|Poor Fred looks a little odd from the side...|
|... and kinda sad from the back.|
To make matters worse (for Fred) , whether it's his less-than-exalted position in the flock or just from being a rooster, he's also become a bit of a bully lately. I have no problems with the boy unless he thinks I'm mistreating a hen but De, the daughters, and pretty much everyone else have to watch him close or he'll come up and attack from behind. It doesn't happen every time someone is out, but it does happen often enough that he's made himself "poultry non grata". We've gone to keeping a "Fred Stick" next to the door so folks venturing to the coop can, if they desire, tote a bit of defensive armament along. With Ivan, the Polish-Buff Orp cross cockerel coming into his own (more on that later) we've decided it's time to send Fred to "Freezer Camp". Since it's been something like 45 years since I've done that, I'm recruiting my sister and/or brother-in-law to tutor me. I'm hoping this will be the week since I'm taking a week of 'vacation' away from the day job.
When Fred has made his way to land of the popsicle, Ivan will be THE GUY in the flock - maybe. While we had big plans for Ivan to take over the roosterin' duties we discovered what may be a deal-breaker. We were looking everyone over the other day and thought the young Ivan just didn't look right. A closer look revealed that Ivan has a cross-beak! (Uh oh #2).
|Pretty feathering and a buttercup comb. A nice looking bird!|
|It's not awful, but it's sure not right.|
We're doing our homework (backyardchickens.com among other places - we're open to other sources), but if we find that cross beak is something he's likely to pass on to his offspring it's probably a deal breaker for Ivan. Right now the "experts" seem to be split about 50/50. We'll keep getting opinions from 'been there - done that' folks, and decide if Ivan will eventually be joining Fred.
On a slightly different topic, I'm taking time off from the day job this week and am making big plans for work around the homestead. I'll share what I get done as well as what I don't, so I hope get several posts out this week.