Originally Posted by InTheJungle
I did not post to be told I need to butcher my pets. You don't know how many times I get told that. I really would like to enjoy them during their short lives while I have them. I would have no problem trading them off, but I can't butcher and eat someone I know.
I want to know if they are boys or girls.
I'm not familiar with the breed, but I don't think the differences between your birds is significant enough to show 2 different sexes. Have you looked for saddle feathers? My uneducated impression is that they are all girls.
I understand how you feel. I don't kill/eat my chickens because A) I don't want to, and B) I don't have to. If however, of one of my birds was suffering, I wouldn't be able to stand it and I'd feel obligated to do something. Not trying to pile on more criticism, but I do sympathize. May I tell you the story of Frank? I think you'll understand.
About 25 years ago I rescued a large white chicken that was lying in the middle of a busy highway. He had fallen off of a poultry transport truck when a door came unlatched. There were several dead chickens nearby, but amazingly this one was not injured. He sat so calmly on the front seat next to me, and looked around with such interest and earnestness, that I named him Frank. I took him home and checked him over for injuries and quickly noticed that he was not like any chicken I'd ever encountered.
Frank had obviously spent the majority of his short life crammed in a small cage with other chickens. Frank didn't know how to walk, had most of his beak cut off, and did not know how to drink from a dish. (He was great at eating! ) Given the chance, he quickly started walking and I taught him how to drink. He slept in a horse stall on the floor and seemed to want company when I visited with him. He liked to be pet and followed me around.
About 2 weeks later, a man living nearby wanted to show Frank to his friend, and I said ok, but not to crow at him, as he hadn't started yet, and I didn't want him getting any ideas. So of course, that's the first thing they did, and from that point on Frank crowed. Loudly. But I still loved him and thought he was a great little pet.
Then it happened. A couple of weeks later, his legs gave out. He seemed content enough, was eating and drinking fine, and used his wings to move himself around, but I quickly realized this couldn't last (he was wearing holes in his wings) and a couple of days later, I took him to the vet to be euthanized. Not fun.
I cherish my memories of Frank and given the choice, would probably do it all again (except for the vet part- I'd find somebody to do it more quickly). I know it seems silly to some, but I had a good job and few expenses (no kids!) so if I spent a little extra cash on a chicken headed to slaughter anyway, that's my business. Others choose to spend money on fancy cars and jewelry and I don't presume to pass judgement. I think most of the responses you received have come out of concern for the chickens, but as you seem to care for them a great deal, I'm sure you will not let them suffer. Enjoy your pets and best wishes.
ETA: I did not see your last post #12 while I was typing. Sorry you've had such a bad experience on BYC.
Edited by Wishing4Wings - 6/28/12 at 2:55pm