Thursday, August 09, 2007

Farm Photo: 8/9/07


Showin' Some Style

I keep picturing this chicken in itty bitty cowboy boots.

Unfortunately it's been showing more than style since this photo was taken back on June 24th. Specifically, it's been showing signs of being a rooster. Roosters don't lay eggs. Instead they spend their time strutting around and making lots of noise. The real tough ones go around picking fights.


The last time we mail-ordered baby chicks from a hatchery, we paid extra so they would all be pullets (females). But out of the 27 baby chicks that arrived in a small peeping box at the post office, nine of them turned into roosters. I'm convinced the chick sexer (how's that for a job title?) was on a break when our order was packed. There are varieties of chickens called 'sex-links,' and when these come
crashing out of their eggs
the girls already look different from the boys, but I didn't learn about them until after the roosters had arrived.

It was sort of fun at first, hearing that distinctive rooster crow. Cock-a-doodle-doo! Cock-a-doodle-doo! COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO! It made the farm feel more like a farm. But contrary to popular belief, roosters do not only crow at the break of dawn. At least not our nine roosters.

They crowed at all hours of the day and night, and boy, does that sound carry. We'd be heading up the driveway on a morning or afternoon walk, at least a quarter mile away from the farmyard, and suddenly you'd hear this Cock-a-doodle-doo! floating across the fields and into the woods.

"Wow," I said, the first time it happened. "You can really hear those roosters a long ways away." Joe simply shook his head in agreement. He's had more experience with roosters than he cares to remember.

"So how do I know if these chicks are hens or roosters?" I asked him a few weeks ago after returning from feeding Whitey and her rapidly growing brood yet another gourmet meal. They were putting on feathers, turning different colors, and taking on individual characteristics.

"We'll know soon enough," he replied, then hitched his deep voice up a few notches and said, "Cock-a-doodle-doo!"

There's nothing like a hunky farmguy crowing like a rooster. Now if I could just convince him that we need to keep one of these new boys around so he can fertilize some eggs. How else will Whitey be able to
raise another batch of chicks?

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© 2007
FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where Farmgirl Susan shares photos & stories of her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres.

15 comments:

  1. I keep wanting my DH to build a coop and let us have fresh eggs and raise chicks - he grew up with spending months of each summer with an aunt and uncle who were in the BIG TIME chicken raising (and killing) business- so it is a no go here. I DO love seeing your chicks though - God Bless dear Whitey - surrogate motherhood at her age. Better her than me. Stay cool@

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  2. Oh--roosters in the making. :)

    I am so entranced by Whitey and her chicks!!! I love your blog in general, but this thread is so mesmerizing for me. Maybe it's because I've always wanted to raise chickens myself, or maybe it awakens more universal themes of life and farm life...who knows.

    But in sum thank you for sharing, and I love hearing the updates!!!!

    btw, this city slicker wants to know how roosters fertilize eggs (it's done before the eggs are laid, right?) sorry totally ignorant here.

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  3. Roosters...! Tell me about it... A friend of ours was meant to give us ten or so pullets a few months ago, and about half of those were roosters! And our chook-pen is right next to the house...

    The font you used in that post was much better, thanks! :-)

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  4. I am enjoying your photos of the chicks and hens.I love your website. I have lots of guinea fowl keets of varying ages at the moment which is great to see growing up.
    Sara from farmingfriends

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  5. Ha, that reminds me of that Hardee's commerical where the farmer goes out to the barn and wakes the roosters (by cockle-dooing). Too funny!

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  6. Susan, I love your blog. You're such an inspiration to all of us.

    Therefore, I'm bestowing a very special award upon you and your blog. You'll have to stop by my blog at Shari's Gone Country! to pick it up.

    You'll love it, for sure!
    Shari

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  7. I saw a Dirty Jobs episode (hello Mike Rowe you are sexy, wow) where they sexed chicks and that guy looked like he might have been a bit *off*. So, it doesn't surprise me that your All-Girls School is actually co-ed.

    I mean, seriously, if my job was chick sexing I'd probably be hitting the sauce pretty hard to get through my day. And that would likely result in hoo-hoo vs ha-ha mistakes.

    Either way - I think your chick would look very nice in some teeny weird cowboy boots and that you should post of photo of hunky Joe doing the rooster call.

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  8. I saw that Dirty Jobs episode (ok, so I have a serious crush on Mike Rowe and have probably seen every episode more than once) and sexing chicks is not something you could pay me enough to do. For those of you not lucky enough to see that segment - they squeeze the "poo" out of the chicks and then look up the hole for a tiny little bump.

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  9. Oh my goodness! He reminds me of a cartoon illustration I did called "Brave Little Chicken"! How cute! Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

    P.S. If you want to see "Brave Little Chicken" you can go to http://www.cafepress.com/rosehavencottag.158639266

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  10. I am listening to my rooster crow as we speak. Our rooster has decided that morning begins between 4 and 4:30. I SO do not agree, but try to convince a rooster to change his schedule!!!!

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  11. Ohhhhhh! So incredibly cute! Thanks for the chicken update, FG. Whitey is an inspiration to all ladies out there thinking of having kids later in life. :-P

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  12. If I ever saw one little chick that would charm your socks off in cowboy boots this is it! Let's call it Dolly? (or would that be gender-confusing?)

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  13. "chick sexing" sounds like it could be a justin timberlake song. anyhow... farmgirl, this photo just makes me wish you sold calendars. so... how 'bout it?

    ps - name that chick Merle! (going w/ the "Dolly" idea posted by baking soda)

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  14. I like juliamazal's suggestion that you start a line of calendars!

    I can also visualize the cowboy boots on that little guy. But if he were mine, I'd call him James Dean!

    I read somewhere that keeping a rooster in a dark pen can keep it quiet until you get out of bed and let him outside. Not sure if that's true though.

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