“Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.” William Jennings Bryan

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 24, 2010

Yep! That chicken’s a rooster! Bejay crowed this morning – two times! Kath said he crowed last evening although it was raspy and tensed and not very clear or loud. He must have loosened his throat up a bit during the night, cause this morning while I was feeding the hungry hungry hippos (our pet name for our horses) it was LOUD and CLEAR!

We had our suspicions…Bejay had always been a bit bigger than the other chicks, with longer, orange legs – in fact, his first nickname was “Mrs. Long Legs”!. When Zips had the bout of laminitis and I’d take him out to cool off his feet with the hose, Bejay would always search for bugs near Zips feet, and peck at the water that puddled up near Zip’s hooves. Bejay seemed to have a boldness that the other girls lacked, as they tended to stay back. Bejay didn’t seem timid around Zips stomping feet. He seemed to like the challenge of playing with his own self preservation….

Then a month ago we noticed that as he grew, his feathering was more decorative than the others. The hens had nice feathering, but Bejay’s neck and tail feathers were much longer and flowing – not short and practical – and his had a different, more black metallic shine. His feathers were more and more becoming to look as if they were made for parading and strutting, and not so much for laying! At the same time, a little nub began to appear on each of his legs – were they the first signs of spurs?

It did seem that something was up…

But now that he is crowing, the deal is sealed!

This morning’s crowing is the first step of a journey that will bring Bejay and Kath and I to a future crossroad where we will have to decide if we can somewhat peacefully live together or part ways. You see, Bejay might develop the instinct that we are the enemy who needs to be attacked, and that our blood needs to be drawn…or he might just realize that he has it so good with a roof and food and 22 girls all to himself that we are not worth his bother. That is yet to be known….

I hope he becomes the latter. I like to hear his crowing, and I like that he will grow to protect the flock from predators. And that maybe one of the hens will become broody and stay on a nest of fertilized eggs til they hatch into a new flock of birds…that’d be the best scenario.

But only time will tell, and only nature will decide.

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