The Poultry Princess

The Poultry Princess: Pecked By A Rooster

This is the 15th installment in a series of humorous stories about chicken keeping from guest contributor, Heide Royer.

You always hear horror stories about rooster attacks, a peck in the eyeball that sent someone to the ER, or even contracting some illness from a chicken. I’ve always been mindful of these things as I handle my birds, but sometimes the super cute ones get a little bit more attention than others, you know the ones that look like yellow poofs of fresh cotton candy being held up by plump, cherub-like legs, eyes staring at you with love, curiosity and adoration but hiding personalities of hard core convicted felons. When that opportune moment comes when you let your guard down, they snatch you around the corner, steal your keys, and piss on your shoes as you lay there wondering what the f<% just happened. You snap out of it trying to shake it off and thank your lucky stars you didn’t end up with a sore booty hole.

Ok that’s a little dramatic, but at the very least it can be…..(insert ominous noise here)

Freaking painful.

Enter Frankie. Frankie was a Tractor Supply rescue chick. I saw him at the bottom of the pile of fresh intakes, lifeless, and getting trampled on. I immediately notified the sales person that there was a chick in distress and asked if I could take him. I would pay full price for the minimum quantity of chicks required to purchase, as long as it included him. He was a day or two old, and looked so frail and defeated. I’m fairly convinced now it was all some major ploy so he could get me to take him home to wreak havoc and destruction, and start the “Chickapocolypse” in Texas. I don’t enter Tractor Supply’s anymore without a few spritzes of holy water on my t-shirt.

The manager came over and said I could just have him, so I took him home, drove the 45 minutes back to my house, praying and begging he’d survive.

I got him home and he was already starting to do the death gasp, and as a new chicken owner, that was even more terrifying. We all know what that looks like, and nine out of ten times it doesn’t end well when they are that little. I administered a few drops of honey water every few hours, and put him under some heat. A day turned into two, then three, and a week later, he was up and around and madly peeping. I knew he was going to make it.

The thing was, now he was peeping all the dadgum time. It was maddening. I didn’t have any other chicks to put out with him so I attempted to be his person. I would snuggle him, tuck him into my t-shirt, I even bought him a friggin’ dollhouse so he could have a place to chill out and bring fine honeys home to later.

Nothing was working.

One evening, he was really hollering, so I got up out of bed and went into the front formal living room (which ended up being converted into a chicken room for six months, but that’s a later story).

I picked him up, dimmed the overhead lights, sat down on my soft brown sofa, cupped him in my hands and just started rocking back and forth, like I would do with a newborn baby. Looking back, I should have just sat on his ass and let him settle in for the night, but hindsight is 20/20.

He calmed down, and I looked to see his tiny little face looking up at me. At that moment I felt like a Disney Princess and all these rushing lovey dovey feelings overcame me. I lifted him up slowly to kiss his head, all the while maintaining eye contact.

Pure Love. He loves me. He knows it. I know it. We are two chick-peas in a pod. I’m sure he would run in front of a train to save me from impending doom. He absolutely is the very best; WTF is happening right now?!

In the blink of an eye, Frankie had found something shiny in that dimly lit room and decided that he would have his “Precious” after all. That precious taking on the form of my diamond studded nose ring.

He had in an instant latched on to my nose ring and I had never felt such searing pain in my life. Not even when I had it pierced. It was like 1000 Turkish Ottoman soldiers had thrown their rusty, blood tinged, spears in my direction and they all landed on the side of my face.

Stars. Lights. Feathers. I’m dizzy. I’m hurting. And I’m flailing around like a drunken muppet, waving my hand in the air like “you don’t care”, all the while trying to convince Frankie to let go. I didn’t want to rip him off or frighten him because I didn’t want him to be injured. I really had no idea what to do. I was at his mercy, and the little bastard wouldn’t give up until he claimed his booty.

Finally, he released and I was able to get him back to his enclosure. I inspected my face to see if my little diamond stud was intact, and thankfully it was, but fairly certain I had inhaled the round backing in my panic state which is probably floating around in my appendix to be a medical enigma in my future autopsy.

Frankie is now a year and a half old and is the patriarch of my Silver Duckwing Game bantam flock, having sired over 65 chicks and counting.

In the end, I guess I ended up having a sore “booty” hole after all, and made a mistake I will only do once. Promise you that.

Heide Royer is the artist behind Heidinmyworld of Art. Her creative passion lies within the animal world and is expressed through her visually compelling artwork. She is also an aspiring writer telling stories of her chicken farm life in a new book entitled “All Cooped Up – My Life with Chickens During A Pandemic”, filled with crazy antics and a lot of fowl play. It’s sure to bring laughter to any poultry loving household.

Thanks again to Heide for sharing her story and photos, used with permission.

Feature photo credit: Ashley Happ Garrison (FYI: I know the bird depicted is a hen, not a rooster, but it was the best I could do)

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