Kwazii, the art critic.
So between the foxes, the dogs and the hawks I am left with only the geese, a small group of bantam chickens, 3 standard hens and our rooster Kwazii. Keeping birds alive here is like pushing a boulder up a hill. You close the coops at night, a fox kills them during the day. The neighbors dog goes on a rampage and kills more birds (you later learn it was spotted all over the neighborhood last fall killing everything from chickens to peacocks). A hawk picks off the leghorn and silkie hens so you lock the bantams in an enclosed run. The hawk spends several days sitting on top of the coop and then on the ground where it spends the evenings jumping against the sides of the pen harassing the bantams. It doesn't fly off until I am literally unlatching the gate. The geese are no help. It's breeding season so they are honking 24/7. From the house I have no idea if they are raising hell at 3 a.m. because of raccoons or they all just got hot and bothered over a puddle.
So it's been demoralizing and I've sulked all winter. The only thing I can think to do if I want to keep birds here is to keep them in enclosed aviary-type setups. The bantams will need the tiny coop expanded. The big coop will need an enclosed sun room built off the front of it.
Which brings us to Kwazii. It's spring and animals are starting to come out in the evenings. The neighbor dog has ended up at a shelter (with a litter of pups) but I'm sure there will be others. Kwazii is on par with Bee at this point, a beloved family pet who actually likes his people. I don't think twice about trusting him. My 2 year old has hand fed him a peanut butter sandwich.
So Kwazii, much like the orange pirate cat with a mysterious past he was named after, has gone on a grand adventure. My dad keeps chickens across town; 12 lonely hens with no rooster. Kwazii will be on vacation until we can fix up his coop and keep him safe.
Tonight I got him off the roost after dark. Carried him to a box in the car talking the whole way. I've never held him before and was suprised at how heavy he is. His spurs are massive. We drove across town with me explaining the situation. Repeatedly. In a soothing voice. To a rooster.
When I carried him over to the coop he was trembling. The night was silent to me but he cocked his head to listen. "Pur?" he asked gently. After a pause, hens started talking quietly. "Pur pur pur pur?" He replied back. They chattered on, quietly and hesitantly while I put him on a roost.
I did get the impression that tomorrow morning he's going to feel like Elvis in a room full of single women on spring break. He may not want to come home.
I'll feel sad that he's not here. And the kids will visit. But I've been playing Russian Roulette with this for months now and know it was the right move.
Next post will be a big random update. I can't believe it's been 2 weeks.