We started keeping chickens 3 and 1/2 years ago. We started the flock with 10 brightly colored hens. Given that chickens have a somewhat fragile mortality this Spring we were down to 3 so we decided it was time to refresh the diminishing flock.
Chic Days at Tractor Supply are an exciting time and although it costs a little more we pay the extra cents for the “sexed pullets” (girls). We have neighbors close and being the only animal keeping people in our neighborhood I try to keep the relationships as friendly as possible. I like that they are willing to call and even help if a horse is out or God forbid lays down (yes that is sarcasm and I have gotten that call). I imagine a crowing roo at 5 am would destroy the neighborly bonds fairly quickly.
I brought my baby chics home and suspected from day one that perhaps there had been an epic failure on the part of the sexer who checked our hens. There is one that was always willing to boldly “stand-off” when I changed the food and water, she’s bigger than the others, she grew beautiful feathers of iridescent green and when she eats out of my hand (surely all chicken owners hand feed) I’m sure she will break skin. CRAP!
But I wasn’t sure. While she is in fact bold, she has never been aggressive, in fact I have seen other chickens run her off. Her feathers are not THAT bright or long. There is absolutely no signs of spurs growing on her feet and most importantly…she’s been quiet. No crowing to wake us or our neighbors.
Until this morning. She was quiet…until this morning. It was low and muffled and really quite adorable but also unmistakable:
So now what??? I suppose we have four options:
- we try the rooster collar
- we break the ties of neighborly decency (I kind of like the sound of crowing)
- we come to terms with the fact that he has already had a better life than 99.95% of the chickens brought into this world and although short, his life was about quality not quantity
- We TRY (roosters are not exactly a commodity around here) to give him away and let him take his chances with other chicken owners