Our Craigslist luck turned and three people wanted our rooster this week, so we said our goodbyes Saturday morning.
We are going to miss this handsome guy.
As much as we will to miss him, we have enough mouths to feed that are just around for good looks and cuddles. Their names are
Levi Cash, Clementine, Elsa, and Jimmy Rabies.
Cry-Baby gets to go live on a 10-acre horse farm with a harem of new hens, the lucky bastard.
Our movie-themed flock is now missing its title character. We’re already talking about a Buff Orpington in our next round of baby chicks (in 2-3 years*). We can name her Cry-Baby Jr., or better yet: Lady Cry-Baby. Maybe we won’t push our luck again with gender-bending names. Oh, who am I kidding? We probably will.
What a relief that after all that fretting, everything worked out just fine in the end. We had some back-up plans like making adorable fliers to post at the local feed stores and co-ops if Craigslist didn’t pan out, but it never came to that. And thankfully Cry-Baby’s crowing never got so loud that we were worried about the neighbors hating us.
*Speaking of spacing out your flock when you don’t eat your hens after they stop laying, here’s some thoughts from the Root Simple folks.
This weekend we finally got a response to a Craigslist ad for a certain rooster.
So we took turns getting all emo and then prepared to say goodbye.
Jess kissed Cry-Baby.
Cry-Baby kissed Jess.
And then as Craigslist people are wont to do, they FLAKED. So, we still have a rooster. Know anybody who needs a really charming & handsome rooster? He is still really ineffective at crowing, so I’m holding out hope we just got a quiet rooster and maybe he can stick around. We are awfully fond of him.
We knew that being a chicken-tender had its share of heartbreak opportunities, even if you read every book, consult all the right experts and do everything “right.” Chickens get sick. Predators get wily. Life ain’t easy for chickens, even the coddled pets of vegetarians. That is to say, we have discovered our first chicken heartbreaker.
Oh, Cry-Baby Walker. We paid an extra $1 for her to be sexed at the hatchery. We were given a 90% hen guarantee for our tiny birds, although we always knew that chicken sexing is more art than science. We gave Cry-Baby a gender-bending name, knocking on wood and hoping that she would grow into it more gracefully than a boy named Sue.
You see where this is headed, don’t you? Little Cry-Baby has been displaying some unnerving signs of imminent roosterness: early comb development, thick legs, relatively large body size and “shiny” feathers. Krista, Levi & I have spent months comforting each other about these characteristics. We said things like: Buff Orpington chickens are a large breed. She’s big-boned. Lots of BO hens have very prominent roostery-looking combs. The gender-ambiguity of the Buff Orpington breed helped to perpetuate this grand delusion. We’ve been in denial because, of course, we love her. Er, him. We love him. Levi called us out this weekend. “Come and look at this chicken,” he demanded. Pointing at the adorable fluffy chicken butt, he said, “Those are saddle feathers. Those tail feathers are curling.”
One could make a good case to either keep or eliminate a rooster, and we have gone back and forth about this in our family. One of us sleeps flip-flop schedules for work, and no one likes to be woken up by a rooster if they went to bed at 5am. He hasn’t started to crow yet, but it could start any day. We’re squeamish about fertilized eggs in the omelets. He likes to cuddle now, but our charming cockerel might attack his beloved humans to defend his hens. Ultimately, I think the adults in the household agree that there is not room in our hen house for a rooster.
Having decided that we won’t keep him, our options are slim. We’re hoping to find a home for him in a flock with more open-minded owners. Do you know anyone who would like a very sweet pet rooster? Speak up.