Farewell My Red Roo

The time finally came.  Red Roo had become over-the-top aggressive, so we needed to eliminate him from the chicken flock equation.

Upon my return from work late Thursday night, I checked on the birds like I always do. Within about 60 seconds of my entering the coop, Red Roo had hopped down off the nesting boxes to attack our barred rock rooster, who was quietly laying on the floor in front of the boxes.  When our buff orpington roo saw the commotion, he decided that Red Roo needed help and joined the fray.

Red Roo, shortly before his departure on Thursday
With nothing more than a mini-flashlight in my hand, I tried to beat Red Roo away.  He didn't seem to mind being beat with a small flashlight.  He probably thought, "is that all you got?"

Wouldn't that have made a great video?  I'm sure it would have been absolutely hysterical to watch me helplessly fend off a mad rooster.

Red Roo before his demise --
that's our buff rooster you hear crowing

When I finally managed to get both roosters off the poor barred rock boy, I still had to keep swinging my free arm to keep them away, while I attempted to pick up the barred rock who lay limp and lifeless on the floor of the coop.

I gently placed the barred rock on the separate side of the coop with the guineas, while I went to find our large dog crate - yes, the very same dog crate which had just been used for the injured hawk last weekend! I had already washed it and hubby had put it away in the garage.

Barred rock boy safe in his dog crate.
Don't let his small wattle fool you - we've watched him crow!
While I got him situated in the dog crate, the Red Roo decided to go at it some more and began attacking various hens, with the buff rooster helping him out again. I jumped to the other side of the coop again, yelling and flinging my flashlight at him.  Oh yes, I was so effective, I'm sure.

I think I even saw Red Roo roll his eyes and smirk at me.

I texted hubby, who was still at work, and told him the Red Roo's days had come to an end... yeah, who's smirking now, Red Roo?!

He was a major disruption in the flock and he had to go. This really did make me sad - but honestly, the hens (and us) got along fine with the other two roosters.

Hubby dispatched the Red Roo this morning.  

We were both sad, but even sadder that we didn't have the time to scald & pluck & cut him up to serve as dinner.  

I mean, really, that would have been ideal, and respectful of his existence.  But with our work times bearing down upon us, we didn't have time to do all that - with our newbie chicken status, it would have taken us longer than the average farmer.   

Psssst: Hubby HAS done this before, it's just been a long time. 
I'm the real newbie here!

The barred rock has been sitting quietly in the dog crate on our indoor back porch since last night.  I don't see any visible injuries - perhaps he has brain damage.  I say that half-jokingly, but then, you really never know, do you? 

I had noticed earlier in the week that he seemed quieter than usual, laying around a bit more.  When I checked on the birds Monday night, their waterer was cocked at an odd angle, and all the water had spilled out onto the floor.

That was my first clue (DUH) that there was tension in the flock.

When I put him back into the coop tomorrow, I think we'll keep him with the guineas and let him free-range.  No sense tempting the fates.  There are only 6 hens with the buff orpington rooster - the "books" all say there should be just one rooster to every 10 hens.

When we realized we had 3 roosters,
we knew we had a bomb just waiting to explode.

Reminder to self:
Buying all pullets does NOT guarantee you won't get any roosters. 
It does guarantee you'll pay more for your chickens.

Next on our to-do list:  Why is one guinea hen limping??!!

Help. Our birds have overtaken our lives.

P.S.  Next time we have an errant rooster, we will put him in the dog crate to await Saturday or Sunday when we can properly butcher him.   :-)


  1. Sorry about Red Roo...I've been lucky...I have 9 roosters at the moment and none are attack birds...they are all gentle...I've got three chicks hatched in April, three in June, 9 in July and 1 in August...wonder how many will be roosters...and how to keep them gentle...

  2. Whew - I thought when I read the title of this post that Ringo had helped himself to a chicken dinner and I figgered he was in the dawg house for sure. Sorry you had to usher Red Roo out of this life but sounds like he asked for it.

    I'd be glad to come help with those chickens. Just sayin'....

    Woofs and helpful slobbers,
    Chester ;0=)

  3. All I have is a garden..no chickens and I think I'm glad. Your post did bring a smile to my face

  4. Sorry about Red Roo and hope your Barred Rock rooster recovers!
    I was kind of wishing we had a rooster, but maybe not so much now. When I was a teenager, I babysat for people who had an attack rooster. You couldn't even go in their yard!
    I'll stick with my five funny chickens. :-)
    I tried going the country girl route again this summer...but my garden - it didn't turn out so great. :-(

  5. Sorry to hear about Red Roo ... some roosters are just that way, and love to be bullies. Sad ending, though. Hope your Barred Rock Boy will be okay.

    Oh ... my prize from you arrived. Thanks so much for the copies of Grit. Love the magazine! And the card with Ringo on it, too. :)

  6. Boo Hoo, so long Red Roo. I have to say their chicken coop looks pretty darn nice. I hope the Barred Rock Rooster comes back to life. You have your hands full for sure and you had me laughing thinking that the rooster was smirking at you.

  7. Hi. I'm new to your blog, but old to Kansas! Lived in KS for 25 years in a small area. My hubby was born and raised there. We now travel in an RV, but call KS our home port.

    Hope your Barred Rock is okay. Loved the story!

  8. Awww, I'm so sorry you had to go through that. But I agree with you, and life is too short to tolerate mean roos. I'm glad you've restored a little calm within your flock. I hope the BR roo is ok. Just as a side note, you mentioned the BR was acting a little listless for a day or so before that last attack - chickens can be merciless on any one that shows weakness within the flock. I do hope the BR recovers soon, but you may want to watch how the others interact with him when he returns to the flock. I know nothing about guinea hens, but have you checked the pads of her feet? My chickens limp when they get bumblefoot - not sure if that's even an issue with guinea hens, but I was thinking it wouldn't hurt to make sure her feet don't have visible damage of some sort?

  9. My daughter (who is apparently following you now ☺) asked me why I commented above and said "five funny chickens" when we obviously have "six silly chickens". And I had no answer except that I turned 50 last November and my memory seems to have taken an early retirement.