Monday, March 19, 2012

The story of Egg.

This is the chicken known as Egg.

Someone dropped it in our yard.

I say it because there is quite the mystery surrounding Egg's, uh, gender.

So, Egg shows up in our yard a few weeks ago.

I assumed that it is a rooster as my ladies seem completely undisturbed by it.

Had it been a hen, they would have been, in all probability, quite annoyed and irritated.

They seemed to just ignore this chicken.

And yet, no rooster behavior.  

In fact, extreme "low hen on the totem pole behavior" ensued.

This means cowering around the other chickens, staying to itself, not allowed in the coop (by the ladies, not by me), running away every time another chicken approached.

Hmmmm.

Then we realized that it had no leg spurs.

You are HERE.

hahaha. Not really.

This is what a leg spur should look like.

Egg has none.

Egg also clucks like a hen.

It also roosts on the ground (which I now think must be due to having it's wings clipped).  This is not a good thing for a chicken to do at night.  Chicken needs to be UP at night for safety. 

So every night we carry Egg to the coop and put it in there while the other chickens cluck and fuss and whistle.

Oh, yea, and some turdface cut its beak.

So now we wonder if its spurs have been cut too.

Because, early one morning ... COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOOOOO!

Well, actually it sounded more like cock-a-drrrrr-eeerrr-ooooooo-glllllll.

Like he wasn't sure how to crow yet.

OR, OR my pretties, there is a strong chance that Egg is a Henooster.

My dear acupuncturist, Ashley, told me this is possible. 

Yea, check this out:

"Due to an ovarian change that affects the balance of hormones in chickens and other birds, it is very rarely possible for a female bird to adopt male secondary sex characteristics (feathers, combs, and even crowing in a hen turned rooster). However, this is not a true sex change because the bird cannot fertilize eggs. On large farms of 10,000 or more hens, this has been definitively observed."

Well, clearly I don't have 10,000 chickens. (It only feels like it.)

But I suppose he/she could have been rescued from a big farm where this happened.

Ashley and I were cracking (get it?) up because she said,  "Oh yea, someone was probably like - This chicken is weird.  Let's take it down to that weird house on the corner.  They're weird over there and won't even notice."

Yea, I have a transgendered chicken, y'all.

Or maybe he's still a juvenile and hasn't got all his goods yet.

Who the hell knows?  

I really, really, really do not want a rooster.  

I'm not the biggest fan of that crowing (insert nails on chalkboard sound here) nor do I want fertilized eggs!!!  

EEEEK.  I like knowing my eggs have no possibility of babies in them.

$&$^#@*

Why me, I implore you, Why meeeeeeeee?

I'm going to ask around today on some chicken message boards to see what I can find out.

I'll keep you posted.  (Or invited to a lovely dinner with coq a vin as the headliner.)  (Just kidding!!! I would never ... .)

Wabi-Sabi House.  Wabi-Sabi Chicken.


Sigh.

18 comments:

  1. Hahahahahaaaa... you have a hermaphrodite chicken? LOL

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  2. Oh Wabi, the hilarity never ends with you! Poor Egg, clearly not treated well, and not wanted or loved. You are its saving grace, you know that, right? Be good to Egg. ;-)

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  3. I admit to not knowing how complicated these things are, but why not take a little trip to the vet to determine Egg's gender? Or maybe these guys (over on MLK Jr.) could help: http://www.austinwildliferescue.org/

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  4. we all know egg is in safe hands with you. why, you ask? because, if you name it, you can't EAT it! besides, you're a veggie eater! i think i just heard egg sigh in relief.

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  5. When you are Earth Mother the world will find you because you are a kind, loving and caring person. That is your lot in life so you just have to be prepared (like the Boy Scouts and Tom Lehrer).
    Merrymerry

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  6. I know, it's really such a hoot, isn't it? And, OF COURSE, because I am a bleeeeding hearted sucker (aka broken hearted hoover fixer sucker guy), you know I will keep and love Egg. And I would never eat him or any other chicken. Egg is my lot in life. Sigh. Y'all are all so sweet too.

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  7. That, my dear, is another reason always to crack the egg into a bowl before dropping it into a hot skillet.
    MMQC

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  8. You are the best person I know to have a transgender chicken. ;)

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  9. Lucky, Egg to have found you and yours.

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  10. Check with Roberta at Mulish & Co - she had a hen which she thought was a rooster (or maybe it was a rooster and she just never mentioned it on her blog). But I know she's dealt with the whole "is it a he or a she?" thing before.

    I've heard that in situations where there are all female chickens, one will take on the roll of rooster and crow in the mornings.

    maybe it was a practice cock fighting ring rooster (you know, the one that gets all the defenses taken away so the other roosters can 'practice')...sad.

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  11. I love him! He looks like he has character. Maybe he was caponized. That's the nice way to say that maybe he had his balls removed. Little chicken balls. In any case, he seems rather unique. If he ends up making too much racket in the city and you need to re-home him I'd take him out here. Although, to be honest, if he turns out to be mean there is a chance we would eat him. Just being honest. In any case, I hope Egg enjoys his new digs!

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  12. You know, I forgot to say that he is SO NICE! I mean to.ta.lly chillax in every way. That's part of why I thought he could not be a rooster.

    Kareeeeennnn...where would I find his little rooster balls if I were going to look? In the usual place? OMG..googling that now.

    Katina - I'll see what she has to say. I thought about whether it might be a fighting rooster. Too sad to think about.

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  13. If he were a fighting rooster he would definitely have his beak and spurs (and balls, for that matter). "In the usual place" made me giggle. I think their balls are actually inside their body cavity. Hmmm, I might have to google that, too. Maybe Eggs will lay an egg for you and then the mystery will be solved (or further complicated).

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  14. Let's all celebrate Happy His/Her Eggness Day. I wonder if there are telltailtale signs anywhere? Very curious sitation and I hope we learn more. If so, let us know.
    ms mdd

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  15. Before I finished this I thought you had a special rooster. Oh please do keep him! I loved hearing the rare rooster crow in my old hood. You can always place him in a shed and let him out when it is fine to hear crowing if anyone complains. Also you can just alternate the ranging time so he is out alone while the girls are cooped. I did this until I found home for my roosters. It isn't as hard as it seems. But I know in Austin there will always be a happy home for roos on CRaigslist. Found several for my Silkies. My neighbor told me she didn't mind hens but no roos. The hens made a lot of noise when they layed though. She never complained.

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  16. I don't think caponized roosters can crow.

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  17. I have heard of this happening, and actually a couple of times it turned out to be a hermaphrodite chicken. Odd but then again, so are living organisms, are we not??

    Sigh. The Crowing is an issue. That sucks!

    For some reason the clipped beak bothers me more than anything else, since this impairs the chickens ability to nab and kill young insects and other grubby yum yums.

    Freaking people. As backwards as that poor henooster is.

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  18. Although this story is the most bizarre thing I've heard in a long time, my heart breaks for poor little Egg. So glad he/she has found a safe home with you even though your girls have been a bit unwelcoming. (We recently added a couple new girls and are experiencing the same thing) Congratulations on your new transgendered chicken! I wonder if there's a Hallmark card for that?

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