Monday, October 17, 2011

It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a…Rooster?

 It's always a rooster.

You latch onto one of your little chicks or five-week-old pullets. You decide she's your favorite. You love her. You give her a cute name. You call her things like cutie pie, fluff ball and fuzzy butt. You know you're little girl is a hen. I mean, look at how cute she is. Then all of a sudden she either sprouts a giant tail, doubles in size, or suddenly lets out a noise that is by no means a cluck. Yup, she's a he.

When Rooster Disaster (RD) happened to us for the first time, it happened to strike our first batch of chickens. We had gotten three "hens" and each picked one out to name. RD struck my husband's chicken. The ironic part of the whole thing is that his name was Mrs. Nesbitt. The name came from the movie Toy Story. In the second half of the movie, Buzz and Woody are stuck at Sid's house and Buzz has been recruited for Sid's little sister's tea party. He is dressed up in a hat and apron and has lost one arm in a fall. When Woody finds him in this state, Buzz says, "I'm Mrs. Nesbitt!" But, I digress...Maybe it's not so ironic, since Mrs. Nesbitt is actually Buzz, who is a boy. Maybe my husband doomed his chicken with the name.

I am now in the throws of this same problem once again. Well, I may be in the throws of this problem. We are down to one of the adopted little bantams that Erickson hatched out in June. Two went off to a friend last month. This weekend we dropped off two more with The Chicken Man. So we're down to Boba (as in Boba Fett from Star Wars). We were supposed to be dropping off a rooster and a hen with The Chicken Man, but he suspects we had two little roosters for him. Then, I started looking at the one we have left. Three of the chicks were identified as definite roosters pretty early in life. They had large combs and obvious rooster tails. The two little white and black chicks have always been definite girls. They had perfect little straight-in-the-air tails and small combs and wattles. Suddenly, however, I notice that our two girls each have two long tail feathers that look suspiciously rooster-esque. It's going to be RD all over again.

Being the fervent researcher that I am, I just finished combing through all of our pictures of the chickens on our computer as well as googling images of Japanese and Old English Game hens. These crazy boyish tail feathers have materialized in the last month. They did not exist in the pictures we have from September. The problematic part of this story is that I found no pictures online of hens with these long tail feathers. Ugh! I did find a few adolescent roosters who look similar to my cute little "girl."
A cute little girl?

I need a farm in the country where it's not an issue to have giant (or in the case of Bobba - tiny) roosters cock-a-doodling around the yard. Then, I wouldn't be so worried about this sexing mess. She/he has just hit 4-months-old, but I'll keep you posted on whether or not I get a first egg or a first crow.
Or a Roo? 

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