Today's a sad day for me. I had to find a new home for Jackie and Poppy. As you know, Jackie and Poppy turned out to be roosters. As a novice, I was holding out hope that they were just faster growers than the others and that was why they were bigger and had larger combs and wattles, but no such luck. Once they started crowing, I knew otherwise. A couple of weeks ago, they started crowing at 5:20 on the dot, and as the sun rose earlier each day, they would start crowing earlier. I started putting a blanket on the pen at night so they would stay in the dark longer, and that did buy a little time. They would start crowing at 5:45 instead. But the thing is, they didn't just crow once. They would crow and crow.
I would wake up with the crowing and even though no one ever complained, I was getting so stressed that my neighbors would confront me about the *&%#@ roosters and their *^%$#@! crowing. I put an ad on craigslist and this morning I had someone come pick them up. I'm much sadder than I thought I'd be. Jackie, especially, had so much personality, and I'd become so attached to him. They both were so sweet. When they'd sleep, the hens would sleep huddled together in a corner, and the roosters would sleep on the outside, protecting them, I'm sure. The roosters were much braver and would interact with us more than the hens.
I'm going on vacation next week, but when I get back I'd like to get 2 or 3 new hens. It won't be the same, of course, but it will fill in the flock again.