Duke and Meyla

Duke and Meyla

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Betty, The Rooster

This is a much requested story, however, I'm not satisfied with how it turned out. I should have written it when the details were fresh in my mind. 

This spring, I decided to expand my portion of the farm a lot more, and added Buff Orpington chickens, among other critters. I traded some goat milk soap and dried liver for 18 hatching eggs, out of which only around 8 hatched. The kind women sent me another dozen for free-I just had to pay for shipping-and I think I hatched 7 out of that batch. I ended up with four hens and a pile of roosters, but I wanted a different rooster from different bloodlines. So, I began perusing Craigslist. 
I found a free rooster, located in Eugene, Oregon, I believe. The ad said that he was not for the stew pot and to call for more information. I was planning on attending the Rhoades Family reunion in Turner in a couple of weeks, so thought that it would be the perfect time to pick him up as Eugene at least a three hour drive.
I called the owner, and found out that they had thought he was a hen, but noticed "she" wasn't as cuddly as the other hen, and one day he started crowing. I think she said she lives in town and is not allowed to have a rooster. I asked her if she could hold him for a couple more weeks, but she was worried that the neighbors were going to turn her in, so she wanted him out of there ASAP. She offered to deliver him to me. I panicked inwardly for a few seconds, because if she did, she would see all the feathers, blood, killing cone, etc. from a couple weeks back, and not give me the rooster. 

Quickly, I offered to meet her in Hood River, so that "you won't have to drive QUITE so far." She agreed to come that very afternoon, so I arranged for us to meet at Walmart, in a few hours. When I  got there, she was already there with her husband. She handed me a taped up cardboard box with holes in it, and a water bottle with a chicken watering nipple on it. She explained how that he didn't seem to want the water, but that I should take it just in case. She had also provided him with a generous serving of meal worms, for the ride, which stunk like mad. Over and over again, this kind woman thanked me for giving him a good home, and asked me to keep her updated on how he was doing in his new home. 
On the drive home, she texted me saying that she forgot to to tell me that raisins were this rooster's favorite treat. I thanked her(via Brittany-no I was not texting and driving) and asked her what his name was. Soon the response came in: Betty! I laughed, and laughed! Well, I suppose, if you think he's a hen, but it was just funny. 
Okay, so here's what I think. I think it was a little strange to make a 4.5 hour round trip, for free, to bring a rooster to a total stranger. I thought it was a little strange that they cuddled their chickens. But mostly, I thought it was very strange that, throughout our phone and face-to-face conversations, she never once asked me anything about butchering him, and I never told her anything. The ad said "not for the stew pot." What about the oven? Or slow cooker? I was just very surprised that she was so worried about finding him a good home, and never did anything to check if I had a good home for him. 
All that said, he IS safe. I have no intention of butchering him(unless he attacks people, which he shows no intention of doing so far) as he is my flock rooster.
I will also say that all those raisins seem to make a difference-his feathers are a little fuller and shinier than my other Buff roosters. 


  1. Thank you for sharing this story, Kailey! It is funny what people will do when they turn livestock into pets. :) I'm all for being friendly with your chickens, but sometimes folks take it to extremes.

  2. And here I thought his name was "Benny"!

  3. What a name! Do you still call him Betty?

    1. I told her his new name was Tommy, but I really don't call him anything.