Farewell Pidge. You were a dandy rooster and I will miss you very much. All our chickens have stories and Pidge is no exception. His mama had her clutch of eggs stolen and hatched by another hen, but Brighty was so determined to be a mother that she sat another 21 days on a couple of eggs that I had already put in the refrigerator. Both eggs amazingly hatched and Pidge and his sister Chamois arrived. Brighty is a very small bantam Silver Sebright and her two chicks were obviously from a larger hen but no matter. She was an excellent mom. It was so touching to see her try and keep them both warm and under her wings as they grew to her size in no time. I can still see her standing there with a wing outstretched over each one as they roosted for the night in the coop. Soon after that however, she cut the apron strings and chased them away with "you are on your own now kids". Chamois did make it to adulthood just barely. A red-tailed hawk found a way under the netting of the pen and she was gone. Pidge made friends with a few of the others. Last spring when one of the grey hens hatched a couple of chicks, Pidge took over as their father. He would scratch and cluck and show them where the tastiest bugs were, sometimes even holding them in his beak till the little ones arrived to eat them. He was so unselfish. Sadly one of the chicks was killed and then it's mother as well, leaving Pidge to care for Pretty Boy, the remaining youngster. He was the best father and they became as close as two roos can possibly be. They never sparred.
I have had many determined predators after the flock including a weasel and a mink but I think it was a possum that ripped through the fence and got Pretty Boy. Pidge had lost his little buddy and now Gimley the alpha rooster didn't want him around anymore. He is only half the size of Pidge but Gimley tormented him till I had to let him out of the pen. Pidge roamed free during the day and slept in our garage at night. He usually perched on a workbench but then migrated to the top of the garage door opener. I had to park outside or my car would be a mess. Chickens poop constantly even while they sleep. I built a small pen for Pidge with a doghouse to go into at night attached to the other pen so he could visit with the ladies. He seemed to be fine with it. We had to go away for the weekend and even though we were only away a short time, upon my return I could tell something was wrong as I neared his pen. I never found out what had broken through the chicken wire but all that remained of Pidge was a pile of feathers scattering in the breeze.
Yes, I know they are only chickens you might say, but they have a soul too. I am certain of it. And I can only hope that when Pidge crossed over to the other side, he had Pretty Boy, Chamois and others who passed on before him to welcome him home.