By Robyn Rice
When this whole stay-at-home thing started, I decided I was going to raise chickens, and that’s when it all started…
I got my ten chicks — was only supposed to get six but you know ten is always better... Then of course I need a rooster, right?
Someone on my Facebook group was giving away roosters, so I thought why not? She advised me that my ten hens needed two roosters. So, in the pouring rain, I dragged Poor Husband around the country to find these free roosters. We acquired them, brought them home and put them in our new coop/run.
What I didn’t realize was the stupid things can FLY!!
Obviously one got out that day (for now we’ll call him Rooster #1) so I clipped the wings on Rooster #2 so he couldn’t escape as well. Well, turns out roosters can climb, too. Who knew?!
Around 10 p.m. that night I went out to check on Rooster #2 only to find him, clipped wings and all, in the pine tree above his coop!
Mind you it was still pouring rain. My husband comes out with me and tries to knock Rooster #2 out of the tree and into a fishing net I’m holding below. (Because why not try to catch a rooster in a fishing net?)
Now I’m not really good at netting things so, you guessed it, he literally flew the coop. I’m still not sure where he spent that night.
Two days later the neighbor behind us came over to tell me my rooster is pecking on the window on his front porch. His wife kept going to the door to see who was there.
Time passes and three hours later Rooster #1 is netted. We cover the chicken run so he can’t get out, because obviously wing clipping does not work, and Rooster #1’s new name is Renegade.
Meanwhile, wing-clipped Rooster #2 is still on the run, earning himself a new name as well: Rogue.
And Rouge gets around. Days later the neighbor to the south came by and asked, “You got chickens again?”
“Yes. Is my rooster bothering you?”
“No, he’s not bothering us. Just wanted you to know he roosts every night about 7 p.m. out back, in the old run-down shed back there.”
I apologized all over the place.
“No big deal,” he said. “I kinda like the guy.”
So by this point I’m thinking I better post on our neighborhood Facebook group that I’m missing a rooster, sorry if he’s bothering you but I can’t catch the darn thing, etc. Heck I even put a $10 bounty on his head to encourage some neighborhood kids to catch him, but Rogue’s a good name — he’s one evasive bird.
Finally, days later I get a message on the neighborhood Facebook: “Is this your rooster?” It’s accompanied by a picture and some colorful verbiage I can’t share here.
Someone in the neighborhood saw it on her Facebook page, connected the dots that it was, in fact, my bird, and chimed in to announce Rogue had taken up a new hobby: peering into bedroom windows at women getting dressed!!
Ugh… I didn’t expect a free rooster to be the most upstanding member of the community, but did he have to be a feathered pervert?
As I write this he’s still on the loose. He’ll come into our yard to dust in the garden and grab a snack, but scoots if we get too close. And he’s wise to the fishing net gambit.
So the saga continues of Rogue the window-peeping rooster who roams our neighborhood.
At least he’s kind enough to peck the glass to let you know he’s there!
Robyn Rice is administrative manager of the Muskegon County Farm Bureau.