Adrian said the rooster starts crowing at 3am most mornings. Noooo. I could hardly believe it. Apart from it being pitch dark, what would trigger a series of crows at that time? He wasn’t entirely sure if Razor was actually waking him as he was a light sleeper anyway. Maybe he simply heard him because he was awake he pondered.
“He’s pretty loud, does he not wake you?” Adrian enquired. “Adrian, I said, the kids had trouble waking me to tell me they were sorry they were home late, 3am instead of midnight, when shaking me by the shoulders.” I had told them they had to come and tell me when they got home as I worried sick about them and couldn’t rest until I knew they were all safe in bed. They complained I was too hard to wake up….so it was very unlikely a rooster would disturb me and no I never heard him. In the unlikely event of him actually waking me, it would be all of two seconds before I slipped into a peaceful slumber again. I told Adrian about twice a year on a full moon I might have trouble getting back to sleep, but otherwise, not a problem. Adrian looked at me enviously as if I had just told him I had won lotto, as he sighed that any little thing at all would wake him and he had a devil of a job getting back to sleep again. Oh dear….
…and then the other morning I woke and lay for a bit before getting up. It was a full moon and 2.55am. I came out for a drink of water and as I stood at the sink, off he went, in full cry with all the volume of a rock band’s first strum at Vector arena. He went at it as if his life depended on it. I felt a bit sick that Adrian was probably awake and was counting the crows like I was, but with his teeth gritted. They went on and on and on. He did them in a series of about six, with a small pause between each and then a longer break to get his breath back before he started up again. I googled… ‘how to stop a rooster from crowing’, not really thinking it was possible, only to fill in my next two hours learning that roosters were a bit like dogs who bark excessively. Its about marking territory and shouting prowess to warn off predators and protecting his flock.
Some are very needy or stressed and advice went from changes to his diet, to changes to the environs to help. Failing that I could purchase a stretchy collar that restricted the volume of air he could get into his crop, which according to the u-tube videos made him sound like someone loudly gargling. I imagined Adrian waking to the sound of someone gargling, which might not work for him either.
At 5 am he was still going, so I went out and tried to see what the hell was going on but when I opened the door he stopped and I just saw 9 pairs of eyes blinking at my torch from their perches. With my eyes narrowed angrily I whispered, “shut up you bloody fool” with as much menace as I could muster in a whisper in case I woke Adrian. I waited, but he stopped then and didn’t start up until I settled myself inside again. I took a good look at him later in the day and its amazing how much he has changed in the last month or two. A month ago I wasn’t sure if he was a hen or a rooster. Now he’s twice the height, has rugby player thighs, a long neck with a finely striped collar and a tall superfluous tail in all the gorgeous dark greens of the deep sea.
“I can’t believe you didn’t know he was a rooster Gilbert looked at me in disbelief. Its pretty obvious’ he said as if I must be blind. “Well its obvious now, I retorted. He didn’t look like that a couple of weeks ago!” I don’t think Gilbert believed me.
We visited Duane and her rooster is a beauty. “Does he crow?” I asked casually. “Yes she said, of course he crows, as if I had questioned his prowess, but he’s such a gentleman, she added proudly. He stands back and lets the hens eat first.” I wondered if Razor did this. I hadn’t noticed except, he keeps well away from me. Possibly my night prowling and bursting in on his harem in the middle of the night made him a little nervous. I was unsure what to do. If I could just get a few fertile eggs out of him now I had him.
Over the next few days I wondered if Adrian’s cat was stalking the hens as Pip said she worried about that. There’s a ruckus in the hen house, all the time. Whenever I’m in the garden I’m hearing serious squawking from there but when I get there it all seems calm and there’s a general relaxed clucking and pecking going on. Then yesterday I was picking chokos and tidying up the vine when I heard it, but by the time I got to the fence it was quiet again. I sat down still and waited when to my horror I witnessed what was going on. It made me feel a little ill. Of course I know this is what happens, but right in front of my eyes he pounced on an unsuspecting hen and held her by a firm grip with a sizeable chunk of her neck skin held in his mouth and a big heavy claw holding her down while he raped her. I sat stock still in horror. Not satisfied with that he moved off and before long grabbed the next hen and then the next. His prowess was something to behold but the cause of the high pitched squawking now obvious, I left wondering how I couldn’t have known.
“Feckin bastard is raping all the hens”, I blurted out when I got back inside, still feeling a little sick at having witnessed it. “Pardon?”, Gilbert asked unsure what the hell I was talking about. “Razor, he’s out there raping all the hens” I repeated. Gilbert thought on this for a second and then said…”No wonder we’re not getting any eggs. He’s keeping them up all night with his bloody crowing and then he’s at them all day!” “Hes gotta go”, I stated. It was obvious, we weren’t going to put up with this roosterish behaviour any longer. …annnnd hes keeping Adrian awake!
I decided to put him on Trade Me then and there, it was done. It was better than wringing his neck. He was after all doing what roosters are born to do. I phoned Adrian and said “I’ve put him on Trade Me so he’ll hopefully be gone by the weekend.”
“Oh and by the way Adrian, Wilson your cat was inside our family room the other night. Gave me a hell’va fright. Thought it was a burglar.” Adrian’s cat is a Maine Coon so he’s massive. He stood on a delicate china cabinet we have at the end of the hall making an attempt to get out the window there, which unfortunately was shut. One huge paw on the china cabinet. One stretched up to the window sill and his sleek long haired tail dipping almost to the floor, brushing across the glass door. I wondered for a moment if I should go and open the window but imagined him possibly scratching my face off. He wasn’t the friendliest of cats. By now he was making demented cat crying noises as well so I called…” here Wilson” in my friendly cat woman voice and walked downstairs, opened a door and stepped aside. He watched me for a few seconds and then jumped down and slowly walked past me and out the door, as if we do this every day. Just saying Adrian.
But I digress, back to the rooster… I tried to put him on for free but I got a ‘whoops’ message back from Trade Me’ so I put him on for $2. Next day someone answered, but when I went to reply I got a ‘whoops’ message again. Turns out Trade Me thought I had listed him in the wrong place. I had put him under ‘animals’ and then ‘other’. Seemed a normal place people would look I muttered to myself. Leanne from Trade Me said I should put flocks of poultry under farm stuff… and then they deleted my auction.
What the hell! Okay you dickheads. You just cost me a sale. I relisted him under Pets and then birds and then other. I got another immediate inquiry next morning, but when I went to reply I got another ‘whoops’ message. Trade me sent me another note that they thought I had put it in the wrong place and people wouldn’t be looking there. I should try farm animals for guaranteed success, signed Leanne. SO I emailed Leanne a tongue lashing and awaited a reply. No reply.
Next morning I put it under farm animals and made it clear I didn’t have a flock. Just one rooster and this time I put my cell number at the bottom so they could phone me. I got heaps of email replies and every man and his dog wanted to know where I lived. It appeared my rooster was in hot demand. Probably could have sold him for a pretty penny. I chose Imran, who emailed and said he would be down tonight and that he had tried calling me but the number must be wrong so could I call him. I texted and then checked the number. Sheesh. I had typed the number wrong in my Trade Me listing. Some poor guy was getting all the rooster calls. Thats embarassing.
Then I thought I had texted Simone ‘dinner?‘ to see if she was coming home in time to eat. Turned out I had texted Imran by mistake. “I’m sorry about the dinner text, I texted him later, see you soon“. “Thats OK, he texted back, I think the same when I see/ hear an Indian name. LOL!”
Ummmm, sorry? Im not sure if he thought I was asking him for dinner or if I thought he might be bringing dinner to me. That was very strange.
We went out and Gilbert held the torch while I plucked Razor from his perch and popped a box over his head. He barely moved a muscle once plunged into darkness. Meek as a lamb he sat in there as I handed the box over to Imran, and was delighted to hear they lived on a five acre block and were wanting a rooster to give them fertile eggs. “Oh he’ll do that for you Imran. He’ll do that for sure!”
I came inside and saw I had a new email sitting in my inbox. It was from someone on Trade Me. “hey…you’ve listed my phone number on your rooster trade by mistake. Can you take it off. I’m getting heaps of calls…and he signed off as ‘the Fox’
I looked at it for a second hardly able to believe my eyes, and then burst out laughing.