Tragedy struck me a few weeks ago…FOUR, count that, FOUR of my lovely chickens turned out to be roosters! I wanted to cry. We became suspicious when Penny started crowing, and Penny (Percival now?) was my absolute favorite and I was heartbroken to have to get rid of shim (she/him, it’s hard to start thinking of them in different terms now). Somebody who works with my husband and who has kept fowl all his life came over to confirm what we pretty well knew by now. And he confirmed that not just Penny, but Khaleesi (Khal) and Jack Wagon were also roosters! Bah! Their tail feathers were very pronounced and they had large bumps, called spurs, developing on the inside of their legs. He was also able to sex them by looking at their private parts, and I’m still not sure what the heck it was he saw. He told us they would be good to eat which was never going to happen since I had named them. I was fully prepared for that reality when we got chickens for that specific purpose, because they would then remain anonymous and, therefore, I wouldn’t be shedding a tear at the dinner table while I ate my beloved Penny.
So, we decided that we needed to get rid of them, since we didn’t want to be those neighbors who disrupt the neighborhood with our 5:30 a.m. crowing roosters. We decided to wait for this little event our town has each month called Market Days, since we’ve seen people show up there randomly with ducks, rabbits and all other manner of farm creatures. In the time we were waiting we discovered Jonesy was developing those spurs…Come on! Now I’ve got four roosters. Poor Little Beak must have been drowning in all the testosterone surrounding her. Since I now had four roosters I needed to get rid of, we decided to take them back to the man we got them from. He did right by us and now I have three mature, and most definitely female, hens. And, drumroll please, one of them already laid an egg the other day! Booyah! We have even saved it. My hubby looked it up and then drilled small holes in each end of the egg, one a little bigger than the other, and then he blew the yolk and egg white out and washed out the inside.
We got another Barred Plymouth Rock, a Buff Orpington (the gold/yellow one), and the white one is either a Light Sussex or a Delaware. She could be neither, but those were the best I could do with my google searches. So I now have the hens that I wanted to begin with and I’ve already started to get some eggs out of them. I guess it was sort of a lose-win situation in the end. And look what I found behind my egg door this morning:
Little Beak is on the far right. She immediately tried to establish dominance once the other hens entered her domain. We’ll see how long that lasts as they get the quite literal “pecking order” sorted out.