July 29, 2016

Five Roosters

When you buy pullets (female chicks) from Mt. Healthy Hatchery, they only guarantee 90% accuracy on sexing them.  That means that in our batch of sixty chicks last time, we had a possibility of six roosters.  We think we actually ended up with four.  Let me introduce them to you.

1. The Pretty One

He's a Welsummer, the chicken on the Corned Flake box.  Thus, my husband often refers to him as the "corn flakes bird."  He loves the ladies and is often seen chasing one across the yard.  He and the big Barred Rock have been seen sparring a little in the yard lately.  They seem to be the two most dominant in the bunch.  This guy is not only the prettiest rooster, with his shiny green tail feathers, but he also has the clearest, loudest crow.  

2. Gimpy Bird 

This rooster, also a Welsummer, earned the name "gimpy bird" when he hurt his leg early on.  We thought that maybe he was low on the totem pole and was getting picked on by other birds so we isolated him in the baby coop for a little r&r.  Then when we let him back out with the others he disappeared into the woods, and we thought he was gone, but a week or so later he reappeared.  It became clear from his large tail feathers and pretty plumage that he, too, was a rooster.  His leg is mostly healed, but he'll probably always walk with a bit of a limp.  Despite his handicap, he's the king of chasing the girls.  Once he has his eye on a hen, he doesn't give up until he mounts her, even if it involves a pursuit all over the yard.    

3. The Yellow One

The third rooster, also a Welsummer, turned colors while we were in Michigan.  We came back and it's feathers looked like they were painted yellow.  It's a pretty mellow bird, also a lover of the ladies, but not as aggressive in its overtures as the others.  Somehow, out of only five Welsummer chicks, three were roosters!  We called Mt. Healthy on that one and they agreed to give us a credit of three birds on our next order.  

4. Big Barred Rock Boy

This big guy is in charge.  He's absolutely enormous and has his pick of the girls.  Occasionally we catch him and the prettiest Welsummer getting into it, often over a hen they were both eyeing.  The Barred Rock rooster looks out for his girls.  When he finds something good to eat, he lets out a loud crow to let them all know about it.  He often sounds like he's has a frog in his throat though.  It's funny to hear him crow.

You're probably wondering why I made the title of this post "Five Roosters" if we only got four.  The answer is below - a strange little bird we recently received from a Friend who couldn't keep it anymore.

5. The Rooster wearing Legwarmers

This little bird is a hoot.  Doesn't he look like he's wearing legwarmers?  He's also got an extra toe.  Our friend Sue keeps chickens but usually gets Bantams, which are like miniature chickens.  This spring she decided to try some full-sized birds because they were the only ones she could buy sexed.  Well, they turned out to be too big for her space so she asked if they could come live at the farm.  Along with a few hens came this odd little bird.  She said, "He's probably a rooster.  I haven't heard him crow but he's big for a Silkie."  And so, we came to have five roosters.  Our neighbors across the street have a female Silkie that their granddaughter named Unusual.  What a perfect name for this type of chicken.  Maybe we can get them together and have some unusual little babies.

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