Remember my daughter sitting by the coop trying to discover which chicken was crowing? Well, she did. And then caught a different one crowing, too.
I decided to contact the seller and first ask if she still had hens.
CL: Yes, I have plenty. When are you able to come by?
Me: Great! I was actually wondering if I could exchange some of the hens we got from you, as they turned out to be roosters.
CL: How many roosters do you want to exchange?
Me: I’m not entirely sure yet how many are roosters. Two were caught in the act of crowing. Others look suspicious.
CL: Sometimes hens start crowing to assert their dominance.
Me: Well, here are the two that crowed.
CL: Oh, yeah. Those are roosters.
Me: Do you have hens around the same age? These hatched March 1, you said.
CL: No, I only have ones born on May 14.
Me: Would you be willing to exchange two hens for each rooster considering the roosters are much older and we’ve been feeding them all this time without benefit of eggs in roughly two months?
CL: Yeah, that would be no problem.
Me: Wonderful, thank you. Can I send you pictures of the other chickens for you to help decipher what they are?
CL: Those are hens. You can bring the roosters, and I’ll exchange them for some hens.
We worked out that when we’d get there the next day, her father would be there to help us.
Me, the next day: Does your dad know about our two-for-one exchange rate?
CL: I’ll exchange the roosters you have for the small hens we have.
It made me nervous that she wasn’t acknowledging our arrangement. Nevertheless, we wrangled our two fowl beasts into a box and two of my girls carried it to the trunk of the van.
As they did so, a rooster crowed.
We froze, wide-eyed. The girls looked at me. I looked at them.
Me: Please tell me that crowing came from the box.
They shook their heads.
A coocadoodledoo sounded again. We ran to the coop.
I took a picture of the offender and again sent it to the Chicken Lady.
CL: That’s a hen.
I said nothing more to her. We packed up this third rooster and took it to her father to have a look. He agreed that it was a rooster and gave us six young chickens. I would have honestly settled for five, but I was quite grateful.
To be sure there would be no ill will for this exchange, I thanked the father profusely. Then I texted the CL to let her know we’d come and gone and to thank her as well. I figured her dad could fill her in on the third rooster.
Me: Your dad is so friendly. Thank you!
CL: No problem. Hope these actually come out as hens. 🙂
Me: I hope so too! I told your dad, “I hope you don’t have to see us again until we’re ready for a new set in about two years.”
CL: Hahaha. Thank you for coming. 🙂
Me: Thank you so much for allowing us to make the exchange. Awfully decent of you. 🙂
She “hearted” that text.
Now here’s the kicker: Since we’ve been home with the new chicks, another brown rooster crowed, and we’re seriously suspicious of the big white one, too. That means 4 or 5 of the original 7 “hens” they sold us are actually roosters. Of the 6 new ones we acquired in this exchange, who knows how many are roosters. We’ll be feeding them for months before we know for sure, and chicken feed isn’t cheep. (Pun!)
So, what to do?
Try to get rid of the confirmed rooster online? I listed it days ago. No takers. Shocking!
Process and eat it ourselves? Not happening.
Keep the rooster and start our own chicken farm? We’d need a bigger coop.
Take it back and ask for another exchange? Hrmm…
Or just ask if I can bring it back and leave it there?
I’m leaning toward the last option. We may want to drop off more roosters in the future when the current chickens get bigger.
What would you do? Honestly welcoming your opinion on this. I’m beginning to think this entire chicken venture may not have been worth it, but who knows what the future will bring. Perhaps we’ll get super lucky and have all hens in this new batch, but I seriously doubt it given this man’s previous track record of picking out hens.