When a rooster named Poodle Roo was acting off his keepers at Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark, California took note. He wasn’t behaving in the customary way, like how a normal rooster would act, and every night he’d leave the warm safety of the chicken coop to head out into the wide open fields to sleep.
Night after night workers would go out looking for him in the dark and they’d always find Poodle Roo roosting all alone on the cold ground. This was dangerous and farm owner John Chester was worried about the little guy when he explained that “Roosters are meant to be the confident protectors of the flock, but no rooster is a match for what lurks at night.” In order to keep Poodle Roo safe and secure the farm staff ended up making him a special place to bunk at night in the barn away from the other chickens.
However, the question remained as to why he would rather stay outside in the dark all by himself than in the warm, safe coop with all the other chickens? Mr. Chester, who also happens to be an award winning filmmaker, decided to get to the bottom of it and attempted to reintroduce Poodle Roo back with the rest of the flock. So late one evening the rooster was placed in the coop in the hopes that the others would accept him. They did not, instead all of the other roosters attacked him until he nearly bled to death.
Everyone was taken aback by the sad turn of events and worked around the clock to nurse him back to health. They cleaned his wounds, kept him warm, and prayed he’d recover from the horrible ordeal he went through. Miraculously the little rooster bounced right back and in no time at all he’d healed and made a full recovery.
Around this time it was also discovered that Poodle Roo was partially deaf and blind. The new information shed some light on why he kept running away and was picked on. As Mr. Chester so heartbreakingly put it, “In the mind of this defenseless creature, sleeping alone in the pasture was the safer option.”
In true survivor fashion, Poodle Roo grew even stronger from everything he’d been through and came out a more confident rooster than he ever was before. He also started helping out other injured or sick chickens who were brought in to Apricot Lane Farms for recovery. He showed the newbies all the good spots for finding food around the property and patiently waited alongside them if they were weak or limping. Not only that, he also made friends with a lonely barn cat on the farm and is now known as the barn nurse among staff and visitors!
Poodle Roo is a true inspiration. Through all the bullying, fighting, and loneliness he didn’t get bogged down in feeling bad for himself and never once did he give up. In the end he came out stronger and better than ever, and he chose to help others through the scary, lonely times they were facing. It’s amazing what a difference one partially deaf and blind rooster can make and in the lives of those who know him he’s made the world a much better place.
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