Saturday, March 12, 2011

To Crow or Not to Crow?

My husband's cousin writes about traveling to learn Kung Fu on a Chinese mountain top. Cloudia and her boat home survives a tsunami.  I write chicken with a gender identity issue.  I have wondered about him (her?) since I heard his (her?) brother crow.  This particular chicken appears to be male:  he has a comb, and in Black Australorps, females do not.  He has wattles, tail feathers, he is larger than the female.

Notice, however, how pink his comb and wattles are.  His brother's are bright red.  Females often have smaller pink comb and wattles until they begin to lay eggs, when they will redden considerably.  Australorps seem to have a milder manner, not like other roosters which are aggressive even as chicks, puffing out their chests and flapping wings.

For awhile, he appeared to be sick, sitting down, back on his legs even to eat and unsteady on his feet.  Perhaps this has delayed his development?  He seems to have recovered from this.

Rooster on right, ? on left

Could it be possible, I wondered, for him to be androgynous?  I Googled it:  androgynous chicken.   I found nothing.  So, I tried "gay chicken", although he's done nothing to indicate that he prefers roosters over hens.

This is when I learned two lessons:   1. I am more naive about this world than I thought and there are things I don't really ever want to know, and 2. Innocent Googling can land you in some pretty awful places.  Little did I know that this was a game or terminology for a frat "game" (or depravity).  Were it not for the fact that my daughter thinks a good weekend is attending two piano recitals, a chamber music recital and watching old movies with friends, I would not be taking her back to college this weekend.  I erased my browser history of an innocent click, and used disinfectant on my keyboard.

Why do I care about the disposition of this chicken?  I have a home all ready to take him, but I want them to know what they're getting.  Is he sick?  Is he a she?  Is he neither?  It also is a curiosity.  I have heard of hens becoming rooster-like in the absence of a male, but will a rooster become hen-like in the presence of one?

For my local friends:  Tractor Supply has chicks this week!  Go look!

Rooster and his hen

Another chicken story from last year.


Kristina said...

Must. Not. Go. To. Tractor. Supply... We 're getting chicks from a friend, so I have to stay away from tractor supply. *sigh* The girls I got from there last year are amazing layers. And, I think one of my easter eggers is getting broody. Will they brood at less than a year?

That whole innocent clicking thing is why I'm so paranoid about my boys using the internet for research. I want a set of encyclopedias. Gary wants them to just use the internet. I'm a little more cautious than he is, apparently. In the meantime, we make extensive use of the library.

pita-woman said...

Ah yes, I too have been a victim of innocent googling. I remember searching for "bitches in heat", thinking only of female dogs, but that wasn't what I found. I'll let your imagination fill in the results. ;)

Junosmom said...

Kristina, they have ducks, too. A little peek won't hurt.

PITA, I can imagine.


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