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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Learning new stuff- and surprises...

My chicken books came from Amazon today- and since it's been raining off and on, I've been reading 'em. Not only have I learned, complete with diagrams, how to clip a chicken's wings, I've also learned how to best kill and butcher one and how to perform an autopsy, should I ever need to do so. I think maybe I should have skipped over those chapters and just read the parts about autosomal and sex chromosomes and such...f'rinstance, did you know that a female chicken (pullet) doesn't get any of her mother's sex-linked genetic information(like color pattern, etc), but a rooster gets genetic stuff from both his mother and father? This is all soooo interesting I haven't figured out yet, though, why, when I let the chicks loose in the garden, they pass right by the beans and tomatoes and head straight for the okra-even jump up to nip at the leaves. Do ya reckon they are really and truly Dixie chicks? Now I've got to read up on what might be growing out there that could kill 'em. I think the butterfly weed is lethal, but I'm not sure what else.

My dear, sweet little hen, Sam, made a strange noise that sounded very much like crowing. I have absolutely forbidden her to be a rooster because we just can't have a rooster crowing all over the place and doing rooster-type things with the hens. I hope this was just a distorted cluck, otherwise there's a real problem

Sam is about 8 wks old now; s/he still Looks like a hen most days as far as the comb and feathers- and she acts like a hen, as far as we can tell, but every once in a while, Mr. G thinks he sees something "roosterish" about her. If s/he's a rooster, then his name is Samuel (as in Samuel Pepys). If s/he's a hen, her name is Samantha- we figured "Sam" would be a good name until we got the gender identity crisis resolved.

When I told my MIL that we thought Sam "might" be a rooster, she said she'd take Sam- and put him in the stewpot. I relayed this info to Sam, so s/he is aware of the gravity of the situation- and hasn't made any more strange noises all day.

So far this morning, no strange sounds, just a soft, gentle clucking. Mr. G has been working on the coop and run (that's him and our granddaughter putting on the finishing touches)Last night was their first night in the new coop- I figure they must like not having to wait for me to let them out into the run in the morning. I'm watching and listening to Sam very closely, though...

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