochin Bantam then.  She was visibly lonely but still very fond of us.  Before long, we were given a  Mille Fleur Cochin Bantam that had been rescued and needed a home.  We jumped at the chance to have a friend for Annie.  During all her time with Kong, her eggs were never fertile.  We tried and tried to hatch chicks and it just wasn't happening.  The new rooster was named Willy (just like my husband).  This was his name when we got him.   Willy and Annie became fast friends.  Annie still loved to jump in our laps and eat treats.  Willy has always been somewhat more cautious.  He likes his treats dropped on the ground.  Annie's eggs remained infertile.  She finally went broody a couple of times and we gave her Serama eggs to hatch so she would have babies.  She is an excellent mama.  Soon she just stopped laying altogether.  She didn't go broody anymore and just hung out with Willy.  They are faithful friends.  Annie is nearing 3 years old and hasn't laid an egg in probably a year or longer.  She and Willy became just pets.  My husband became extremely attached to this little pair. Now my two year old grand daughter likes to go to the secret garden and feed Annie meal worms one at a time.  Annie loves meal worms and she loves Emmylou too.  She comes right to her and takes the meal worms.

A while back we noticed that Willy was slowing down.  (we have no idea how old he might be as he was a rescue).  Nothing in particular seems wrong with him, not respiratory, not mites, not any of the normal culprits.  We think he is just getting older.  He will still get up and walk a little and he eats and drinks.  He just seems to be tired.  This breaks my husband's heart.  Annie is still active and likes to free range and Willy has gotten to the point he will just go out and find a cool spot to sleep after he eats.  One day when Willy seemed to tired to go out, we left them in their cage.  Annie is very attentive and tries to coax him to get up on the roost, or just get up.  You can hear her almost "talking" to him at times.  This particular day,  I went over to check on them and much to my amazement, there was an egg.  Annie had laid an egg.  A few days later there was another.  She has been laying occasionally since that day.  After much deliberation, my husband decided that while she is laying, we need to get her one of our other Cochin bantam roosters so that possibly we can get some chicks from her (that was always our wish).  For a few days we put a new young rooster in with her and she wanted no part of that.  She stayed at one end of the secret garden area and he was scared to death of her and stayed at the other end.  Each night we put her back in her cage with Willy (who now stays in a lot more).  She goes into the Secret Garden during the day to free range and get exercise.  Each evening she meets us at the gate to go "home".  We decided to try another rooster to see if we could get some fertile eggs from her.  Willy has been out less and less with her because he is just tired.  Finally and much to our surprise, she likes the latest rooster.  Hopefully we will finally get some "Annie" chicks to raise.  We still occasionally take Willy out there as well. Some days he will walk around and others he just rests.  He is a cherished pet and is well taken care of and will be until he is gone.

As I said in the beginning, I'm not sure if this story is about my husband's loyalty to these two little birds, or their loyalty to each other.  Maybe it's a little of both.  I have learned in these years of raising chickens, that they do in fact make wonderful pets.  They have individual personalities and habits and are easily trained  to come to you.  Hopefully I will soon be able to tell a story of Annie's chicks!

1 comment:

  1. Love reading this! As you know, I once had a pet rooster that I begged from a salesman that came through selling chickens to farmers, back in the early 1950's.