Monday, April 19, 2010

Our little queer rooster

Woodia the little cross beak chicken is probably about 8 months old now and is still not laying eggs. She also doesn't do the submissive crouch when you go to pick her up. But we figured both of those things had to do with how deformed her poor little chicken body is - what with a deformed foot, and a completely deformed beak and a reoccurring infection in one of her legs.

Then yesterday I was standing in my neighbor's backyard talking to her and we heard a rooster crow. I said, "That had to be your son, hens don't crow," but my neighbor insisted it was Janey the really big brown hen. I said I'd seen her lay eggs and my neighbor said, "You've actually seen her lay eggs?" and I said, "Well, I didn't actually see it come out of her butt but I've seen her go in the nesting box and then come out and there's a brown egg." We were looking at the three of them when all the sudden Woodia threw back her (his?) head and started crowing again. Good lord. Woodia is apparently a rooster.

My husband doesn't believe it and thinks she's an hermaphrodite and I'm not sure what to think. From what I've read hens will try to crow but it won't come out in that perfect pitch like Woodia has.

So, now I need to figure out where to go from here. If Woodia is a rooster, do I want a bunch of fertilized eggs? Apparently, if you put them in the fridge the day they're laid they won't develop but still. Then, would I want to let them hatch? And if they did would the chicks be deformed like Woodia? And it is actually illegal to own a rooster within the city limits so if a neighbor complains I need to get rid of Woodia and who's going to want a severely deformed rooster? So, this is an interesting new development in my chicken-keeping saga.

I applied yesterday for a job as a barn assistant at a new dressage barn in Monroe and I doubt they're going to call me but I have to admit I have been watching the phone a bit today. I wasn't going to tell my husband unless I actually got an interview but hey, he reads my blog so there ya go. He knows that I know that he does not want to move to Monroe so that would be an issue we'd have to figure out. If only Monroe had a commuter train to downtown Seattle. Or a commuter helicopter. I've heard from a lot of people that "you don't want to work for a show stable" (or any stable really). But how else could I work with horses and learn to be a trainer if I don't apprentice/assist someone who already does that? It's probably a moot point because jobs like that are few and far between and they probably aren't going to hire a woman in her 40's with a family when they could hire a kid right out of college with no other obligations. But still, I keep looking.

1 comment:

  1. We had several hens that crowed. It depended on which one was dominant that week, which oddly enough seemed to rotate. When there is no rooster present, one of the hens will take on the role. I think it more common than not. They usuall aren't as loud and strong as a rooster, but still pretty impressive. I'd bet Woodia is a hen.

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