I’m going to have to make this a series, I guess. Or start using tags like “Nature’s inherent cruelty” “Fucked up birds” etc.
Sometime last year this bird nearly got pulled though a fence by a fox? possum? raccoon? And was left with one good leg and one hanging by a few tendons, ligaments and a bleeder or two. He kept that bad leg for a few months because we were afraid we’d kill him outright if we snipped it off.
Some visitors saw him dragging it around his home in the vegetable garden and asked “Shouldn’t you put some Bactine on that?”
A good question, but one that brought to mind an army medic applying a band-aid to a guy who’s just stepped on a mine.
Ultimately he twisted and dragged it down to a connecting strip of gristle and my wife took a pair of Chinese scissors to the remainder. The other birds in the yard happily took care of the medical waste.
I was wondering if he’d adapt to life with a stump, or if I might have to turn him a small prosthesis on my lathe, but he seems to do alright. A combination of flapping his wings and lurching on the remaining leg, using the nub as a sort of counterweight wherever possible keeps him in the game, if somewhat awkwardly.
I’ve witnessed him deliver an ass whupping to another rooster who was vying for the attentions of his reluctant paramour, Skinnerbox. That rooster disappeared a few days later, either dragged off by the fox or perhaps a buzzard who found him dead of shame.