A Real Rooster

Strut and the mirror
Strut and the mirror (not for sale)

I spent my day making potholders about the chickens and Minnie.  Before today, most of the  chicken potholders I made didn’t include the rooster Strut.  Today, for some reason I found myself putting him in more of them.  I think I was drawn to stitching his tail.  All those poofy feathers.  Such a beautiful rooster and I couldn’t help thinking he knew it.  He stayed with his hens, bothering them as a rooster will, but watching over them too.  Roosters always seem a little ridiculous to me,  living up to their reputations.

And this afternoon, Strut was just being a rooster when he tried to attack me again and again, finally digging his claws into my leg.  I don’t know why, over the past few weeks, he began to see me and Jon as something he needed to attack.  But it was clear this behavior was just getting worse.  A rooster that attacks people is a dangerous animal and I don’t want me or anyone else to have to be afraid of walking around my yard because they might be clawed by a rooster.

So Jon shot Strut this afternoon and I was sad and grateful.  It had to be done and I was grateful I didn’t have to do it, although I would have done anything to protect myself when he was attacking me.  I cried when I took Strut’s body to the hill behind the pasture, trying to find a place where it would easily be found by turkey vultures or coyotes.  When I saw the deer leg lying on the ground,  I knew it was the right spot.  Someone would be coming back for it and find a dead rooster too.  It was strangely comforting to place Strut’s body beside the deer leg, as if it was an affirmation of the rhythms of life and death.

Strut really was the essence of Rooster,  he lived and died like one and I will miss him.


8 thoughts on “A Real Rooster

  1. Oh Maria, Strut was such a pretty rooster. He seemed to be fitting in without problems for a more lengthy time than the last two. It felt like it was a done deal. Why after this long would he revert to this dangerous behavior? I don’t get it. I’m sorry for your sad loss.

  2. I am so sorry about Strut. He was a magnificent rooster and did his job well.
    This potholder is a fitting tribute.
    From Fran

  3. Spring time hormones in roosters (geese are even worse with ganders becoming especially nasty and protective of their nesting mates…. at least they can’t spur you) seems to set them off. In my experienc once they decide to attack people you can never trust a rooster again. Especially dangerous with kids because their faces are at an easy height for a rooster to spur. I’ve knocked off many a rooster and cooked up a tasty meal of Coq Au Vin. Biting the hand that feeds you is the wrong move and replacement roosters are readily available. Some breeds tend to be more people aggressive than others. My sister raises Salmon Faverolles and they are noted to be non aggressive towards people with the added bonus of the roosters being expecially photogenic.

    So long Strut, better luck in the next life.

  4. I don’t know anything about chicken behavior, but it sounds like you did what you had to do. He was certainly a gorgeous rooster and I will miss seeing photos of him. I am sad that this happened too. It may be a part of life, but it is a hard part to deal with. I am sorry you have lost him.

  5. Poor Strut, his hormones got the best of him. My Mom mentioned when she was a child she feared her mother’s geese. People don’t realize how dangerous a rooster and a goose can be (swans, also are very dangerous). Good thing Jon shot Strut.

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