This past spring when we embarked on our chicken thing, we chose to go with all girls; pullets as they are technically called. I made up the theory that there is an ordinance against having roosters in our town (maybe there’s no such thing, but I needed a more valid excuse other than I’ve heard roosters are mean-ish). So far, our young ladies have been a lot of fun to have around and fingers crossed they’re all good egg layers, but there’s one young lady that certainly has developed a lot quicker than the rest. Big feet, a full 3-part comb, and it’s kind of a bully to the rest of the ladies. Hmm.
Did you know there is a real job out there called Chicken Sexers? Well, there is and there aren’t many and the job is difficult. Still, you have a 10% chance of getting a rooster when you think you’re getting a pullet. Chickens don’t really start exhibiting gender-identifying traits until they start getting feathers, and even then it’s still difficult to determine. So, you’ve got to wait a little longer.
With each passing day, our particularly-quick-maturing-chick is getting more and more aggressive with the rest; domineering if you will, and is developing some surefire rooster features. At first glance early on, the dude looked like a lady, but now, the dude is looking more like a dude. Roosters happen.
From my research, here is how to tell if you have a rooster: size, strut, feet, combs, saddle feathers, tail feathers, and of course, the crow. For the size, roos grow a lot faster than pullets. Their strut is unmistakeable, and their combs are developed quicker. Their saddle area feathers, which are located on the chickens back and right before the tail, waterfall down and end in points instead of curves. And for the tail feathers, they arc down away from the body and are long and usually beautiful. But really, the best way to know that you have a roo is to wait for the crow. Then, there is no mistaking.
Queen Bea, as we have called it up until now, resembles all of these features, though no crow has been heard yet. And, with each passing day, it seems to be wearing out its welcome with the rest of the ladies. So once I hear that crow, here are my options: I can keep it and try to referee the meanness and pecking on the rest and hope the crow doesn’t disturb the neighborhood; I can try to find a local farm that will take the rooster, or I can process it (the cost is about $10) and make some soup. Though we eat chicken weekly and I don’t think twice about picking up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery, I’m just not sure I can process him. Our primary reason for having chickens is for the fresh eggs. I don’t have any interest, nor room, to incubate the eggs.
So I need ya’ll to weigh in. What would you do? As I said earlier, roosters happen.