Last week I called into question my rooster identifying abilities (or lack thereof). After all that hubbub about rooster spurs, I was informed by the friendly folks at Backyard Chicken.com that these are grown at 6-8 months old, not the 6-8 weeks that we originally thought. By that time, all the other rooster characteristics would have already become painfully obvious.
Speaking of rooster characteristics, this morning I was completely caught off guard as I walked out the door at 5:45 am to hear what sounded like a sick coyote. I followed the sound to the chicken pen in time to see Buffy, my beautiful gray Americauna "hen" puffing up her neck and calling to the rising sun. It wasn't exactly the proud rooster sound that you would expect but it was close enough that I immediately recognized the effort for what it was...CROWING!
Well, needless to say, I wasn't expecting Buffy to be a rooster. Just a couple of days ago, my wife commented on how beautiful she is getting. Now we know why! Arghh!!
So, this week we take yet another look at fresh photos and see what we can determine...
Americauna #1 - My son talked me into waiting to hear Buffy crow one more time before he goes. I'm pretty convinced already though. Just look at him. Did I mention that he is hopping on Lizzy's back & biting her neck? Anyone want a rooster?
Americauna #2 - Could this be rooster #2? If I were a betting man.....I would bet this is the next bird to crow (and therefore go!) Notice how he/she looks a lot less perky for the photo though with the tail sagging. They don't exactly enjoy these weekly photo sessions.
Americauna #3 - Now that the spurs are no longer a worry, I'm back to hoping Rita is a hen....but I'm not holding my breath either. I honestly wouldn't be too surprised to find out all 3 of these Easter Egger birds are roosters. And I was so excited to get green & blue eggs. Well, there's always next year. :-(
Golden Comet - Ah, it feels so good to know Nugget is a hen. She's such a nice girl too. I got too caught up in buying so many different breeds and should have just taken a half a dozen of these little girls like my neighbor did. While he'll be filling egg cartons with Grade A large brown eggs, I'll be painting Lizzy's Grade C small eggs with gold spray paint and trying to bribe him into a friendly chicken trade.
Mottled Cochin Bantam - Little Bleu's personality mirrors her buddy Nugget's calm & friendly nature. That in itself makes me think HEN but I know better than to get excited.
Partridge Cochin - This is one wild little chick. I never officially named him because I'm thoroughly convinced he's a rooster just waiting to crow but his adopted nickname, Party, certainly fits him. My wife actually announced that she thinks he is the coolest looking little bird we have. His long feathered legs remind me of a baby eagle or falcon. He shows some aggression when a quick hand attempts to scoop him up, then he takes off running like a mad bird. I really should shoot a video of him running. He looks like a long legged teenager that is still learning to control his legs. I'm certain he's only here temporarily so I snapped a few extra pics of him this week.
Light Brahma - Poor Chilly had a rough week. My older son accidentally stepped on her right foot. Chilly is a family favorite and we were all upset but nobody more than my younger son. He unleashed his displeasure every opportunity that arose and then threw in a few more harsh words for good measure. We had to remind him that it was truly an accident and it could have happened to any one of us. Fortunately, Chilly's foot seemed to improve daily and she's almost back to normal. I say "she" very tentatively. I am actually leaning towards rooster at press time.
Cornish Hen - At one point, I thought we might not have room to keep Lizzy. Now, I'm thinking Lizzy's egg sandwiches taste quite spectacular. She's seems to be good for 4 small brown eggs a week. Here's an updated photo of the old girl. I think she's probably less than a year old but I fondly refer to her as "old" due to her age difference to the chicks.