Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Earl's Secret

Mistaken Identity

Earl was a replacement (see previous post about the loss of my original flock). He was smaller than the others from the start and was suspected to be the flocks only up and coming rooster. He enjoyed free ranging with the others and had a constant struggle growing tail feathers, which for a rooster, would be rather embarrassing if chickens can get embarrassed.

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and soon the flock was kindly delivering an egg here and there but there was one egg that frequented the box that was, well, very small. I don't know who owned it and honestly, unless you watch your flock minute by minute every day there is no sure way to tell. Earl was diligent, though, because he bocked and clucked and wiggled his way into the nest box every day and could often been seen leading the other hens there. This happens to be a role roosters, if it pleases them, will fulfill in proper rooster flock management. But then something strange happened. We began getting more eggs than chickenly possible per day. Hmm...

The suspicion set in pretty good early on. We recorded how many eggs we got every day, knowing that a hen would skip a day now and then but in general you'd get an egg every day from a hen. But weeks went by, two one day and three the next and then a string of days with three eggs but we were only supposed to have two. There was only one possible answer... Earl...well...was Pearl. This would certainly explain the lack of tail feathers but the waters were muddied by the crowing, the large comb and the odd waddle. However, it makes sense that Earl would be Pearl if you remember the considerable amount of time he... I mean she...spent in the nesting box. It did seem odd to me that Earl would seem completely at home in the nest and he wouldn't even budge for the hens. Earl's secret was soon exposed, Earl was a girl.

Now worries! Name change by adding a P did the trick.

Earl...sorry, Pearl, is a good chicken whether roo or hen but honestly, it all makes sense now. It's ok Pearl, you make a better hen than a roo!

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