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Bonbon, my bardrock rooster, is as big as a turkey. He's huge.

My roosts are rather high, so if a predator came into the coop, the birds have an advantage.

Bonbon, as much as he would have liked to have been on the top perch, remained on a middle one where he had command of the coup.

One day when jumping down he landed wrong, spraining his left foot, which swelled, until he got what is called bumble foot. Most folks would have ended his life, but I chose to nurse him.

I purchased a bag of antibiotics for under $10, put very little in his drinking water and seperated him from the flock.. he could still see them.. but he was not allowed to rule of the roost.

His bumble foot healed within a week, and he's back to jumping every hen that dares come near him when he pecks the ground and sings his little songs to attract them. He is now the proud father of three more hens, that he does not jump on.

The antibiotic is sealed in a jar in the freezer, and I am happy to have it, as for me, it is better to have when in need, than not.

My birds are hormone free, pastured, and while I do buy scratch, I also feed them scraps from the soup kitchen. They are omnivores, LOVE meat, fish.. which I mix with oatmeal and other grains, and I feed them on the compost heap, so they help me turn it everyday.

I find what is really important is that their coop is CLEAN, their nests are CLEAN. I use borax. they are wonderful animals.. I LOVE mine very much. I have learned more about "human nature" just by watching them.

I have 16 hens and if I'm lucky, I might get two eggs a day. This is because I do not feed them hormones. Kitty boy gets an egg yolk a day.. so right now, they are expensive uninsured pets, the antibiotic is my only insurance policy, and if ine died while being treated with antibiotics, they would be buried, not eaten.


Now as for pidgeons... I have a few squab recipes for you if you would like ;))