|Kristoph Silver Laced Wyandotte|
We should have figured it out earlier. The chick’s large size and aggressive behavior toward the other chicks were early clues, but we had ordered from a reputable supplier who we assumed had the experience to sex the chicks accurately. Then one morning it became blatantly obvious. Wynonna stretched out her neck and let out a loud “ert-er-ert-er-errrrrr.” Yep, we had us a rooster.
We changed its name to Kristoph and began to weight the pros and cons of having a rooster in the flock. On the plus side he helped to kept the flock from straying too far; he rounded them into the coop in the evening and sounded an alarm when cats or dogs came onto the property or when a hawk flew overhead. The down side was the potential to disturb the neighbors with his crowing and the unrelenting chasing and mounting of the hens. He is an adolescent after all.
As with most animals chicken mating is anything but gentle and Kristoph was having his way with all of the hens but he was particularly fond of one of our older hens, Ethel. Ethel bore the wounds of repeated mountings and had to be separated from Kristoph and the others to heal both physically and mentally.
The decision was made that Kristoph was going to be “what’s for dinner.” It would be our first time butchering a chicken and naturally we were a little apprehensive but felt it would be an important lesson in our education as urban farmers.
I am a chicken keeper only by association. I enjoy the chickens and help with their care and feeding but my responsibility only goes so far. My wife and son would carry out the sentence. I was to be nothing more than a documentarian.
I put down the chainsaw and headed to my office to get a camera. It was at the last minute I decided to shoot video rather than stills. The video can be seen below. Though you may be tempted to hit the pause button please watch it to the end.