Saturday, may 5th was the day that Devin brought home 19 chickens from Chupps Auction. No one was more excited than I to finally have some laying hens. On that day, as I have posted before, Devin drove up with a hodge podge of chickens in the back of his truck. There were three white “Easter egger” hens that were already old pros at layin’ the most beautiful blue and green eggs. Then he bought some babies…four Dominickers and five Rhode Island Reds. Last but not least, in a cage all to themselves, he had eight Buff Orpington pullets (a pullet is a hen (female) that is under one year of age but not really a chick).
NO ROOSTERS! I had decided I didn’t want any bullies in my yard!
All together we had 19 hens…3 already laying…8 almost ready to start laying…and 9 that were still about three months from laying age.
As time rocked on, the easter eggers were consistently giving me two eggs a day…not much to crow about, but they were doing all they could. I in the mean time, was counting the days for when my Buff Orpingtons would start laying….which could happen at any time!
Weeks went by, my babies were all growing up so fast and so were my pullets…but still no eggs.
One afternoon Nathan, a long time friend of Devin’s and a fellow chicken owner himself, came by to take a look at our brood. As they stood there shootin’ the breeze and talking chicken talk Nathan voiced his concern about one of the hens. “I think you might have a rooster right there”, he said in a very confident tone. “really?” Devin said, “where?” “Right there”, he said as he pointed to one with tail feathers a little longer than the others. “well shoot” Devin said in exasperation, “I really didn’t want a rooster…but I guess with 18 hens he’ll be too busy to be mean.”
When I heard that we may have a rooster I kind of got a little excited… I always loved hearing the roosters crow at my Aunt Sammie’s when I was a little girl. I affectionately named our potential rooster Earl. Now, as I awaited anxiously for my hens to start laying…I was also anxiously awaiting to hear Earl’s first crow!
Sure enough, in Just a few weeks, Devin came in with the big news. “well”, he said “we have a rooster!” “I jumped out of bed and said, “did he crow?” “well…we got one crowing…but it ain’t Earl!”! He said with a grin.
I couldn’t believe my ears. “we have two roosters?”, I said. “looks that way” he replied, “heck they may all be rooster!” “WHAT? are you kidding?”, I said…hoping he was just pulling my leg. “naw, I’m just kidding…but wouldn’t that be a hoot? 8 roosters!”
Weeks went by and still no eggs were coming from my Buff Orpingtons. As I began to enquire of Devin as to the reason why they were not laying, he said (not laughing or kidding) “I’m wondering if these sorry suckers are not all roosters.” “are you kidding me?”, I said, “Please tell me you’re kidding!” he just laughed and scratched his head and said, “no, I’m not kidding….just look at them…their huge and their starting to fight…so I’m thinking I bought a cage full of young roosters instead of pullets.”
Sure enough, before we knew it, we had four crowing at one time! and they were all looking just alike! Big and mean!
Then we started getting a lot of this.
Needless to say, 8 full-grown, hormonal, crowin’, roosters in a yard with 10 hens…7 of which are still little…just is NOT going to work.
What did we do about it? Well we gave one away to some friends who needed a rooster. Then on July fourth Devin “processed” five of them…they are now in our freezer! I didn’t want to know anything about what he did or how he did it…I didn’t even bag them. He did it all…thank goodness. Now we have two left, one of which is non other than Earl. He is the hen-house Romeo…um nevermind…he’s more like a gigolo!
Let’s put it this way, he is one happy rooster 😉
As for the other one…we are now looking for a home for him, and I don’t mean in my freezer!
Stay tuned for more Hen House Happenings.