We realize that we live in the city - albeit a smallish one. And we realize that although our city currently allows chickens (it classifies them as birds, not livestock), there is a noise ordinance in place. And so we determined, when we first got chickens a year and a half ago - that we would only get hens.
You don't need a rooster to get eggs. All a rooster does is fertilize the eggs, and since we are not interested in breeding more chicks, this made sense. Earlier this year, when a order we had placed with a hatchery came, it included an extra "free chicken." Unfortunately, it's very difficult for a layperson to tell if a chicken is a male or female until it gets older. And so, we named the chick "Doe," as in John Doe or Jane Doe. It turned out to be a John Doe, but by the time we realized that, we were already attached to it - or at least my husband was attached. The rest of us were decidedly unattached, as Doe had a tendency to attack whoever came into the coop - except my husband, whom he loved.
Some roosters hardly crow at all, and some crow all the time. Doe, unfortunately, crowed all the time. Night or day, 1 a.m. or 1 p.m., he crowed. Contrary to popular belief, roosters do not crow only at dawn. We finally took pity on our poor neighbors and realized that Doe had to go. Since Hubby was attached (and because Doe is a rather gorgeous rooster), we decided to give him away instead of having him "processed."
And so, this past weekend, Doe went to live with my friend Nancy at Southern Blessings. That's him, above, at his new home. Poor Doe! He was the only rooster in our flock, and as such was king. In Nancy's coop, Doe is one of five roosters. Five roosters who immediately showed him that he was not king. It's hard to go from being a big fish in a little sea to being a little fish in a big sea!
Poor Doe got picked on for the first few days in his new coop, but now Nancy said he is almost back to his old self. He is crowing all the time, and he attacked her yesterday when she entered her coop (which is how we knew he was back to his old self). Here he is wandering out to get to know some of Nancy's hens. Notice the guineas on top of the trash cans that are full of feed. The guineas keep a watchful eye on everything that goes on.
Nancy, her husband and I went to a livestock auction to see about getting more hens for her coop (so there would be enough to go around and her roosters wouldn't fight over the girls).
In the end, I also came home with a new pullet (a pullet is a very young hen). The hen is a light Brahma, and Hubby decided to name it "China." Although she is an entirely different breed, her coloring is remarkably similar to that of Doe. She seems tiny compared to our bigger hens, but she will catch up quickly. Hubby is already enjoying having her around.