They were getting no rest at all. You see…two weeks ago I heard a weird sounding animal…somewhere. I had to hear it 4 times before it occurred to me that the new roosters had matured to the early crowing stage. When the first try this they sound forlorn and pitiful, rather than brave and majestic. That reminded me that it was time to butcher again. When they start to crow it means they are nearing maturity. Their testicles are big enough and their hormones have them ‘riding’ everything in sight. They are in a very confined space since I had only intended the little coop to be for the laying hens. It was time.
When I could work it in, I would grab 4 of them by the legs and hurry them to the house. Chop off the heads, toss them away from myself so the blood spatter didn’t cover me, wait for them to quit kicking, and drop them in a bucket to contain the blood while I hauled them to the kitchen for the rest of the story. During this time the dog has to penned up. She goes freakingly insane at all the action that comes from the dying chickens. The birds leap and spring, hither and fro, across the snowy yard without their heads attached.
Today I have finished them. I picked the ones with the biggest combs and checked to see if they have 2 testicles inside when I was gutting them. This assures me I got the roosters and not the hens. Two of them I wasn’t too sure about. One of these had neither the male parts or any female ovaries to indicate the sex. Huh. That was baffling! The other Hubby was certain was a new hen. The comb was the smallest of them all. So were the sex organs, but they were definitely male.
I should have half again as many birds as last year..yay!
Ohh, and I kept one rooster to be “Cock of the Rock“. I sincerely hope he will be father to clutches of baby chicks in the spring.
…and get this: One of the old hens is clucking and ready to set. How backwards is that?…and annoying.