Normally when we order our meat birds for the season, I request only pullets (girls). I know that picking out girls vs boys at the hatchery is never an exact science. It’s hard to guess with birds. They’re kinda secretive that way.
This past summer I identified 3 little roosters in with the flock of girl meat birds, which was ok. They waddled around with the flock and learned along with everyone else to scratch for bugs and eat grass and hay and worms.
In the fall we began sending small batches of birds to freezer camp. I was pretty sure the 3 little roosters went along, too.
However, when the dust finally settled after the last batch went away, we found a rooster meat bird hanging out with the young laying hens. No problem, we would just have another pet chicken around.
Something injured him about a month ago in the barn because he can’t get up as high as the layers to roost. Into the shop he went, where he learned to eat chicken cookies out of an old cat dish and warmed his toes nightly in front of the woodstove. The injury was healing and he was even growing some nice new feathers!
Yesterday Tom the Beekeeper came in from the shop with a strange look on his face. He handed me a light brown egg.
“Guess where that came from?” he asked.
“Ummm, from a chicken butt?” I answered, ever the smart aleck.
“Yes, but more specifically?” he said, waiting to see if I would catch on.
Turns out the boy meat bird was in the workshop cackling like crazy and pacing back and forth in front of Tom, and suddenly, an egg fell out of his butt.
The meat bird is a she.