Monday, December 12, 2016

Dead Rooster

My little broody hen experiment back in the spring had left me with three new breeds that I wasn't very familiar with. 

You can remind yourself by reading the old posts: One, Two, and Three.

The new breeds (and number of chicks) were Rhode Island Red (10), Barred Rock (5), and White Leghorn (5). After several weeks, random deaths, and chasings by dogs, I was left with about half of them. This seems to be the success ratio for me.

I had five Rhode Island Reds, two Barred Rocks, three Leghorns, and one mystery chick (sold as a Barred Rock but clearly not). And since they were small and all looked similar, I had assumed they were all the same sex. But as they grew, the rooster traits became more evident.

I first noticed that of the three Leghorn pullets, I had two roosters and one hen. I wasn't too concerned at this point. They were still small and not causing trouble. They were quite pretty.

Then the boys started to fight. And I noticed one of them was getting bigger while the other one didn't seem to be growing at all.

One day I noticed he was sitting around most of the day. The next day he was struggling to walk. The next day he didn't get out of the coop. Then he died.

(I've got several updates on our chickens so I will divide them into two or three posts.)

The white chicken is the Leghorn hen.

This is the healthy Leghorn rooster.

I put the dead rooster in the compost bin and covered it up. 

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