05 Nov 2023 Pets of the Month: Rooty and Shakira
By Becky Bell
When people ask the age-old joke about why the chicken crosses the road, they obviously expect the answer to be “to get to the other side.”
But in Greenbrier, a chicken named Shakira is proving that question has to do with a romance whose spark is still burning strong.
She crosses an entire neighborhood to pursue a romance with a tall, handsome rooster named Rooty, and he does the same.
Misty Chance was amused when she found that her attractive, petite, stark-white hen named Shakira had been exploring outside the yard. So Chance took to the Facebook page “Greenbrier News You Should Know” to find the rooster’s owner. There she and Aimee Strack, who owns Rooty, made a connection and are delighted with their pets’ friendship.
Strack said that Rooty is a husky, 10-pound, jet-black Australorp rooster. “Ms. Chance said, ‘We know your rooster and he is taking really good care of our hen, and we love him,’” Strack said.
Strack has had Rooty for about a month and describes his temperament to be much better than other roosters she has known. “He is black and has a red comb, so he’s really pretty,” she said. “This rooster is the sweetest thing. I think it’s just his nature.”
Strack explained that Rooty, who isn’t even a year old, stayed in her yard the first couple of days he was at her home, and remaining close to her chicken pen to keep predators away. But once he went off her property and met Shakira, the two became inseparable.
Although roosters can have multiple mates, Strack expects that since her other chickens have been kept in their coop, Rooty is Shakira’s one and only right now.
“I am sure her eggs are being fertilized. He doesn’t let her get very far from him,” Rooty’s owner said.
Chance also told Strack that Shakira was her only chicken left after her other chicken’s lives had been shortened, most likely due to a fox they had seen around the area. But both owners feel that if Rooty is around, Shakira will be alive and in love.
“She was the sole survivor, so he’s her boyfriend I guess,” Strack mused. “He is her knight in shining armor.”
Strack’s cousin, Jason Miller, who also lives on the family farm in Greenbrier, has gotten a huge kick out of the romance between Rooty and Shakira, she said.
“He is the first one who sent me a picture of them in the yard,” she said. Miller told his cousin that Rooty sits on top of the rails and roosts in his Chevrolet truck which is made to haul heavy equipment. Meanwhile, Shakira stays under the shop, laying eggs.
“Jason said she is paying rent,” Strack said.
One thing is for sure about the romance, and that is that it has put a smile on the faces of all who have heard about it.
“Like I said, I live on a family farm, so no one is surprised when animals do crazy things,” Strack said. “I used to do a lot of volunteer work for the Greenbrier Athletic Booster Club when my kids were in school. But I never thought I would be mentioned in a love story about a rooster.”