Even these dangerous species, although shocking to see, did not cause problems and did not interfere in our peaceful setting. One morning the peace was broken by our bantam cock who must have remembered his fighting instincts. There was constant commotion as he attacked every feathered creature on the premises. Most of the birds managed to stay away from him. He would turn his attention to the nearest one and chase after it until it scurried away. He would then turn his attention to the next bird nearby. All this chasing was accompanied by loud screeches and visible pecking. For all threatening behavior it did not seem blood was being drawn. That is until he got after the turkey.
I do not know if it was because the turkey was to slow either physically or of wit. But once the bantam went after him, there was not let up. The rooster would approach from underneath and grab turkey’s caruncle, that large colorful flap of skin dangling from his throat. . He would latch onto it and pull the turkey’s head down. It seemed the turkey could not escape this treatment and it continued until he got quite bloodied. All the other birds held their distnace and seemed to observer the turkey’s fate. They might have even been feeling grateful not to be in his place. The whole scène greatly disturbed me and I decided to break it up.
Grabbing a small stick I hurled it at the two of them hoping to scatter them in hopes the turkey would get away. Inadvertently, the stick struck the rooster in the side of his head. Immediately he went down and many of the other birds rushed him to try and gain revenge. I now felt bad for what I had inflicted on rooster and rushed to his aid. I managed to move all other fowl away and grabbed rooster to assess how I may have hurt him. It was serious. He suffered the loss of an eye and by the tilt of his neck, it was probably broken. I felt appalled to have caused such damage in my efforts to bring peace.
I instinctively realized if rooster was to mend, he would need a place to recover where the other birds could not get to him. We had an abandoned Volkswagen and it sufficed as his rehabilitation center. I placed him there and for the next several days feed, nursed and ministered to him. He eventually recovered enough to rejoin the flock. Now his manner was calm, the other birds got over their trauma and let him be. Calm returned to our barnyard. Poor rooster had a serious disability. The crook in his neck caused his head to be tilted permanently in such manner that his one eyed only looked upward. He had no eye to look down at the ground where his food would be scattered. Special care had to be taken to feed him, Extra food would be broadcast around him, so that when he pecked blindly downward, chance would be he would hit something. Feeling responsible for his condition, I accepted the task of making sure he got adequate feed. I asked his forgiveness for causing his sorrows. He did not seem to hold it against me.