Walking into work yesterday, April 1st, I heard the darnedest sound. I could have sworn my little hen, Elsita, was hacking up a hairball. 

Elsita’s been living in the hospital ever since she was diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia. The three-times-a-day medication had meant of lot of scrapes and bruises once she got the hang of eluding me intelligently. In hospital things have gone so much smoother, as you can imagine. Extra hands and no hidey-places helps immeasurably––though she’s so messy!

Anyway, back to the point of the post: the telltale hairball hack. 

After a few more loud tries at bringing up the biggest holy hairball I ever met, I finally got the April Fool’s joke: It wasn’t a hairball; rather, a rudimentary cock-a-doodle-doo. 

20 points to the person who posted on this possibility in my first Elsita entry. You were right. I have a rooster.

I really should’ve noticed sooner. Elsita was looking so much bigger, huskier, her comb and wattles so much fuller and brighter, her plumage so much more lustrous and thick. She was evolving from a sick bird into a well bird, I’d thought. So much for the deductive powers of a clueless veterinarian. Vet school, schmet school...it seems I’m just useless when it comes to chickens.

Anyhoo...I now have an almost perfectly healthy rooster on my hands. He needs one more week of meds then a follow-up vet check at the bird doc’s before he can be declared disease-free. And then what?

Do I bring him back to my yard, where he’ll doubtless eventually interact with my soon-to-be-there hens? Or do I place him with a nice family of horse people who have already shown some interest? 

After all, he won’t likely make a great pet if his sex hormones get the better of him. And it’s almost inevitable that they will. Sure, I can have him laparoscopically castrated. But is that cool to do to a chicken? 

How is it that I manage the strangest dilemmas? As if my line of work didn’t already introduce the freaks and crazies and their wacky patient issues into my sight lines on a regular basis...now I have to deal with my own. 

Oh, and by the way, it’s not Elsita anymore...it’s Elvio. (New photos pending.)