A friend gave me a beautiful Auracana rooster named Arlo. He is truly beautiful but not the passive, calm fellow I was led to believe. To go into the chicken area one needs to be armed with a broom or a big stick. Anything to help ward off Arlo's attacks. He will back away and pretend he is afraid but once turned away he charges forward and jumps in the air in order to get a good position for his spurs to dig in to the back of legs. It is not only painful it is also quite intimidating. I have taken to walking sideways to make sure I can see his advances. Several times I have forgotten to carry a stick and was armed with only a feed bucket which I have flung at him in hopes of scaring him off. It does help but he doesn't seem to have much of a memory so it happens again and again.
This morning I went to check on feed and water in all the chicken areas. I checked on the week old layer pullets and they are doing well. Then checked on the buff Orpington hens with their lovely, and truly passive, rooster. After that went in to see my dear little banty hen who hatched out seven lovely Auracana chicks. Arlo is good for something.
When leaving I got almost to the gate when Arlo came charging. I kicked towards him but missed. Drat! He quickly re-grouped and came at me again but I wasn't ready to kick so flung the bucket I was carrying at him. It isn't a big bucket, only about four litres so I didn't think I'd make contact and if I did it wouldn't hurt him that much. But wonder of wonders, I made contact. That will teach him I thought. Unfortunately I hit him harder than I thought I would. He shook, he trembled, he shuddered, and then laid down and sort of convulsed and then looked as if he was gasping for breath a few times and then dropped...dead. Good Grief, I killed him! I had only meant to keep him from attacking me and now...I'm a rooster killer. I felt bad but then though...well, I guess I don't have to worry about him anymore. I felt rather shaken up so came in the house for a cup of tea.
I had my tea and then got a few things done and then decided I had better go out and pick up Arlo's body, light a fire and cremate him. I got to the chicken yard, looked where I had seen him drop dead and there was no rooster. I wondered if a hawk had swooped down and taken him away to feed her family. I looked around and saw him laying in a heap about twenty yards from where he had been bucket beaten. I wondered how in the world he had gotten over there as I walked towards his body. As I approached him a very subdued and obviously nervous Arlo cautiously lifted his head and opened one eye. I couldn't believe it...he was alive. I think pretty shaken up but other than that he seemed to be making a rapid recovery. I will be interesting to see if he has acquired a new found respect for me or at least for buckets.