When Betty becomes Benny
There are two ways you can buy baby chicks at the feed store. “Straight run” means they haven’t been sexed, and the likelihood of getting a rooster is 60%. “Sexed” means a professional has decided on its gender, and the margin of error is 2–10%. So when hubby brought home a white chick he called Ugly Betty (see my post on The Ugly Box), I should have known then and there that 2% would raise its ugly head.
You see, I’ve had bad luck with white birds. The first one was, yes, a rooster. The second was a girl, a rescue from the animal shelter. She had been abused in a playground by nasty horrible children who I hope meet a fitting end, and actually had bicycle tire marks on her little wings. Turns out she was a meat bird, who are genetically engineered to grow huge by 8 weeks … so huge their legs can’t hold them up and sometimes actually break. The little love didn’t survive her DNA.
Which brings me to my third white bird, Ugly Betty. Who is lovely, and sweet natured, and comes when you call, and … who sat on my shoulder the other evening and crowed in my ear. The 2% strikes again!
My DH has a strict no-rooster policy. But as I explained to him, you can’t rescue a bird from the Ugly Box and then give it away when it isn’t what you want. So now that Betty has become Benny, we’re adopting a wait-and-see policy. If Benny turns out to be as quiet as he’s begun, he may be able to stay here instead of going to the home DH has arranged for him. It’s a good home, and he’d be happy there, it’s just that . . .
. . . I love the little guy.
1 thought on “When Betty becomes Benny”
My family took on and raised two chicks from a high school science department’s egg hatching experiment. Both of them grew into very fine roosters, which brought the flock ratio to 3 male 7 female. All three roosters were wonderful birds and it was funny to see our dominant bantam silky getting along with the juvenile australorp and buff orpington males. It wasn’t until the black rooster started picking on the yellow one that we decided one had to go. Our “golden cockerel” had to find a new home.
At least the two we kept still maintain an easy peace between them. It’s the funniest thing to see the big black rooster pay his respect to the tiny, white fluffball.