When I started out wanting to be a Hobby Farmer I never realized how attached I would become to our animals. Whether its our chickens, rabbits, dogs or cats they are all the same to me. I almost feel as much affection for my chickens as I do the dogs and that's a lot of loving, let me tell you. So when our rooster ( Stoo ) started showing signs of weakness I really tried everything in my power to help him get better aside from taking him to the Vet. I didn't think showing up there with a Rooster in my lap was really showing signs of sanity, so I did what I could to make him comfortable. Needless to say, he got worse, and yesterday we had to make the difficult decision of putting him down. Of course I made my husband do it, as I'm much too squeamish for such tasks, so he took care of things for me.
I was really surprised how sad I was. After complaining about him all the time, and having to always look over my shoulder when out in the yard out of fear he would attack me at any time, having him gone has left a hole around the place. The hens are lost without him. They wander the yard, no longer as a group, but all separated without Stoo to lead the way. I fear for them now, as he was their protector ( and a great one at that ) and now that I'm working, I'm not always there to look out for them either.
I know we need a new Rooster as soon as possible, but honestly, there will never be another Stoo. And I'm also really afraid how I'm going to fare when its time to cull the hens next spring, when it is time for new ones. Their egg production is already starting to slow somewhat which means they are destined for Chicken Soup, Pot pie and Stew. Poor Henny and Penny, Tipsy and the rest. I hope they don't know their final destiny. But I guess we all share the same fate one way or another don't we? Well aside from the soup pot. I don't think I'm slated for that anytime soon.
Anyways, rest in peace dear Stoo. You kept your girls safe and terrorized me more than a few times. The place just won't be the same without you.