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You are not going to believe this, because I can’t believe it myself. Guess what woke me up this morning? Just guess. A wild, seemly impossible guess.


Just to give you a sense of my disbelief, here is what ran through my head as I heard those three little crows. And this absolutely, honestly what went through my head as plausible options:

“Did one of our neighbors get chickens?”

“Did one of our neighbors get a rooster?”

“Why would they get a rooster? To eat it? It’s not that tasty…”

“NO! Is that coming from MY coop?”

“Is it somehow the ghost of Steve?”

“Could someone have replaced Steve with another rooster when I was sleeping?”

“Did Pearl stop laying last week because she underwent a gender metamorphism and now she’s a rooster?”

“Did Steve teach Pearl to start crowing?”

Because, of course, it would be such extremely bad luck to have a third chicken turn out to be a rooster. I couldn’t pathom that as an option in my half asleep haze.

Sure, Ed was a straight run. He had a 50/50 chance anyway. Steve was sadder, since he was sexed and only had a 25% chance of being a male. I waited weeks with both of them, ignoring their long tail feathers, hearing them go through the awkward adolescence that is the equivalent of a teenage boy’s voice squeaking. Then, sadly, hearing their crows get clearer and stronger. Actually watching their beaks open to crow, just to make extra sure it was really them crowing.

I jumped out of bed at the possibility that there is another rooster among us, fumbled out the door, and threw myself in front of the coop. Pajamas and bare feet. The crowing stopped. Is it Maude or is it Florence? Is there some other explanation? Any? Could I have possibility made up three cockle-doodle-doo’s in my mind this morning? Is it possible it was some further away coop I heard?

It’s made me so sad I cried today. More than once. I just can’t kill another rooster. Ed’s experience was a little interesting, for a city girl. Steve was just sad. Neither tasted that good. And, honestly, I am really sick of spending my summer Sundays butchering g@d d@#n chickens in my f@#%ing backyard.

The crows I heard this morning were cockle-doodle-doo’s, but much weaker than Steve’s. It’s one of the chickens trying to find their crow. Basically, getting warmed up for roosterhood. And if it’s a rooster indeed, it has to go. Somewhere, and tonight I don’t really care where. Maybe I will tomorrow.

And then I am left with two hens. Two when I wanted four… Four perfectly planned hens, all of different interesting breeds that would lay beautiful, multicolored eggs… That were raised by me on organic feed and given treats from the garden so they would be friendly towards people.

And today, despite all this happening so quickly, I found someone on Craig’s List selling Buff Orpinington and Barred Plymouth Rock pullets. How perfect! Still young enough that I could get them used to people. We sent rapid-fire emails back and forth to each other this morning. I said I wanted them and could come Friday. Then no response. For hours. Then a response saying she adopted them out already.

F@#% you Craig’s List. F@#% you Coastal Feed store clerk woman who happened to grab all rooster chicks out of the “sexed” chick areas. F@#% you to myself for having such a great, well-laid plan that has left me with two hens.

I know I should fine some way to end this on a positive note, but I really just can’t. I am so done with today.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson