Well, this is one time when I have to tell my husband: “Honey, you were right.”
When we had a little chick hatch from one of our eggs this fall, she was so sweet and won over my heart instantly. I worked so hard to keep that little chick alive. The broody hen who hatched her seemed to lose interest after a few weeks so little Sweet Pea was left to fend for herself.
For a week or so I went looking for mamma when the birds came in to roost and I’d get her down from the rafters with a rake and put her in a dog cage with the baby so Sweet Pea wouldn’t get too cold. When Sweet Pea learned to roost with the big birds I stopped forcing mom to stay with her.
It didn’t take long at all for Sweet Pea to figure out how to roost way up on the highest roost in the hen house. Tiny but fierce, she wasn’t afraid of the other birds who were four times her size. My husband suggested that was very rooster-like behavior. I said, “No! My little Sweet Pea isn’t a rooster!”
Watching my little chick I noticed she was having trouble getting in to eat and drink because the big girls packed in around the feeders and blocked the way. I built a little space in the corner of the coop out of 2×4 welded wire. In it, I put a feeder with some crumble feed and water. Sweet Pea could fit through the openings in the wire but the fully grown birds couldn’t. It worked well and she started to grow fast.
Before long her tail feathers became quite profuse. One day my husband came inside and said, “You know, Sweet Pea has some green tail feathers. Very rooster-like…”
I was still in denial. I said, “But she doesn’t act like a rooster. She’s afraid of everything and I haven’t heard any crowing.”
But then it happened. I was in the garage working, and I heard that sorry sound of a rooster’s first crows, like he has something stuck in his throat. “Oh no,” I thought, “my little Sweet Pea.”
And so, my husband was right. We have a rooster again.
Sweet Pea is now crowing all day long and he’s found his clear voice. He’s chasing down ladies and doing his very best to climb on top of them. I don’t mind having a rooster around as long as he’s not aggressive towards us. None of that so far. Maybe Sweet Pea will be the rooster that lasts…