While living in the country and raising large animals, I have experienced many ways to become injured. For example I’ve sustained a broken arm after being pitched from a horse and received serious whole body bruising after being run over several times by a mad mama cow and firmly planted in a barbed wire fence. Nevertheless, a friend from Lubbock recently visited with what I thought was a novel animal-inflicted injury.
To back up a bit, our friend Judy Wilkins decided to raise chickens in her backyard in Lubbock. Truly fresh eggs taste much better than store bought ones, making her desire to raise backyard chickens understandable. However with the passage of time, one of the baby chicks that she had bought turned out to be a rooster rather than a hen. I’m sure mistakes can easily be made when sexing baby chicks.
The rooster had a pleasing crowing sound during the morning, and Judy decided to keep him for its local color and audio value. What else would a nice civilized lady like Judy do after all, certainly not do away with the animal by making him into a chicken dinner. She named the rooster, Speedy and kept him with her egg laying hens. And a handsome but scheming rooster he had become.
Apparently Speedy as he became larger became increasingly aggressive. Various efforts were made to socialize the bird such as petting and scolding it. But all efforts by the nice and patient Judy and her friends met with very limited success. The rooster proved incorrigible but hope sprung eternal. Speedy became aggressive in “protecting” his hens, flapping and squawking when people entered the chicken coup.
One lovely summer morning Judy entered her chicken coop to retrieve several farm fresh eggs to make into a tasty breakfast dish. In as quick as a wink, Speedy came out of nowhere and attacked Judy’s exposed leg. Like a sewing machine, Speedy left a series of vertical, triangular wounds down her calf as precise and as straight as a seam in a fine garment and for a distance of over half a foot. The blitzkrieg attack lasted brief moments but the damage had been done and proved the aptness of the rooster’s name. Soon blood gushed from Judy’s multiple rooster-inspired wounds and flowed down her leg. I suspect about this time, Judy had lost her inkling for an egg breakfast, although I wonder if a rooster dinner might at some point have crossed her mind.
Regrettably, due to my poor photographic skills the picture I made of Judy’s heavily pecked leg has been lost. Perhaps this omission is just as well. Needless to say, the rooster’s grizzly revenge was not a pretty sight. Judy’s patience proved exhausted following the rooster attack and Speedy was, ahem, re-homed.
I mention this surprising incident and injury in case you might be considering raising chickens to enjoy the delights of farm fresh eggs. While the eggs are tasty and tempting- Beware the rooster!