Feeling Cocky - Part One
The Man, The Legend, Mr. Cuddles
When we decided to purchase chickens, we wanted to start by raising chicks and we agreed, no Roosters. From the little we knew about Roosters, they were loud, mean and not necessary for egg laying.
So, no way, no how, would there be Roosters in our hen house. And thus began our hunt for chicks...no boys allowed.
I discovered that Kijiji offered a wide selection of chicks but as I scrolled through the ads, I noticed that the majority of posts stated that the chicks available were “unsexed”. Unsexed? What in the world did that mean? A little googling led me to discover that unsexed indicates that the gender is unknown. A little more googling told me that it is very difficult to determine the sex of chicks but if you are willing to spend the money there are, believe or not, professional “chicken sexers.” Not surprisingly, only large breeding facilities invest in this expertise. And even when they do, the experts are not always accurate. So it appeared finding female only chicks may be more difficult than I originally hoped. But did this deter me? Not at all.
I began to message backyard breeders asking if they had chicks available, and if so, did they posses the rare ability to tell the sex of the chick. The majority replied with a firm no. But, I thanked my lucky stars when I found someone that claimed to have this talent (insert eye roll). Off we went to pick up the little girl chicks.
To our delight, the six he had available all appeared to be female. Now, I am an optimist by nature but even an optimist should have realized that when something seems too good to be true…it probably is.
Nonetheless, I was thrilled by our good fortune and we headed home with these adorable, fluffy little girl chicks. Fast-forward four months; one of our chicks, Cuddles was starting to look different than the others. Cuddles’ comb (the red fleshy part on of their heads) was growing larger & redder, little spikes were beginning to show on the insides of her legs and her tail feathers were showing some impressive height and colour. At this point, I will admit, doubt started to creep into my mind and it occurred to me that we might have been duped.
Shortly after noticing the bodily changes, we started to hear strange noises coming from the coop. Not quite a crow but a foreign sound for sure. When we heard these sounds, Tyler and I would inspect the coop, find everything as it should be, and move on with our day, attributing the sound to the strange chicken behavior we were learning to understand.
But then the day came, when all doubt was cast aside and our sweet little Cuddles became Mr. Cuddles....crowing loud and proud for all to hear (including our neighbours). Mr. Cuddles confirmed, we had been royally duped!
You may be asking yourself, what did we do with this new discovery? Well, we were displeased but he was our pet and I refused to rehome him. Besides, how disruptive could a Rooster be? Everyone knows that Roosters only crow in the morning, right? Wrong.
Soon after that first formidable Rooster call, a boisterous crow in the middle of the night disturbed our sleep. Shocked by the sound, we jumped out of bed and raced outside thinking that something was wrong in our coop. When we flung open the door, there was Mr. Cuddles perched, on his roost looking haughtily down his beak at us and he proceeded to let out another spectacular crow. We knew then and there that there was only one thing to do...sound proof the coop!