Saturday, April 30, 2005

More about the chickens...

There is a lot that needs to be updated with regard to the chickens. Firstly, and this is really important, one of our chickens did turn out to be a rooster, but it wasn't the big yellow araucana. It was the one that developed the comb before all the others. We didn't think he could be a rooster because (A) we were in denial, and (B) we'd ordered two Yellow Campine hens, and he was one of the only two Yellow Campines in the whole flock. Now, unless one of the mystery birds that died and couldn't be properly identified turns out to have been a Campine pullet, the hatchery made a mistake. It's really not a big deal, but it's good to know now for certain why that one "chicken" developed so much faster than "her" sisters.

Here is the missexed one now:

No mistaking his roosterness. That and the fact that he crows. In fact, that's how I realized "she" was a he. I went upstairs about a month ago and heard this strangled chortle coming from the flock. When I looked inside, there he was, stretching his scrawny (at the time) neck and coughing out a watery belch. He wasn't gassy, though. He was just teaching himself to crow. After a few short weeks, he was crowing like a pro, much to our dismay. He now crows when he's disturbed, so we try to keep him as happy as possible. Sometimes, though, he'll crow his fool head off and we have to intervene. We do so by picking him up (no small feat), holding him, and talking to him. We figure he'll come to associate crowing with being picked up (something he doesn't particularly like) so that he'll either come to like being picked up and crow so that we'll do it or he'll reduce his crowing to avoid the restrictiveness of being picked up. Obviously we're hoping it ends up reducing his crowing.

More updates to come...


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