This is the tale of Larold the Rooster who thinks he’s a hen. Or is it the other way around?
One day, I was collecting eggs in the hen house and I noticed a very funny looking hen. Keep in mind that we only have hens. The golden comet breed that we have are a sex-linked breed. That means that their gender is directly tied to the color of their feathers. So, the hens are brown and the roosters are white. When the hatchery sent these birds to me as chicks, there were a few roosters. They grew up to be white and ended up in my homemade chicken noodle soup. All that to say, no more roosters.
Well, this “hen” was just chillin’ out in the nest box room, happy as can be. “She” wasn’t aggresive, “she” wasn’t white, and but “she” sure looked a hell of a lot like a rooster.
So, I did what anyone with a degree in Animal Sciences with an emphasis in Reproductive Physiology would do….I put the bird in an isolation pen to see if he/she would lay an egg. (Are you kidding me? I don’t know how to identify chicken genitalia. I went the easy route).
Because this weirdo bird needed a name, I made up the most ridiculous name I could think of. Keep in mind, I truly thought this was just a hen with a large comb. So, I christened him/her the very handsome, very masculine name of “LAROLD”. (I might copyright this name ala Beyonce and Blue Ivy, so before you decide to use the name for your next kid, think again.)
So, there was Larold hanging out in the isolation pen for two days. Each day, I’d check for an egg and come up with nothing. Each day, Larold just looked at me quizzically, like, “Why I gotta hang out in here all alone, woman?” One fine afternoon, I was telling Fritz about Larold and we were looking at him/her chillin’ in his/her pen. We speculated for a while and then turned to walk away. And right then, I heard a wavering, “Cockle-doodle-dooooooo”. It was quiet, it was wobbly, but it was a bona-fide crow!
“Did you HEAR that?!,” I shouted to Fritz, spinning around. He of course, hadn’t, due to his hearing.
But Larold was just getting warmed up. “COCKLE-DOODLE-DOOOOOO”, he cried again. This time, we both heard it. “By golly,” said Fritz. “That’s a rooster.”
So, Larold is a rooster. Despite his new-found crow, he is still mild-mannered. The hens pick on him and peck him on top of the head sometimes. He likes to sun-bathe and hang out in the nest box room with all the ladies while they lay their eggs. I think he’s somewhat confused.
Heck, I’m confused. Where did this brown rooster come from?!
But Larold makes me laugh, so he’s not going to be chicken noodle soup anytime soon. When I need something to brighten up my day, I occasionally go catch Larold and look at him incredulously and laugh.
Yes, Keith thinks I’m weird to make him pose for a family picture with Larold. Larold thought it was weird too.