Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cora grows up

It didn't take too long before we realized Cora might not be Cora, but could actually be Carl or Corey... There was a suspicious red mass growing on her head and in late June, at about 6-7 weeks of age, I heard a stange sound coming from the backyard as I stumbled into the bathroom before the sun was up. It was actually very upsetting to think that one of my girls might not be... For one thing, roosters are definitely not allowed in Beverly and I certainly wanted to stay in my neighbors' good graces. But most of all, I'd grown attached to all my chickens and did not like the thought of parting with any one of them.

As the summer went on and the chickens grew, Cora became more assertive and clearly was the leader of the pack. My fears grew and by the time we went to northern Maine for a week's vacation in late July I was terrified that Cora would become the official alarm clock of Prospect Hill. I left our young chicken sitter, Darcy, with instructions on how to reach us if any problems arose and off we went. Two days later she left us a message on our cell phone....there was a definite crowing one morning when she went to open the coop sliding door as Cora announced herself to the world. I spent the rest of the vacation fretting about the animal control officer stopping by with a warrant for Cora's arrest and deportation. But alas, my fears were mostly unfounded, and we returned from vacation knowing we needed to deal with Cora's blossoming adolescence.

The wonderful thing about having our oldest daughter living on a farm is that she was only too happy to help us put Cora in the Chicken Witness Protection Program. After all, she got us into this predicament when she shared her chicks with us so it was up to her to now bail us out! (Or so I hoped...) In all fairness, I did try to find a home locally for Cora but it's just not that easy to place a rooster in a foster home and not worry about which Sunday she's going to show up on the menu. And let's face it, how many people do you know raise chickens and can accomodate a pet rooster? I figured that if I could find Cora a home then I couldn't be too fussy about her future and this might just be her, or his, mission in life...

I was very happy when Sharon offered to take Cora on their summer visit east in late August and I counted the days until she left, apologizing to our neighbors and hoping no one turned us in. When the actual day came for Cora to leave I felt both relief and sadness as she began her new life as head rooster of Gleanings Farm. I knew she'd have a good life and I'd get to see her, or now him, on my visits to the kids.

Cora's departure left one spot open in our coop...

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