My 12 chicks are almost 6 weeks old now. I have spent countless hours these last 35 days observing, noting and memorizing appearances, characteristics, behaviors, and personality traits.
Having never had chickens before, everything is new to me and I find myself, at times, very uncertain about how to proceed and with an unbelievable number of questions. This is one of the reasons I love this blogging thing so much. There are so many people out there who have already experienced exactly what I am experiencing, loved the experience, and want to share their tips and advice with me.
Now, as I'm sure all new chick owners do, I've watched my girls very closely for any and all "signs" of pending rooster behavior. When I picked out my girls, I chose pullets only (chicks having been ID'd with 95% certainty as female) for ten of them. The only two straight-run (unsexed chicks, 50/50 chance of either male or female) chicks I chose were my two "puffball-headed" chicks, the White-Crested Black Polish.
Theoretically, I wouldn't mind having a rooster. I love the sounds they make, how beautiful they become, and it just "feels like a farm" with all that crowing going on. But I easily admit to being a bit naive at times. I know that I won't like being attacked from behind or pecked unexpectedly by some cocky, little, two-foot devil, nor do I plan to allow my pullets to suffer from the feather-removing, skin-tearing, sexual assault I have heard can happen multiple times a day at the claws of some of these randier roosters. But not all roosters are like that, are they? Or, are they?
All this said, imagine my surprise when I went into the chick room the other morning, removed the screen from the top, watched the girls scramble and chirp for my attention, and observed one of my Silver-Laced Wyandottes jump up onto the perch, stretch her neck, flap her wings and make a strangled-sort of guttural crowing noise. Am I making this up or did my pullet just crow?! She's a HE!!!
I had been noticing lately that sHE has become the bully of the box... sHE will race around, pecking unsuspecting heads and jumping on the backs of otherwise engaged chicks, ultimately cornering every one of them into one section of the box, where they will stand, all crammed together and looking pitiful. Once this has been accomplished, sHE runs around maniacally for a bit and then jumps back on the perch looking mighty proud. But this crowing thing, well, that's a new one.
I'd love to post a picture of my new ROOSTER for you, but my ability to do this died, along with my laptop, on Friday night. (grumble, gripe, whine)