Roosters, Parts 3 and 4
At our Halloween party on Saturday, my laurel Tristan told me that he thinks the two Rocks are roosters. I told him that I didn't think so ... but I hadn't really looked at them in a while either. (Bobby is their primary caretaker; my role is mostly grabbing them as Bobby flushes them out of the bushes where they hide when they don't want to go back into their pen.) Yesterday afternoon, we had them out, and I took a good look at them, and I found myself agreeing with Tristan. They used to have stubby hen tails, but no more. Their tails have really fanned out and colored up. They also fight with each other an awful lot. Bobby did some more research last night and came to the same conclusion I did: It's almost impossible to tell the difference between Plymouth Rock pullets and cockerels until they either start laying eggs or crowing.
This morning, I wanted to see the Reds crow since Bobby says they look humorously self-important as they do it, and this might be their last day with us. So we went out to the pen, and they all came running over, as usual, since they know that when we come out, they're usually getting something nice to eat like a cup of brown marms or getting let out. Bobby said, "Okay, perform." So Dorothy--one of the Rocks--threw "her" head back and crowed.
So this is how it went down. We bought six chicks, all of whom were supposedly sexed as female. One died. Four--four!!--turned out to be roosters. So of the chickens we raised, we have one that will actually produce the eggs we wanted. (Incidentally, that one is Rose, who has been my favorite since I first laid eyes on her.)
Thankfully, we have homes for all of them. Even if they don't go to friends, Bobby's been in touch with a farm that identifies itself as a "chicken sanctuary" because they like birds to roam around in the fields. So they don't care about hens and eggs (they probably have 90% roosters from people like us who bought "hens" that started cockledoodledooing). We'll be going to the livestock auction on Thursday to try to buy some actual pullets.
This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!