The late Pete the rooster reigned as tractor club mascot



For a little scratch, Jeff Anderson and his wife, LeeAnn, now own a coop full of chickens residing at Three Sisters Park.


The late Pete the rooster reigned as tractor club mascot

For a little scratch, Jeff Anderson and his wife, LeeAnn, now own a coop full of chickens residing at Three Sisters Park.

By Heritage Days in August last year, the Andersons’ brood had more than tripled, even though they started with just a few.

“LeeAnn and I went to the Kewanee Sale Barn in early spring last year and bought 14 golden comet hens and got a buff Orpington rooster from Ron Dunbar,” said Anderson.

“We saved some eggs and gave to Ron and he hatched out our new batch.”

Add to that a mixture of eggs from other people, and Anderson, LeeAnne and their daughter, Jennifer Anderson, now have gold-laced Wyandotte and buff Orpington hens, a buff Orpington rooster and a Wyandotte rooster.

Then there is the late Pete the rooster, a cross between an Orpington and a comet.

Adopted as the mascot for the 3 Sisters Antique Tractor Club, Pete, unfortunately, had to take up residence in the barn on the 1918-era farmstead at the park.

“Pete almost met his demise,” explained Anderson. “On Jan. 1, we put him in the pen with about 22 hens, and they got him down and about killed him. So we separated him and gave him antibiotics, but he won’t go in the pen with them.”

Pete, who lost any cockiness he originally possessed, lived peacefully in the barn with a hen friend until his recent death.

Anderson said they plan to hatch more eggs this year. The older hens will then be given to Neil Vonk and Dunbar.

“We’ve got the new ones out there at the park,” said Anderson.

The chickens there currently are about 11 months old and are laying brown eggs, about 14-18 each day. Anderson sells most of the eggs he and his family collect.

Anderson said they tend to their brood two or three times a day inside the chicken coop built a few years ago by the Illinois Valley Central High School shop class.

“We’ve got a heat lamp in the coop and a heated water bowl,” he said. “I had talked about having some chickens for Heritage Days, and I approached Chris Cassidy about it.”

The park used to borrow chickens for Heritage Days.

The chickens eat corn from the field at Three Sisters Park, and Anderson buys supplementary feed.

He also purchased a corn grinder to grind corn for the chickens.

Not long ago, the Andersons traveled to Tunica, Miss., for their 36th wedding anniversary and Christmas present, courtesy of their two daughters.

Although the chickens are attached to Anderson and his wife, when they are gone, Jennifer and their other daughter, Jodie Kemp, tend to the flock.