Archive | November, 2010

The Big Chicken

3 Nov

Colette, the youngster, in May 2010

Six months ago we purchased an enormous chicken at the feed store, a Blue Cochin, and named her Colette. She was young, but already twice the size of our other hens. In spite of her size, though, she was frightened of all the other hens and whenever one would approach her she would squawk and run away.

Eddie and I had to laugh at her ungainly “waddle”, which was particularly amusing when she was on the run. We nicknamed her ‘The Big Chicken’, fully intending the double meaning. She finally made a friend, though, with our Itty Biddy the banty hen, and until Biddy was killed by a hawk they were inseparable. She appears briefly in this video of Itty Biddy… in all her big, fluffy splendor.

A few months ago we noticed that Colette was getting even BIGGER, and that her comb and wattles were growing. Still, she remained quite timid. On returning from our long cross-country trip we observed that she had become more self-confident, and one day I saw her doing the “mating dance” around one of the hens. OMG…could she be a ROOSTER?

This weekend we saw him mating and promptly changed his name to Claude. He doesn’t crow, but I researched that on the Internet and found that Cochin roosters don’t crow and Cochin hens don’t cluck…unless they’re laying.

Claude, the rooster, in November 2010

We debated keeping him because he is so decorative, doesn’t crow, and, for a rooster, seems fairly mellow. However, roosters will be roosters, and this morning I watched him terrorize Carmen Miranda to the point that she ran over and hid under the bench where I was sitting. Granted, Carmen is the flightiest of the flock and the other hens aren’t behaving that way. Still, I thought to myself, “I’m sorry, Claude, but you’ll have to go.”

Eddie and I discussed his future on Three Dog Farm and decided that we want to maintain peace in the hen yard. I’ve left messages for several of my local chicken-keeping friends and I’m sure someone will be happy to take ‘The Big Chicken’.

Au revoir et bonne chance, Claude! Vous êtes très beau!