Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rooster, Pullet, Cockerel, Hen

 Way back in November we set up a chicken dis-assembly line to thin out the number of birds we would have in the coop over the winter (and to have some meat in the freezer over the winter.) Way back in October, we started sorting the birds according to "keep" or "go." We kept the decision pretty cut and dried. I wanted only one rooster to "keep" and all the other roosters would "go" along with all the RIR hens that were over 2 years old. We had bought a large flock of day old assorted Black Marans chicks at the auction in the spring so we had a large group of pullets that would begin laying any time and our older Barred Rocks were still good layers. Add in the extra Buff Orpington hen and the ducks and we had plenty of hens. Which meant we had plenty of eggs! Of course, in order to make the decision regarding each bird, we had to sex them. Which should have been an easy task at the age they were. Right?

Sir Dudley-keeping watch
 BUUUTTTT one of the Marans was a pullet/cockerel. I mean it really depended on who you asked. If you asked the DW on the homestead, she would say it was a cockerel for sure. However the DH on the homestead really liked the copper coloring on this bird so he declared it was a pullet. Now, this particular DH held the top position on the dis-assembly line. So the pullet/cockerel lived on.
Marans hen and chick

I'm sure you know (if you have any experience with old married folks at all) that the argument did not end there. NO WAY JOSE! Every day, the DW would say to the DH, "I really do think you're hen is a rooster." And everyday the DH would reply, "I will believe it when she does something roostery." ROOSTERY???  All rightey then.

 So the DW waited until the darned pullet/cockerel started learning to crow. Then she pulled her DH out into the yard so he could see for himself. And the DH said, "but honey, some hens crow. I still think it's a hen."
Mixed flock
 So the DW waited some more. And after she had witnessed the hen/rooster "doing the deed" with a hen or two, she again pulled DH out into the yard so he could see for himself. And the DH said, "hmm. I guess you were right."

 That is why the DW has a rooster named Liberace- for his flashy coloring (and the uncertain beginnings of his sexuality.) And Liberace will get to stay as long as he and Sir Dudley can get along. Really, what DW in her right mind would want to execute anything she can keep on hand to remind her DH that SHE WAS RIGHT?


  1. Oh no! I laughed so hard my coughing started up again! But it was worth it! LOL
    The Anonymous Homesteader

  2. Although I do have to agree with DH that sometimes hen DO act "roostery" (we had a hen that crowed....really!) but we've never had a hen try to breed another hen.

    I say Liberace stays! :)

  3. That is so funny! My hubby and I have the same problem with one of the chickens (that he is sure is a rooster)! She looks just like a hen only really big feet and bigger than the other hens. Problem is she has yet to crow and I have not seen her yet in the nest box it goes on with us for the time being! :) have a good evening


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