Thursday, November 03, 2011


Ah, the weather is glorious at last, and all the windows are open, letting the fresh air in.  But today I heard a sound from the back yard that chilled me.

The sound of a "cock-a-doodle-doo!"

People who are long-time readers of this blog or know me in person know we have a small backyard flock.  Hens are allowed in our little burg, but not roosters.  We have a lot of old hens, and added two chicks this spring, hoping that by the fall they would start laying.  After a long, hot, dreadful summer without eggs, the days are now cooler but shorter, so we still have no eggs.

But maybe we now have a rooster.

I inspected the flock, and the pullets (nearly grown hens) don't look like roosters, except one has a raised tail.  We can't have a rooster.  Even if he is gentle (since Colin has been lovingly carting them around for months) the noise would be intolerable to us, never mind the neighbors.

A friend of mine recently raised a passel of hen chicks, and one turned out to be a rooster.  She slaughtered him, believing in knowing and raising your own meat, but cried the entire time.  She did say he was good eating.  I don't know if I'm strong enough to kill my own chick, not if my children aren't starving.  Plus, the two chicks we got in the spring are very attatched to each other.

My hope is that, in the absence of any male presence, one of the old hens has gotten butch.  Apparently this does happen.  It could still be noisy, though.  So far, it wasn't very loud and it was just once, in the afternoon....


sarah doow said...

Let's hope for just a bit butch then. After all, if starlings can sound like telephones, surely hens can imitate roosters.

EdamameMommy said...

oh I gotta bad feeling about how this one ends. But it could be delicious.

Laura said...

If I had to guess, I would put my money on having a rooster. If you can't eat him, maybe you can find a home for him through the farmers' market. (?)