Maria’s replacement

Hi there keepers, as some of you may have been following the Maria saga, well it come to it’s conclusion yesterday, it had got to the point where we could no longer ignore the obvious signs that maria was and is a rooster. Not having this breed before we weren’t quite sure, but in the end I think someone who had never seen a chicken before probably would have said ‘boy chicken’, so we drove back to the lovely breeder Raewyn, who exchange Maria for Manuella, yes that is the new birds name, as we had been calling Maria, Manuel for the past couple of weeks, we thought it only right that we called the new girl Manuella.

She is very different in mood, she was straight onto my lap for a cuddle, and even had a little nap, where as Maria(rooster), would run a mile if you even looked at him. Unfortunately the new chicks didn’t except Manuella, as I thought they might, I had hoped they would think it was Maria with a comb and tail trim, but no such luck, Betty(wyandotte) the smallest of the chicks, attacked her with a fuery, maybe revenge for the pecking dealt out by Maria, she jumped on her back and grabbed hold of her comb, and rode her like a rodeo bull.

So now Manuella is now living in the bottom of the welsh dresser on the deck, smaller than her previous dwelling but Betty free. It’s all going to be worth while as the Minorca chicken is a beautiful bird.

Confirmed what we Knew deepdown

Well folks thats it! Maria has gone to a kind of rooster heaven, no she hasn’t died, just back home really, we went with her in a box out to the breeder where we got her, and as they say ‘ it took just one look’, rooster!, said Raewyn. Funny how you will ignore lots of tell tale signs, like a massive comb, sickle tail feathers, constant framing up to the other chicks, in the hope that the bird you have grown attached to doesn’t have to go, but alas she/he , no definately he has gone.

Will he now have an identity issue, after being called Maria for two months and living with 6 girls, now he is in what raewyn calls the rooster pen, I dread to imagine what is happening for poor old Maria, as he was frightened of a butterfly, so I imagine 20+ other roosters must be like being thrown into a big fight club for him.

I’m sure he’ll do fine, he might turn out to be super tough like the boy named sue in the Johnny cash song.

A Picture can say a thousand Words

Hi there, regards trying to determine Maria’s sexuality. The main comment I have recieved,  is  ‘a pic would help’ , well at the moment, both our cameras have developed faults instead of pics, My Lithium batteries are dead, and the other half’s camera got a little wet when we were kayaking, and has stopped linking to the pc.

I started to wonder, due to the request for pic from most, whether there is a defining way to tell if a bird is  a rooster at a young age without seeing it, other than the obvious, wait til it crows!. There must be someone out there who can tell, as we all know we sit and look at our chickens for hours on end. My gut instinct tells me, she a he, and I was right about the guy in a dress at the bar last friday, so maybe I should just go with my instinct.

Any other tips or old wives tales( is that still an acceptable term?) would be much appreciated.

Maria could be a Manuel

Hi there keepers, the more I look at Maria, our Minorca ‘hen’, the more I think she looks like a rooster, however I’ve not had this breed before and so it’s hard to tell, others have commented on her sexuality before from a photo I posted.

She has got rather long in the leg and doesn’t seem to have much weight about her, and they are a heavy bird, yet she is still young, so it could just be that she hasn’t put the weight on yet, she/he does tend to frame up alot to the other chicks, but then runs a mile if the bigger girls come any where near, not to mention the very entertaining butterfly incident, scared of a butterfly, not roosters surely.

The breeder reakoned it was a she, and she has been breeding for many many years so I guess she knows, also she did say if any turned out to be roosters she would happily swap it for a hen, which is nice of her, but what just dawned on me yesterday, is that if Maria is a Manuel, and we have to take it back, that means getting a new bird, which won’t be freinds with any of the birds, at least the 3 new ones have each other for company and protection from the shavers, but it will be a nightmare trying to introduce another new bird to the flock.

Chicks Out

Hi there, yesterday we allowed the chicks out for a proper free range in the garden, they have been in the run before now, but never just let roam free in the garden, so ofcourse this was a bit scary for them, also mixed with excitment Í think because they reminded me of a bunch of school kids in Hamley’s toy shop,  ‘  and look what they have over here, wow,  oh oh look at this’  running around not stopping anywhere for more than a second, too many things to explore.

The entertainment value for us was great , but the highlight had to be when Maria the biggest of the chicks, she is probably as big as the shavers now, got frightened of a Monarch butterfly flying overhead, I know they are larger than some, but really, she hopped and skipped, ran, tried to fly away, ducked down as the buttterfly swooped overhead.

I keep saying she, as we are hoping that she is a she and not a he, as we’re not allowed roosters, however her comb is very large as is her tail and to top it off she has on occasion framed up to the bigger girls through the fence, time will tell. After loooking at pics of black Minorcan’s, the females do tend to have bigger features than some other breeds, fingers crossed.

Minorca hen

Minorca hen

Putting the new birds in the Run

Hi there reader,

Maria

Maria

Today I thought I would give Maria, our Minorca hen, a run with the big girls, as she is nearly the same size as them now, well feathers  wise, her body doesn’t have much weight about it at the moment, she will grow to be quite a bit larger than the shavers, so we’re hoping she’ll be able to cope with the aggressive nature of the shaver.

She didn’t cope to well today though, in hindsight it was a bad idea, as her first experience with the shavers has been, well , not ideal, as in they chased her around the run until they had her in a corner, then stood there looking menacing, frightening the poor wits out of Maria. She stood her ground with beak ajar in that defensive posture, but didn’t move for 5mins, so I thought it best to remove her back to the brooder.

Ofcourse the other angle which slipped my mind in my eagerness to mixed the birds in together, is that if Maria should pick up any little illness from the big girls, and then I put her back into the brooder with the young ones, she could past it on to them. As they are still very young their immune system isn’t quite ready for battle yet. Hopefully no damage done.