The little cockerels have left the premises. All three of them. The Husband didn’t even realise I still had three until I told him. I was trying to explain the concept of chicken math to him. Chickenholics will be familiar with chicken math. For example, I currently have 7 chickens, not 11. The little girls count as half, and the one that’s not moving doesn’t count. Also, if you can’t see one when you’re counting, it doesn’t count. Chicks don’t count. And if one chicken dies you’re allowed to replace it with two because what if the one you replaced it with died? I said to The Husband, “It’s kind of like how I have ‘one’ rooster in the main pen. The other one isn’t a rooster, he’s an insurance policy.” “But you have only got one rooster in the main pen,” replied The Husband. Ha. Haha. Ha… This led to more explaining about the existence of Splash Dot in the main pen. Where did he come from and why was he there? And why wasn’t he in the Bachelor Pen with the other boys? After all that, The Husband still doesn’t get chicken math. It’s a chicken-lover thing.
I listed the boys for sale, but after one week had elapsed I was planning when to process them as I figured my chances of selling them were slim. Even though they are beautiful and nice-natured little roos, not many people would want them. Because they are roosters. As the end of the week approached, someone contacted me and the buyers came to get them that night, which was good timing for catching purposes. Splash Dot managed to escape the transport container while I was putting another boy in and tried to make a run for it around the garden. Fortunately, it was rather dark, with just a touch of torchlight, so he couldn’t see very well and I was able to grab him before too long. The poor dude probably got a shock to wake up without his girls in the morning.
It was sad to see these boys go and I don’t know whether their new home is going to be of long duration or if they will end up in the pot, but at least I didn’t have to fit chicken dispatching and processing into my crazy assignment-doing, family wedding-attending, pre-holiday time. I would have been butchering them the day before we went away on holiday, which would not have worked at all. I didn’t ask much about their futures, as I thought it was better not to know, just in case. I often see people advertise chickens with a statement ‘NOT FOR EATING’, which miffs me, because, really, you have no control over whether the person is going to eat it or not. It is, after all, a livestock animal, and once bought they can do whatever they like with it (hopefully within the law), plus, when hatching chicks you know from the start that you’re not going to keep them all and you are one of the many trying to pass on excess chickens so why should only the good, non-eating homes be reserved for yours? It’s a nice idea, but the reality is, unless it’s a good-quality purebred, you cannot demand to have a non-eating home for your chicken. Especially if it’s a rooster. You can certainly hope for a non-eating home, and be stoked if you find one, but you have to be prepared to accept what you can get. And so, I accepted what I could get, which was a small amount of pocket money to take the little cockerels off my hands. I was asked if they would fight with the existing rooster so I know at least they weren’t going to get the chop straight up.
Let’s pause to feel stoked that none of the other chickens have succumbed to Marek’s. The little chickens are 13 weeks old now. I feel like saying a big “PHEW!” but there’s still a chance that Marek’s could strike. Last time it struck Jane when she was 12 weeks old, although it was transient, and there is always the chance that it could get to one of the biggies further down the track. So, for now I am grateful that I’ve only had one little boy succumb to Marek’s and I hope that the worst is past for this round.
As for the little girls, I am keeping three: Penguin, Orange Spot and Pearly (whose proper names are to be announced very soon) and the other three: Bluefro, Darkie and Tiny are going to have a new home at The Big Sister-in-law’s place! I am spreading the chicken love! I’m quite pleased about this as it’s nice to get other people into chickens and I will be able to help keep an eye on the girls and see how they develop. They are just waiting for their new home to be ready.