I want to do a quick chicken update. We acquired four new chickens this spring to add to our flock of five, tiny little fluffballs that we raised in a dog crate in the basement until they were big enough to go out to the coop. I posted some photos back in May of the newest members of our flock. At that time, Kittie from The Block commented that Ginger (who went with our black chick, Mary Anne, you know, from Gilligan's Island) looked like she had an attitude, and was destined for MIT. Well, Kittie, you have no idea....
Here is Ginger in May:
And here is what "Ginger" became:
That's right. Ginger, it turns out, is a rooster, not a hen. We now call him Rhodie, as we believe he is a Rhode Island Red.
When chicks hatch they are sexed. Females are separated from the males and sent to feed stores all across the country, in a box, in the mail. Females will grow up to be laying hens, males, well, I am not really sure what happens to the males. Point is, when you go to the feed store and pick your chicks, they should be female. However, my understanding is that sexing chicks is tricky business, and sometimes males get through--lucky devils. Our first batch of chicks, back in 2008, were all hens. With this batch we were not so lucky--two of the four turned out to be roosters.
But my, isn't he handsome! He glows like the hens never will--their business is making eggs, not looking dashing. Metrosexual chickens, roosters are.
He takes his job of protecting and guiding his flock very seriously, although he really is quite gentle and something of a buffoon. It took him months to get used to his rapidly growing legs and feet, and would routinely fall off the deck or trip as he ran across the yard. But he has grown into quite a looker, and stands head and shoulders above the hens. Here he is keeping an eye on one of our two year old hens, Emily. He's really just a big marshmallow on the inside, though--he will take food from our hands, and lets me pet him in the evening when he's roosting in the coop.
Our other rooster, Ricky (he was Lucy, as in Lucy and Ethel) found a good home down the road managing a flock of 18 young hens. We kept Rhodie because he seemed the more easy going of the two, and so attractive.
And I have to hand it to you, Kittie, you sure did call this rooster out! Talk about attitude!