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.
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.