Yes, we are pretty sure that Scruffy is male. True, we have a 50:50 chance guessing his sex. Much better odds than Vegas, needless to say. However, we have some evidence of adolescent male chicken behavior.
Over the weekend he started puffing out his neck feathers and looking, well, a bit defensive. He did this a few times when I was in the part of the orchard partitioned off for the four smaller chickens. At this point, I concluded, much to my chagrin, he was male. Ron hadn’t seen this behavior–until several days later when Scruffy did the same thing to him.
Fortunately, Scruffy has calmed down a bit yesterday and today. He (and all the little chickens) immediately ran over to me when I came into their part of the orchard last night. I bent down and he came up within a foot of me–and he wasn’t defensive (or offensive…) at all. Hopefully his better behavior will continue.
It’s definitely in his interest to be well-behaved. If, indeed, Scruffy is a boy, we’ll have some (difficult) decisions to make about his fate:
- Eat him as soon as he’s full grown (late fall??).
- If he’s a gentle and fairly quiet rooster in the coming months, let him live for a while and defer dinner.
I guess, as usual, the universe has a sense of humor. After the Great Chick Tragedy of 2014 (I’d put a link to that blog entry here if I could figure out how to do this), we went to extreme ends to save the remaining yellow chick–aka Scruffy. And now he’s probably male.