Remember our lovely chickens we hatched several months ago? At one to two days old, I had checked the wings and determined that we should be able to sex them due to the uneven length of the feathers on the wings which was supposed to make them hens. Granted, I’d read that this didn’t work on every type of chicken, but since the chicks either had the same length feathers or this uneven feathering I was hoping that these could be sexed this way. I marked down that all the mille fleur cochins appeared to be hens by the wing feathers, and that all but one of the blue cochins appeared to be roosters. A few weeks later when the feathers were really growing, the chicks still had a difference in appearance of their wings, in that the ones I thought/hoped were hens now had much longer wings than the others. When we first hatched cochin bantams last year, we had noticed that at this stage some had longer wing feathers, and we then assumed they must be roosters. However I then read that it’s hens that have the longer feathers at that stage. Turned out to be true with those chicks.
Now, on to our current situation. Guys have been crowing and trying to crow for a few weeks now. Yesterday we sat out and watched, to see who was doing what. Turns out that all our guesses are totally wrong. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! What we are doing is waiting until we see one of them either crow or mount another, and then we grab that one and put it into the small coop and wait to hear a crow. I’m so thankful now that I did band these kids, too! So far we have absolutely determined that three mille fleurs are indeed roosters. Looking at their stance and the size of their combs, it really does seem that all the ones we thought were hens are roosters. BUT… it also seems that some of the ones we thought were roosters are roosters! What does this mean? That out of fourteen kids I think we only have THREE hens! Maybe four. So much for thinking we could tell by the wings!
Even if there are only three hens from these young ones, we still have five hens from the originals, so we will have eight at the very least. We will keep two roosters to start, but I’m afraid two may fight. If so, it will be the one we like best that we keep. Right now there is a lovely mille fleur boy (yes, we saw him crowing) at the head of the list, but there is also a really pretty blue one with a mixture of lighter, mottled feathers overall that I really like. We haven’t heard this blue kid crow yet, though, and I really want PROOF before deciding for sure what any of these kids really are!
I know one thing for sure. They are eating like horses and need to have the flock thinned!