Wednesday, August 24, 2011

a chicken story

It's funny that I'm posting about the chickens when I'm not at the farm, but I intended to write about them before I left and didn't get around to it. 




I'm going to skip my Artist's Way check-in post for this week, or rather, last week.  I'm always late with them.  I haven't done much with chapter 4 yet and I'm not really liking the idea of having a week of reading deprivation.  I already feel as if I do not spend enough time reading.  Reading a book on a blanket in the grass seems like a perfect artist date to me.  I used to devour books and although I still read, it takes me a lot longer to get through a book than it used to because I'm busy doing all sorts of other things instead.  Taking time to actually sit down and read would be a lovely luxury.  I inadvertently deprive myself of reading all the time and don't think that purposely depriving myself will help me in my creative endeavors.  What I think might be more helpful for me would be a week of computer deprivation, or rather,  Internet deprivation.  Working on Etsy, visiting blogs, writing email, posting on Facebook and this blog all take a lot of time.  We'll see if I can formulate a working plan for that.

Until then, on to the chickens! 




About a week or two ago we started to hear what sounded like crowing coming from the chicken yard.  As our chickens have been getting bigger and bigger and the identity of our roosters more obvious, I was looking forward to the first rooster crow.  We have 28 chickens.  We ordered 5 females in each of 5 breeds and one male in one breed (Rhode Island Red).  For transport safety (to help keep everyone warm in the box), they threw in an extra male, also Rhode Island Red, and as a free gift we received an exotic chick just for fun.  Murray McMurray guarantees 90 percent accuracy for sexed chicks, so it was possible that we'd end up with another rooster, but not very likely.  As the chicks developed we watched their behavior and their physical development for clues.  It was pretty clear who the roosters were.  You can read about the chicks' development here, here, here and here.    

When we started hearing some crowing I was excited to figure out which of our two roosters were doing it.  Would it be John Wayne who is less shy and who has a beautiful green tail and a well developed comb and wattles?






Or would it be Number 1, who is a bit stockier, more skittish and has been slow to grow a tail and comb and wattles?






For days it remained a mystery.  You'd be surprised how difficult it was to catch the rooster in the act of crowing.  It always seemed to happen when I wasn't looking.  And then one morning I began to develop a theory.  It was a bit of a crazy theory, but it seemed possible.  Finally, I fully witnessed a crow and realized that I was right.  The bird who had been crowing was...




Polish, our still unnamed exotic chick.  The exotic freebie was a straight run chick meaning that it could be either male or female.  As John Wayne and Number One developed into obvious roosters, we ruled Polish out as one.  She's the smallest of our chickens.  She's dainty and not skittish like the other boys.  She's also not at all aggressive.  Sometimes John Wayne and Number One are bossy and stare down the hens.  Polish has never done anything like that before.  I cannot stop using feminine pronouns with her.  It is possible that Polish is a female; hens can crow, too, but that's usually when there isn't another rooster and it's usually a dominant female that does it.  Polish is not dominant.  I guess we'll have to wait and see how else she develops.




Now I'm thinking of her as a drag queen. 

Our adorable tiny chick




is still adorable, no matter what it ends up she really is.







4 comments:

  1. What a fun post! Love the little mystery and all the mile stone photos of Polish!

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  2. Oooohhh! How utterly adorable she/he is! I thought about a drag queen too (even before you mentioned it! ). And those feathers fit the bill. :D Love the photographs of the whole process from tiny to today.
    Wonderful story.

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  3. I love Polish with his/her flamboyant style!

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  4. Dearest sweet anne, i totally understand the idea of finding a schedule and balancing our time between creative work, social media, keeping up with blogs we love visiting, our own blogs and family time. I am trying to find and figure my own time management too.
    I love chickens mainly because i grew up with a small little chicken farm my papa has at his little garden. :) Polish is soo cool and that baby chick is adorable with it's punk hair! Have a lovely merry happy weekend and love to you!

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