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.

Series NavigationThe Proper Care and Feeding of ChickensThe Rooster Delima

5 Comments

  1. Michelle
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Lol!! Too crazy! Good luck with your new hens. . . .

  2. Posted September 17, 2009 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    My husband would love to have chickens. I keep telling him we are not zoned for chickens. We are in the heart of Cottonwood Heights. He says maybe we could get quiet chickens. I think he needs to read your blog.
    Here’s a little chicken related humor:
    The Count was made to put his head on the chopping block. With honor,he refused to give any information to the enemy. Just as the hatchet fell, he yelled, “I’ll talk, I’ll talk.” But it was too late.
    Never hatchet your Counts before they chicken.

  3. Posted September 17, 2009 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I think that many places that are not zoned for farm animals will allow up to 6 chickens as long as they are HENS LOL 😉 since many people like to keep them as pets, but in the area of roosters, well, they are. . . shall we say. . . a tad bit less understanding. You will have to check your city’s zoning laws.

  4. Larry
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m in Cottonwood Heights like one of the other people who posted to your site. Looks like they are considering allowing a few hens. I suppose it is because all of the surrounding cities are slowly allowing them. I would like to get some good supporting info to present at a public meeting. I was wondering if I had a few “rare” breed hens would that fall under “exotic pets” or something like that?.. much like a parrot. “They just happen to lay eggs officer”.

  5. Posted February 5, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Larry, thank you for your comments. In many cities, you are allowed to have a certain number of hens as pets as long as you do not have a rooster. Here where I am, the number is 6. I would check with the cottonwood heights city council, because depending on the city, there may be stipulations on how close the hens can be to the house, or to your neighbor’s house. Another really good resource for backyard chickens in the Salt Lake area would be to call Frantz & Amie with Backyard Bees & clucks: 435-701-5998 Also, visit the backyard chickens forum: http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum and there is also a Utah Homesteader yahoo group that you may be interested in: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/utahurbanhomesteader/?yguid=171201760. Hope this helps!