Monthly Archives: September 2009

The Continuing Chicken Saga

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Backyard Chickens

So, one morning I am woken to the sound of crowing. And so I think, OK, one of the 5 chicks turns out to be a rooster, no biggie. But I could never catch the crowing one at it. In the meantime, hubby is getting more and more irritated by the crowing in the morning, so I am all the while spying on them to see if I can catch the one crowing because I can’t tell by just looking because they are still pretty young. As I am watching them, I start noticing that three of the ‘hens’ which I was told were sexed at the factory, and were 99% guaranteed to be hens, (I asked him three or four times, and he was getting irritated — probably the guy had something he wasn’t telling me) seemed to be taller, skinnier, and were growing tufts of feathers out of their ears. Their tail feathers looked different too, longer than the others, and they were starting to fight each other, fluffing up their feathers and flying a couple of feet off the ground and attacking each other with their feet and pecking. Seemed really roosterly to me. So we packed up the three of them and hauled them out to my brother-in-law’s out in the country. They were having some grasshopper problems and thought the roosters would be happy to take care of it for them.

Problem solved, right?

Wrong.

The very next morning, I am woken again by crowing. And so after watching the two remaining chicks, I could not see a bit of difference between the two. I finally found a lady on a farm nearby who said that she would identify the rooster for me, and take it off my hands. We paid her a visit, traded the rooster for two hens, (one was blind in one eye) and came home with the other one, who she said was definitely a hen, plus the two new ones, and she gave me some very helpful tips on how to identify young roosters.

Problem solved for sure this time, right?

Wrong!!!

The next day there was no crowing and I spent one blissful day thinking that the problem had been settled once and for all. But the next day . . . you guessed it. Crowing!!!

At least I don’t feel so dumb anymore, because she was a very experienced expert and she couldn’t tell for sure if it was a rooster or a hen . . .

But, here I am, having paid for 5 hens and raising them thinking I would be getting eggs soon, and then I find out that I got cheated by a lousy sneak thief. I thought about taking them all back to his house and turning them loose in his yard. But it’s really not the chicken’s fault that they turned out to be roosters, so now I have one last rooster. Even the breeds were wrong that he told me — one of the identical roosters he had said was an aracauna, and the other he had told me was a black wyandotte.  They were both silver laced wyandottes. Anyway, if for some reason the two hens this other lady gave me turn out to be crowers, she said that she would trade them for hens. Meanwhile until I can get rid of this one, I keep hoping the neighbors don’t get so irritated that they call the police, since our area is not zoned to allow roosters. :(

So there you have the whole sordid story.

Building a Homework Center

Over labor day weekend, I built a homework center for my kids. On Friday morning, after kicking my kids out the door on their way to school (they were running late because I had to spend 45 minutes looking for Zee’s shoes) I was looking at the pile of shoes (some with only 1/2 of the pair) on the floor by the door in the kitchen, with the fresh memory of backpacks strung here and there, books, papers, and jackets everywhere, and I thought “please God! There must be a better way!” and then I had a vision . . . well, more like a really great idea that popped into my head. I would build a homework center. Hey, it’s not an ark, but I still think it was inspiration.Homework Center

It has four cubbies, each with two hooks inside where they can hang their jackets. They can put their shoes on the bottom, and then there is another large hook right on the front, where they can hang their backpacks. On the top, I put a three drawer storage unit, where they can put school supplies and homework that needs to be checked off and signed by moi. Then, on the wall above it, I put a cork board, a white board and a large desk calendar. And, it matches all my other furniture, also made by yours truly. The only thing it needs now are engraved nameplates . . . well, we’ll see :)