Friday, May 4, 2012

Chicken sexing

While we were away, our pullets grew exponentially.  The largest is possibly now the size of all the chickens we saw in Haiti combined (which may hint something about wheat-based diets and obesity problems).

Our young chickens ate their way through the bag of feed Abe left and by the eleventh day, they were looking for more. We got back from Haiti on a Monday at 7:30 am, and we were running to the feed store by 10:30.

Like adolescent boys, growing roosters will eat you out of coop and home... not that we're trying to raise roosters. When we bought our chicks, a crusty old man - wearing crustier overalls -  sexed them to make sure we chose only hens. I knew that sexing chickens is notoriously difficult (never saw myself saying that in public), but our man turned out to be exceptionally incompetent.  Out of 11 chicks, 4 are increasingly rooster-like, making him wrong nearly half the time, almost as often as I am). This week I've heard several early attempts at crowing, so we'll be having coq au vin real soon.

I have mixed feelings about the codes that strictly forbid roosters within the city limits of Charlotte.  On the one hand, our young man-birds are growing more handsome by the day, and I know a rooster would be a great addition to our flock. But on the other, I'm grateful that none of our neighbors are permitted a yard full of birds who announce the arrival of the sun or potential predators loudly and at all hours.

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