Monday, July 20, 2009

Chicken Capers

The thing about baby chicks is it's hard to tell if they are a girl baby chick or a boy baby chick. It takes someone trained on order to "identify" the correct chicken parts to tell the difference. Once they are sorted the girls or pullets are sold in a group called a "sexed run" (aka you know what sex they are.) Chicks from a sexed run generally cost a bit more than chicks from a "straight run" (aka a group of chicks whose gender is --as of yet-- undetermined)

When we went to go buy our chicks we wanted to get a variety of breeds--to make our backyard flock more interesting. The problem was most of the chicks were in straight runs. In the end we bought two sexed chicks, two from straight runs, and crossed our fingers.

This little chick was the one we named Rainbow Bright. We named her that because she was from a run of assorted rainbow layers-meaning they can be different breeds in the group but they are all supposed to be good egg-laying pullets(girls).

After a few weeks Rainbow Brights comb and waddle started growing in. Wow, we thought, That's strange hers has started to grow in before the others even though she is the youngest chick.

And as she continued to grow (along with her waddle and comb) we tried to convince ourselves, She's maybe just a different breed with a more pronounced comb.

Finally, early one morning (Fathers' Day actually) I was laying in bed with my baby, and I heard heard it





Well I suppose "Rainbow Bright" was quite a fitting name after all.

The trouble is, we don't have room for a rooster in our backyard flock. For one thing he's rather noisy. He serenaded us this morning (our first morning back) for about 20 minutes. And really--How long do you think the neighbors are going to stand for it?

Secondly, I've heard that roosters are embarrassingly relentless when it comes to performing their "man of the flock" responsibilities. I'm just not quite ready to explain that to my 4-year-old.

So to cut to the point--while still skirting around it--I guess it's good that our new set of Good Eats included Coq au Vin (rooster in wine). It's also a good thing we live in Kansas, because I need to follow the yellow brick road to ask the Wizard for some more courage. I'm going to need it.


Mama said...

Do you have a sharp hatchet?
Personally, I wouldn't have the heart to do it myself, but saw it happen many times as a child.
I was shocked to find out people could buy chicken from the grocery store!
The "man of the flock" is a bit easier to explain than the bull in the pasture.

Mindy said...

Oh that's a hoot! You're actually going to kill him yourself? I am too much of a wuss! I would put it up on craigslist for $5 or something! You guys are brave. Medal of true domesticity award as well as "most likely to survive in a past century" award for you both if you follow through!

SUNRYZEZ said...

Wow! Good luck w/ that girly!!

Brian's Wife said...

Oh my goodness....I would not be able to do it. Good Luck! I remember my grandparents raising animals and the next time you would go visit they would be in the freezer. One time they were raising a pig at the same time I was reading Charlotte's Web....needless to say after that whole experience I swore off eating pork...even though I really liked was not until I went to Germany in college that I finally took my first bite again, but it has never tasted the same. It is kind of funny looking back at it now, but at the time I remember being so sad about the situation. Good luck with the rooster...don't post any pictures ;-)


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