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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Goodbye My Fuzzy Roosters

It's bigger than the others.
It's got bigger dangly bits.
And it's started to cock-a-doodle-doo.

Yep I reckon it's a rooster.

Anyone who's been following this blog for a bit knows that we managed to hatch eight silkie chicks in an incubator late last year. I've always known that some of them would be roosters and have tried not to get too attached to them in the knowledge that they would not be kept.

Well the chicks are 15 weeks old on Friday and I reckon we can safely say that two of them are roosters. It's time to bid them goodbye. My friend Janine who is a bit of a chicken fancier and knows silkies, predicted these two were boys from about week 2. She says you can tell by the shape of their beaks.

Silkies, unlike other chickens, are apparently very difficult to sex. The experts reckon you sometimes need to wait until they start laying eggs or crowing until you know for sure. Even then the hens will sometimes surprise you with a crow! But I think it's a bit easier with ours because they were all hatched within a couple of days of each other. Two of the white ones are much bigger than the others. And today they were all standing out in the rain (as they do) and one of them started to crow.
Repeatedly.

So I can hear why roosters are not allowed in our suburbs. Although the crowing was nothing compared with our neighbours yappy, annoying little Jack Russell terrier. But I won't be un-neighbourly and whinge - and to be fair it only barks at night when it's been locked out. Right outside our lounge window while I'm trying to watch trash TV. Incessantly. But it serves me right I suppose for watching trash TV.

Our neighbour Mr P (not the neighbour with yap-dog but the one on the other side with goat and Italian garden expertise) has claimed the roosters. This helped me decide in the beginning to hatch our own rather than buy pullets. Knowing that there was someone who wanted the roosters that materialised. But as time has gone on I've become a bit reluctant to relinquish them. Every time Janine has come over she's asked when I'm going to be rid of them. She could see I was forming an attachment and they've been pretty obvious roosters even to a complete novice like me for a while now (remember this post?).  But I'm not entirely certain that Mr P will take these roosters to his relatives on the farm as he's said. He's already breaking the rules and has one rooster wandering about his block. He may decide to keep them himself.  Which will be OK, but they won't have the luxury they've come to expect here and I might worry. And I'm certain that too many roosters together is a big mistake. But worse than that is the niggling fear I have that perhaps they will end up as a feast on Mr P's table. 

Best for me not to think too hard on this one.

So I've warned the monkeys that the two we suspected are roosters are actually roosters and that we will be saying goodbye soon. They have taken it very well and are happy that we have managed six hens when we thought we may get three if we were lucky. Well, I think we have six hens. Can't be sure, but none of the others are showing any rooster-like signs. Except for Wonky. Wonky is under-developed because she has a lame leg. But she has a suspicious looking comb on her head. For now she is safe to continue to wobble along. I doubt she'd survive 5 minutes with Mr P.
Goodbye boys. Hope you're treated well.

13 comments:

  1. Awwwww hugs must be so hard to give up! All the best to your boys.

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  2. I was having good look at the two Ednas today and I wondered where you had got to with your rooster divining. If Mr P keeps them, they will work out who is boss. I don't suppose there is too much meat on a silkie...but then again people eat quail. Oh, I had better stop now. I was hoping to make you feel better, but I don't think I am doing a very good job. They are very pretty though!

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  3. Oh veggiegobbler, I too had to give up a much loved rooster, and in fact he had to be taken away from me forcibly... Chickens are so much more fun to watch when they have a rooster around, and when the roosters are bantams (ours was something small and fancy, a pekin I think) their crow is not at all annoying. An opinion my neighbours didn't share :(

    And we too have yapping dog neighbours, a bit further away than yours though, I can watch all the trash tv I want in relative peace.

    Good luck with your little men, I hope they end up somewhere lovely.

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  4. Growing veg is a lot less stressful than rearing chicken, I can see. Although I have been known to get a bit emotional when we finally come to consume one of my best veg specimens! At least these days I'm likely to have a photographic record of its passing...

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  5. Very sad to have to give them up - I'd like to imagine Mr P's relatives have a wonderful farm and want your boys for breeding more beautiful silkies.

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  6. Peace be with you Silkie boys! May your pretty looks and bantam ways bring joy to your new owners(and help to avoid ending up in a chicken cacciatore)!!!
    Dont listen to me. What Missy said!

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  7. Oh boy.....never an easy thing to do. I remember when we decided to give up the handsome Mr. Clyde, even though he continued to stab me with his spurs it was still difficult. I hope your beautiful roos go to a wonderful farm as my Mr. Clyde did.
    Staci

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  8. He's so cuddly looking. It'll be hard to part with him. At one time, I was caring for 8 puppies. It was madness. Despite that, I felt sad to part with them. Finally we kept one from that 8. That is Clifford.

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  9. Thank you everyone. I took them over to Mr P this afternoon. He was very happy to have them - and surprised that they were so tame. But Boss Boy didn't seem happy when I passed him over and started to squawk like a baby. I heard Mr P talking in a kind voice telling him that he would find him a wife as I left so I think they're safe. All the way on the walk to pick up the monkeys from school though I was worried. One of those boys felt rather light compared to the other. Maybe he's not a rooster! I hope I haven't made a mistake.

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  10. and we think we worry too much about our children!
    I'm sure Mr P will be very kind they are just so pretty boy or girl.

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  11. The silkies are so beautiful. Poor boys. Hopefully they won't be dinner.

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  12. Hi,

    Seeing that you’re a green advocate (and blogger) I wanted to reach out and see if you were interested in an article that I recently have written. It's on the Olympics and the steps they're taking to go green and decrease the environmental impact that it has. While sports is something far from the topic of your blog, I think that you will find it interesting and informative, and not overwhelming on the sports content, besides a few facts on the last Olympics, it is primarily about the Olympics going Green.

    I'm looking to spread awareness of the fact that even though the Olympic Games are fantastic and unifying, they are it's quite a carbon-rich event and are not that environmentally sound.

    Nerissa Barry
    nerdbarry@gmail.com

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  13. But the boys are so cute....

    I had two boy silkies I raised as chickens and they were so quiet, they spent a lot of time inside before we got some hens to be friends with, and then they didn't want to know us anymore. I love these cuties but sadly I haven't got any at the moment.

    Tania

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