In the days leading up to this undeniable event, I had rather began to suspect fowl play...sorry, I couldn't resist. Betty's comb and wattle were larger and considerably redder than Brick's and she'd been acting in a distinctly un-hen-like manner. Running up and bumping chests with Brick, crouching down and jumping in the air in mock cockerel moves. It was like watching a chicken version of 'The Karate Kid'.
I checked out this sudden interest in chicken martial arts on the web and it seems that both cockerels and hens can display this behaviour. Hens do it to establish a pecking order, cockerels do it because they are male. But the unwavering proof was soon to come. The mysterious sound of a rusty squeezebox coming from the depths of the house was eventually tracked down. And there HE was, in the lounge, stood on his tiptoes, tail (well, tuft) aloft, neck straining into the air...crowing!
|Cockerel in hen's clothing.|
It did actually confirm something I'd read on a chicken forum, 'You know for certain when they either crow, or lay an egg'. Don't think I'll be getting any eggs there then!
But it did leave me thinking about the ratio of one hen to one cockerel, which, after a brief check on the net, wasn't ideal as the cockerel might overbreed the hen. So another hen was in order....seeing as 'Betty' was actually a 'Reggie'.
Chicken umbrellas? Anyone?