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ANDRE' MY GIANT by May Lattanzio

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The day I turned 70, I was in my feedstore and when I left, a rooster crowed.
Went back in and Sandi said “Take him.” A free rooster! I had kept putting off getting chickens because of the dogs, but there he was, clucking to me, in a rabbit cage. I put my arms around him (no struggle), put him in a dog crate and brought him home to the completely wired dog kennel in the back yard.

He’d be safe in the yard and safe from the pot. That’s where roosters usually go. Not here.

Then he needed a flock. By Saturday I was standing in Chris’ backyard, a fowl and poultry hobby farm. He loves his birds and they are beautiful and healthy, encompassing several breeds. I chose four young Rhode Island Red pullets and brought them home to Andre’.

He was SO happy. He knows they are not of breeding age and has taken
full charge of teaching they where to scratch, and they range through the acre and the dogs and the flock have come to a truce. However, Dottie,
who appears here (my tuxedo cat), was badly frightened by him and is very wary about going out the door.

Over the weekend in the middle of the day, I caught Andre’ and his girls scratching around the fenceline near the overgrown corral and guess who was happily in there digging around? A young armadillo, just hanging out and joining in sharing worms and grubs.

Andre’ must have been an imprinted chick, or owned by a woman. He does his little rooster dance and comes close to be petted or picked up and loved.

He loves his wattles played with, and his comb cleaned. The other night he stood on my lap while I combed his cape for at least a half an hour while the mosquitoes and yellow flies ate me up so badly, I had to go in.

He also runs to meet me when I come through the front gate.

I never thought I’d have a real pet chicken!

He just crowed from outside my window.

All’s well in this little pocket of NW Florida.

Sony W90
Bayou George, FL

Tags

rooster, rhode island red, florida

Author, poet, freelance writer, rescuer of dogs and cats,
animal welfare advocate, hookbill owner, occasional wildlife rehabilitator, chaser of bugs who just loves photography.

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