Good name for a children's book, ye ken?*
This morning I was filling the hen's food dish and I heard a small, fragile, cock a dockle derrrr come from the other side of the yard.
I froze, hunched over the open door to the coop, my heart lurching unfortunately in my chest.
No, I thought.
Oh, no no no.
Then - another small, cracking, tremulous cock a dockle derrrrrr - the end falling off as if in a question mark.
I peered over the fence at the 13 restless meat birds. One (the biggest) roo was pacing proudly, tail in full upright feather, cocking his head this way and that. Cock a dockle derr!
Well. Y' know. Okay. So I knew that was going to happen, but, like most things in my life right now, I just chose not to worry about it until I had to worry about it. Namely today. Insert expletive here.
I built Mr. High and Mighty a bachelor pad in the garage, thinking, perhaps naively, that if I could just shut him in the dark he wouldn't crow until I fetched him later in the morning. Kind of like - hey it's dark! Let's sleep! Now it's incredibly light! Go dig for bugs and chit chat all you like!
Replete with water, food, wood shavings and something to stand on. Basically it's a New York apartment - enough space to turn around in, but that's about it. He'll sleep there at night and join the outside chickens during the day. Not too bad a gig, really.
Then I texted my friend who is splitting the chicken endeavor with me and she was either really super surprised or really super trigger happy with the send button because this is what I got back:
"But vocal. Shit."
I weighed a comparable roo and he was 5.5 lbs. I don't know how long I can go back and forth ferrying 3 roos from backyard tractor to garage bachelor pad so we might be butchering in 2 segments - 3 roos next weekend and the hens to follow at the end of June.
I'm a bit surprised they started cockle dockle derrrring this early. They are 2 months 1 week old (or thereabouts) and I was thinking/hoping they would go at least 3 months before the big beefcake manly-man routine started up. But now I guess we are stuck with it.
And, insult to injury, I'm not even sure I got the right roo! Two of them look exactly alike!! So I grabbed the one closest to me as night was falling and I guess we will find out tomorrow if Lindsey put Mr. Right in the Bachelor Pad or not.
My town does not have any stipulations about whether or not we can have roos in the city (certain towns are adamant that you not have roosters - including Seattle) but they do have an ordinance about how many chickens you can have per acreage and let's just say I'm pushing the envelope a bit. Actually, you could say that I took the envelope, tore it in half, threw it on the ground and had my dog take a crap on it.
I have decided that if the city comes a knocking, I'll feign ignorance, they will give me a warning and then I'll have to butcher the chickens super quick so that by the time the inspector comes back they are all gone. I think that's probably the best way to go. I'll put the roos in the garage for now.
I'm not usually one to thwart the law like this, but I didn't read the ordinance until I already had the chickens. I mean, I read it beforehand, but mis-read it and when I read it again and actually realized what it said, I already had the chicks in our spare room.
So here we are. Crowing roosters and weeks to go before slaughter.
What is that they say about Karma again?
*Dark Tower speak for "you think?" or "you know?" Also, me being a giant dork.