I ordered my chicks and expected them to come on the 17th of July. But... I waited too long and I couldn't wait to hold a fluff ball in my hands, so I went on a Chicken Excursion with my friend and ended up finding a breeder through craigslist. She specialized in Millie Fleurs (including frizzles) and Copper Marans; and after reading about the fascinating genetics of Olive Eggers, I NEEDED an Olive Egger... there was no question about it. So I ended up buying a couple of chicks from her... and my friend couldn't help herself and bought a polish frizzle. In our excitement, it completely passed our minds to ask for females only ... and her frizzle ended up a roo... but a gorgeous roo at that: This is Scotland when he grew up. My friend's accidental roo. -____-' Isn't his V-comb awesome though???
Needless to say, I don't know how to buy chicks from people... I get too excited.
After I figured out I hadn't asked about the gender, I contacted her to try to work something out. But I wasn't successful, and the little buggers already found a place in my heart.
For weeks I researched how to tell the difference between a pullet and a cockerel, and I was completely stumped
For weeks I tried to find any sort of sign that could tell me their gender
And for many, many weeks I thought that the black one was a cockerel, Who I named Zelda in honor of my favorite childhood game.
I figured that because the black one was growing feathers very slowly compared to Copper (the light grey one), that meant that Zelda might be a male. (BZZZ!! WRONG.)
I decided to befriend Copper in hopes of making a friendly chicken, and it worked!!
I wasn't able to convince the breeder (whose contact name is Awesome-Chicken-Lady in my phone) to take them back through text, so I ended up going to her again.... I didn't convince her to take them back... but I did end up buying one of her Millie Fleur Frizzles .... this time making sure to get a female
Copper was not like the others and was very inquisitive, as you can tell in the picture above :P
As the weeks flew by, and their feathers developed at an astonishing rate, it was time to move them outside. I set up their coop and made their run (fencing and double fencing: I wasn't taking any chances. They were too precious to me) and let the fluff-butts free. They absolutely loved it.
By this point I realized that I NEEDED a Silkie. So I went on another Chicken Excursion with the same friend, and again through Craigslist. I found a local breeder that bred show quality black silkies: perfectly plumb, bearded, fluffy, pompom crested, and just down-right cute chickens. We went to her and as I was searching for the new addition to the flock, among the black beauties I saw a partridge colored butt sticking out from behind the feeder... I found the one, and it was a pullet!! I was worried about the age difference :/ I bought her at 4 months and my chicks were about 2 months, but being bantam, it wasn't too scary.
I didn't understand it at first, even with the size difference, the other chickens would gang up in her :< She actually slept outside on the cold ground floor under the coop for the first couple days. Then I realized that I couldn't see her eyes AT ALL... and so haircut day came around:
... And she came alive!! Here you can notice that Copper (in the top right corner) was the same size as Frieda (The silkie) and Copper's comb is strangely very red, and has weird copper feathers growing on the shoulders.... And here's the awkward part... At one point when I was chillin' with my peeps, I witnessed "The Saddling"... between Frieda and Copper. At first I thought: "SURLY NOT!!! Maybe the pecking just got out of hand!!........ then the tail feathers went down on His part... I knew I had to get rid of him before he started crowing and upset my neighbors... But then the bugger got sick.
To this day I have no idea what happened. I quarantined him and hand fed and gave him water. His eyes wouldn't opened, so he was starving half the time. I felt terrible and nursed him back to perfect health and put him back with his girls. And concerning the neighbors: "Well they can come to me if they have problems!!". Couple weeks later his crowing perfected and rang clearly through the early winter air...
Here are the original two fluff-butts. Zelda on the left is a Black-Copper Maran/ Amerucana mix and Copper on the right, the same as Zelda but a Blue-Copper Maran mix. (Both have magnificent beards.). The beautiful guy was huge... compared to his favorite girl Freida...
Then, thinking back to the fact that there is a rooster in the flock, I checked if the eggs were fertilized. By this point Copper was huge and Freida was comparatively tiny to him, so I was very interested to say the least... And to my infinite surprise... they were fertilized!!
A couple days later the city law enforcement came by, and they told me to get rid of my rooster, my gorgeous and epic Copper.
Because my family came from Russia, we are naturally hardcore. But because I am Americanized I couldn't deal with parting with him so well, I was melancholy. Not necessarily sad, but I still felt bad. (I hope you guys understand this part:) On the same day they told us to get rid of our rooster, My Dad did the gruesome part, while I went inside... later I plucked the feathers and cleaned him. And being myself, I was going to end it on a good note: We made the ABSOLUTE GREATEST chicken noodle soup I have ever tasted, we even made our own pasta for it. It was amazing.
Then another couple days went by, and I got a letter that stated I was to get rid of all my chickens withing 30 days or else I was to be fined $100 each day until they were gone. Someone complained about the rooster, unfortunately for me my neighbors didn't come to me to figure out the problem. And more unfortunately, I lived in the city limit, in a city that didn't allow poultry at all, unlike the entire county. Just my luck to live in the only town in my county that doesn't allow poultry , but more
So we made plans to move THE ENTIRE COOP and all the chickens to my brothers house, who lives in a place more lenient to poultry keeping.
Then I realized something grand: he was able to fertilize the eggs!! And so I acted quickly, with my dear older brother we but together a homemade incubator and I started to collect eggs! HIS LEGACY WOULD LIVE ON!!! I started to collect Freida's eggs, one by one I collected a total of 5 bantam cream colored eggs and 2 large brown eggs from one of the other hens that started to lay, who I suppose to be Burnedette:
I put them in and turned them 3 times a day
I candled it and was amazed to find that all the 5 bantam eggs were growing splendidly!!! And oddly enough, only one of the standard eggs was a "Yolker" (unfertilized).
Can you see the black eye!?! The healthy blood veins!?! The air pocket!?! Later on in the process I even saw a claw kick and a heat beat!!!
And so I waited for Hatch Day restlessly, were they going to be okay? Will the genetics (Standard and Bantam) cause deformities? Will I get at least one hen? Is the humidity too high? Am I chicken obsessed?
I only knew the answer to the last one: Yes, yes I am.
The next morning a black chick sat peeping profusely at me and I saw the second chick on the right hatch RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES!!! I though I was going to be late for school but I made it And thank you Lord for my mother, she sent me pictures of ALL the first 5 eggs hatching, and bumbling about in the incubator!!
I came home and put MY Copper Fluff-Butts (not so fluffy yet) in the brooder. Next day the later bantam egg hatched and was added to the brooder. Unfortunately the last Standard egg didn't make it I opened it and found that it was only days away, but didn't absorb It's yolk all the way and died :'(
But no matter!! I've got these cuties!!!
As you can see, the two black ones have black skin, the light grey one has a black beak but white skin, and there are two brown ones with white skin, all of the bantams have Walnut combs, all of them have feathered feat, all of the bantams have prominent beard fluffs and have some sort of tuff on their heads, the brown ones having bigger tuffs, and all of them are healthy!!! I couldn't be a more proud chick mama
So my Copper will live on, hopefully one of the chicks is a hen so I can keep her and integrate her into the flock. I've learned a lot through Copper: my accidental rooster.
Thank you for reading :) hope you liked his story!
Check my profile in the future, i'll be posting pictures of their growth and other fun stories