In the Spring of the year, towards the back of the store, Runnings always has tanks full of baby chickens. That’s where I first met Sheldon. He was in the straight run tank. The straight run tank is the one that has both males and females and you don’t find out what you have until much later.
It’s kind of a gamble if you are hoping for hens, there is a 50 50 chance you will get a rooster. I decided to take the chance! I picked out two little balls of fluff and headed home with my little box of chickens chirping on the front seat.
Most of that summer we thought we had picked two hens, so we named them
Ginger and Mary Ann. They made a nice addition to my little flock of hens and we were very pleased, until one day… Mary Ann started to crow! Yes, Mary Ann was indeed not Mary Ann. We had to change names, so we chose Sheldon, after my favorite character on The Big Bang Theory. He liked to strut around, like he knew everything, and acted very conceited, so the name fit perfectly!
Sheldon grew to be huge, the top of his head up to my knee, and he was the brave king of the chicken yard. That is until one particular night when all heck broke loose! Late that evening, after everyone had gone to bed, I heard a terrible commotion in the chicken coop. The hens were screeching and flapping about and out of the madness Sheldon came barreling towards the house! It seems a weasel had somehow found its way into the coop, and sadly there were many casualties that night. Sheldon however decided every man, er, um chicken for himself! I don’t know how he did it but he managed to break out of there and escape. Looking back, I’m surprised there wasn’t a large rooster shaped hole in the wall!
From that night on, he refused to sleep in the chicken coop. After a day of free ranging, the other chickens would head to the chicken house and jump up on their roosts and go to sleep for the night. Not Sheldon, he would stroll to the house, hop up on the deck and make himself comfortable on my old rocking chair. Apparently he felt that no weasel was going to get him on Mom’s rocker! That’s the spot he has taken every night since, rain or otherwise. In cold of winter I have to lock him in the coop or he would sit on the rocker and freeze to death, but come Spring he is right back to his favorite chair.
I really don’t mind a bit, he’s good company in the evening on the deck while I’m washing garden produce, or just sitting and enjoying the evening. At night when we come home from one trip or another, we stop to pat him on the head and say a few kind words on our way in the house.
I’m not sure how long chickens live, he is three this year, but I hope he lives a good long while yet. He will be missed when he is gone.
Summer would be a little bit dimmer, but for the love of Sheldon.
Oh yes, and before I forget, I went to Runnings again last Spring, and picked from the straight run tank again, and this time I got two roosters. Now he has two new buddies, Winston and Bill. They don’t care for his sleeping habits, and would rather sleep in the chicken coop.