Bopping Davy

May 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Unfortunately, today we had to bop Davy.

It was really hard, doing this. He’d been such a lovely, gentle boy, and we were really looking forward to having a rooster around. But for the last three or four weeks he has just become more and more aggressive. To the point where he was coming at me even after I’d gone past him and was walking away. And he was serious too – trying to get me with his spurs as well as his beak. I have several really impressive bruises as a result.

I spent some dedicated time with him and Imogen, being gentle and quiet and trying to get him to just calm down and relax. Leaving it up to him to come and sit with me, or near me, or not. And sometimes he would – there was an expression in his eyes that would fade when he relaxed, and you’d think that maybe, just maybe, you were winning. But those occasions were getting fewer and fewer, and I realised I was actually becoming scared of him. I never let him get away with an attack – I would face him down if it was minor, or hold him and restrain him until he accepted that he was not the boss, and I was not going to tolerate that behaviour. And I’d pick up some pellets from the feeder and offer to him, or some clover, something nice, to let him know that I loved him still, and to remind him that interacting with us wasn’t meant to be about violence. But it didn’t help. He would still come at me, more times than not. Hurl himself against the mesh sometimes. On one occasion even tried to hurl himself over the fence to get at me. And I wasn’t even anywhere near him at the time – just passing one end of their run. He charged down, away from Imogen, for the express purpose of trying to attack someone walking past. That’s how bad it had become.

And last week was the final straw, when he attacked my face.

I wear glasses, so my eyes were safe. But I had a pretty big gash all down my cheek, just under my eye-socket. His intent was unmistakeable, and it was only going to be a matter of time before he did something more than a flesh wound. (I should add that it wasn’t only me he was attacking either – just that I was the one who spent more time in or around the chook pen.)So this morning we did the deed.

Live Plucked Dressed Percentage
 3.83 kg  2.90 kg 2.45 kg 64%

We’ve decided to cook him in a manner befitting his age and machismo, and will casserole him as Coq au Vin. A good bottle of red, some nice bread, and something to savor. In the scale of his life, this stupid aggression and violence was such a small part.

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