You know what I REALLY love? Roosters.

black langshan cockerel @ 4 months of age

That is obviously sarcasm.  Our first batch of 3 “pullets” (which were also more neurotic than our newer birds) had at least one cockerel.  When we gifted them to someone nearby and decided to “try again” with some “verified quiet” birds, we got them from someone on Craigslist who lives just down the hill from us.  As noted in my post about the replacements, the sellers gave me a “quiet bird guarantee” where they would be willing to swap out a quiet bird in case we ended up with a noisy one.  As the weekend and the two-week mark was quickly coming upon us, I was feeling extremely optimistic.  We were getting nearly an egg a day (5 eggs in 7 days) from the easter egger, and although she’s not very friendly, she is pretty quiet (likes to do an egg song mid-day when she lays, but that’s not an issue) and dependably lays a very light green-greyish egg. The red sex link has moved into the lead as my favorite hen, however we have yet to get a single egg from her.  I am not sure whether she is just old, or taking longer to settle in and get comfortable enough to lay.  I always said that non-productive birds don’t have a place in our flock, but she is seriously the silliest bird that I’ve ever met, and comes running towards the door of the run when I go out there, prefers to eat treats out of my hand vs the ground, and has let me pick her up a couple of times before deciding that she’s not into it.  She also has this habit of walking around the run just mumbling to herself.  It’s noise, but it’s quiet twirring, so not something that registers as anything more than ambient noise, and I find it so calming that I’ve started visiting the birds right before I leave for work and right after I get home in the afternoon.

 

Then there’s the raptorchicken.  This black langshan is so pretty.  A real knockout.  And after nearly 2 weeks of near silence from the chickens, we were awoken at 5:30am on Saturday morning to a piercing ba -ba-bA-BA-GAWK! As I jolted awake, the chicken repeated its chorus, I couldn’t believe my ears.  We had just gotten rid of the noisy offenders.  We had quiet pullets!  I quickly threw on my robe and rushed out to shush the birds.  Of course they got quiet as soon as I went outside.  I went back to bed.  10 minutes later, same thing.  This transpired off and on in 10-40 minute periods for the next couple of hours.  The chickens would make noise, I would leap out of bed, trying to quiet them so they didn’t wake the neighbors, and not be able to tell who was making the ruckus – no contacts or glasses in/on and my vision past a couple feet makes for determining which chicken’s beak is moving very difficult.  This happened for several hours off and on through Saturday.  I was very stressed out.  We binge-watched star-trek while I made dog food, chicken stock, and caramelized onions.  The background noises contain very subtle beep-beep-boo-baas, which, if you’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown caused by the noise your chickens are producing (and really hanging from a string over keeping or giving up for good), they begin to sound markedly similar to the winding up that they do prior to the “main event” of squawking.  Laying in bed with the sliding glass door open resulted in me “hearing” the bawk-bawk-bawk in traffic noise and wind.  I had nightmares where the chickens were making noise.  Not to be disappointed, I woke up at around 5:30 am once again to the bird riling itself up.  After getting up a third time, I was angry.  When the next instance happened, I tore out of bed, cursing the damned chicken and threw on my robe, muttering about cutting that M-Fer’s throat.  Craig got up and tried to calm me down.  Of course the chickens were quiet again by the time I made it out, and I came back inside feeling defeated.  That’s when Craig started laughing.  The last couple of “rounds” of noise had been generated by his phone.  He pranked the crap out of me and was so successful.  I cried.  I was exhausted from not sleeping properly, stressed about the potential that the chickens would not work out and we’d have to admit defeat (and not have such silly creatures around to give us eggs), and it was more than I could take.  I was relieved that the last couple of rounds hadn’t been our birds, but they had started it, 2 mornings in a row.  By mid-morning they had quieted down, but I still wasn’t sure who was the one making the noise.  Monday morning, there was absolutely no noisemaking.  But Tuesday at 6am, we got a new surprise.  I think that the sound was somewhere between a kid playing and a baby crying.  It was confusing, but I had laid eyes on the jerk while it was happening.  Definitely raptorchicken. I posted on the chicken forum (like I am the type of person who wouldn’t be a member of a chicken forum) and some of the members believed that the langshan may be a male.  Now it hadn’t even crossed my mind that the chicken was a male.  I just assumed it was a noisy pullet who is super excited or stressed out about the prospect of laying eggs.  That is incorrect.  I was able to take video this AM of the jerk, and shared it both on my facebook chicken group and on the chicken forum and got the confirmation that I expected.  Raptorchicken is a he.  JUST LIKE JURASSIC PARK GUYS.  LIFE WILL FIND A WAY!  

 

So while I am bummed that we are having to get rid of such a beaut of a bird, I am relieved to learn that the noise making has been Y chromosome related, not X chromosome related. I have made arrangements with the people we bought him from to trade him in on a pullet, and because you can’t add just one new chicken to a flock (they get bullied extra hard if there isn’t more than one target), we’ll be picking up 2 additional birds (since “Red” doesn’t seem too keen on laying), bringing our flock total to 5 for now.  Hopefully we don’t end up with any more cockerels!

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