End of June, 2012: Man, that one chick is sure getting’ big…
So Mama and her chicks are doing great, it’s been a couple of weeks and they are growing so fast! But one of them is getting a lot bigger than the other one. I chalk it up to the fact that the smaller one had a rough start as she’s the one that was attacked by the mean hen. Here’s a couple of pics of when we really started to notice the size difference.
A couple more weeks pass and the one chick is a LOT bigger than the other one, and a bit lighter in color. Hmmm…no biggie, right?
Relaxing one evening perusing my new hatchery catalog, girls scratching away in the backyard—yes, this time I am staying with them, lesson learned—and I come across the Barred Rock listing. “Oh, that’s the type I brought home for Broody,” I think to myself as I start reading all about Barred Rock chicks. You see, Broody is a Cuckoo Maran and I bought Barred Rocks since their coloring is very similar. Back to reading the catalog: “…popular dual purpose breed…very friendly…high egg production…cockerels are lighter in color than pullets…docile personality…”—WAIT A MINUTE—what was that about cockerels? Lighter in color than pullets?? Great…you know what this probably means. Of course, at this point I’m still holding out hope that the chick is just growing faster and happens to be lighter in color than “her” sister.
Fast forward to around mid-August, the chicks are about eight weeks old. I’m doing my morning routine, about to let the girls out of the coop when I hear this faint, strange noise coming from inside the coop.I think one of the girls is coughing, it’s a strange noise so I pause to listen. I hear it again, kind of like “err-errrr.” “Is one of the hens clearing her throat? What is that?” Pause again…”err-errrr.” It finally sinks in: my little cockerel is practicing his newly-discovered morning wake-up call. Holy schneikes, here we go. I’ve got a roo.