Monday, July 20, 2009

Post #15 - A boy...another rooster

I was finally able to establish that one of the chickens born this spring is indeed a rooster. Or, it will be a rooster. Officially it's known as a cockrel until it is a year old.

You can't tell the sex of a chicken until they're about six weeks old. I've read that an expert chicken sexer can tell on the day the chicken hatches but, if you don't figure it out that first day, you have to wait six weeks until the secondary sex characteristics appear. The chicken in question is actually eight weeks old. I'm just a little slow. Today I saw a green sheen in his emerging tailfeathers - just like my other two roosters. Dammit, I wanted a hen.

When he was tiny, he had a penchant for riding around on his mother's back. Probably because he saw siblings squashed beneath his factory farm mother's big dinosaur feet and figured her back was the safest place to be. It reminded me of a person riding a giant elephant and I started calling him "Pasha."

There is one other chicken the same age as Pasha that I still haven't figured out if it's a boy or a girl. I call that one "Tweak." A mix of game rooster and factory farm refugee hen, Tweak is white with a few black smudges. Tweak was hatched and raised by Mama Graybie, the bad-ass hawk-hating hen that takes no shit from nobody.

I really hope Tweak turns out to be a hen. If not, he'll most likely be the one who ends up in the skillet.

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