Friday, February 02, 2007

Breaking the Gender Barrier

Up until now, the Key West Rooster Rescue Team has been an all-female force to rescue roosters, hens and baby chicks which, for one reason or another, need to be taken out of their natural habitat, the neighborhoods of Key West, and brought to the Chicken Store for treatment, rehabilitation, or simple sheltering until ready to be returned to where they were rescued from, or else put up for adoption.

This past Wednesday evening, I got a call from Katha Sheehan, the Key West Chicken Lady. She was calling from Homestead, where she had driven to buy supplies for the store, and she was looking for someone who could go and rescue a rooster and a hen who were reported to have been run over in front of Porter Place, on Eaton Street where it joins Palm Avenue and intersects White St. It was 9:30 PM, but Katha told me that the taxi driver who first reported the incident would meet me there and show me where the injured birds were.

When I arrived, there was a KW police officer standing by with another citizen. They were trying to keep tabs on the two injured animals, as well as some other roosters who had gathered around, disturbed perhaps by the human activity that interrupted their roosting in the trees alongside the road. I was able to pick up the the hen, who was obviously in distress, and get her into one of the paper sacks that I brought with me. The rooster, though wobbly on his legs, was able to easily elude my efforts to get hold of him. I assessed that he was probably OK enough to be left there.

I brought the hen to Roy, Katha's husband, at the bocce courts on White St. so he could take her home for Katha to look at later. The taxi driver, Jeff Hoerl, gave me a $20 bill as I was leaving the scene and asked me to pass it on to Katha for the chicken's care. He told me that after the two birds were hit. the hen lay in the middle of the road as cars passed over her. One of them must have struck her head a glancing blow. Katha told me the next day that the hen's head was swollen to twice normal size, but that it looked like "Roberta" (for that is what I asked Katha to name her if she survived) would regain her health and be able to go back to the streets.

It was my first solo chicken rescue. I've helped others to help sick and injured birds, but never on my own. I'm honored that Katha is allowing me to be the first male to be admitted to the Rooster Rescue Team in its history. I even got the t-shirt and a special agent sticker (near the bottom of the page) for my portfolio.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

bob, just the nexxt day on my way to work I saw a dead chicken, or rooster at that same location. Maybe someone should put up a chicken crossing sign

Use OpenDNS