Remember this pic? The one where I told Chicken Lady that the brown one on the right looked far more rooster-like than the other supposedly same age, same breed bird on the left?
She assured me they were both hens. I was skeptical.
The other day, only four of the five chickens were in the chicken run area. Where was the fifth? Wait! It’s in the roost! Hang on. That’s the one that looks like a rooster. Is it possible it’s just hanging out up there, needing a break from all those females? (My husband with three daughters could relate.)
I relayed to Hubby a conversation with a friend about how I wasn’t particularly interested in living to a ripe old age. She responded snippily, “Then I hope you die young.”
Hubby lovingly responded: “Too late for that.”
I was listening with earbuds to one of my new favorite songs, “Trees” by Twenty One Pilots. (Linked to save you the trouble, M.) The last few seconds pretty much enrapture me. I was thus fully engaged when Hubby came over and said something I didn’t hear. I held up a “just a moment” finger, not wanting to interrupt those last few glorious seconds.
Then I felt like a jerk, so I pulled out an earbud to listen to him. “So we only got one egg today? Bummer,” and he walked away.
We knew it was coming. It was only a matter of time, but since there are now eight little chickens in the coop, isolating the rascals, I mean, roosters, is tough. I heard two different weak crowing attempts, as they’re just stretching their wings, so to speak. But also literally. I saw feathers unfurled on two birds right after the crowing. Next problem: we have three brown and three white, so unless I’m an ornithologist armed with tags, how will I know which birds these were when I’m ready to get rid of them?
But first, I need to back up.
We took the last of the big roosters back to the Chicken Lady. Since it was full-grown, I was hoping for two small birds in exchange, but she only gave us one.
I texted the Chicken Lady: We have another rooster. He is a fine looking specimen… If I were a few decades younger and a hen… Anyway, could we just bring him back to you?
CL: Hahaha [laughing crying face] yes of course.
We arrived with roses from our garden to grease the skids, and she seemed delighted with them. When she saw the rooster she said, “Wow, that is a beautiful bird. You sure you don’t want to keep him?”
We didn’t, but I agreed. He truly was magnificent to behold. I honestly stared at him for a while, as his multi-hued plumage shimmered in the sunlight.
And then we gave him the boot.
In addition to the roses and rooster, we brought back one of the new chicks. Thanks to superb chicken sex-identifying advice from Jacqui of Word Dreams, Hubs and I spread the chicks’ wings to try to ID any potential roosters. One was for sure a hen–uneven wings, and one really seemed likely to be a rooster–even wings. The rest were a little unclear, so we decided to leave them for now and hope for the best.
I expected her to give us a new chick to swap out, but instead she gave us two. Not complaining. We’re back to ten birds after starting with seven, four of whom were roosters.
I woke up this morning to blissful silence.
Until another rooster crowed.
Make that five out of seven roosters. You don’t even want to know how much we’ve spent on chicken feed these past few months raising these useless birds. Sigh.