A strange, faint sound woke me this morning at 5 a.m.  Deciding to ignore it, I rolled over and tried to fall back asleep.  Not two minutes later, I heard it again.  I laid perfectly still, willing my eyes to remain shut.  Again, I heard it.  This time, it sounded like strangled crowing. 

“Impossible,” I thought.  “All our chickens are chickens, we don’t have any roosters.”  Then I remembered my husband’s suspicion that one of our chickens may actually be a rooster.  You see, he’d heard this before and I hadn’t believed him.  I rolled out of bed and went towards the back door, hugging myself from the cold.  I stared out the sliding glass door and waited for the creature to crow again.  I saw nothing but contented chickens roosting in their run.  One of our leghorns, the tallest one, was on the ground patroling the other pullets.  All our hens were in the coop, probably either still asleep or in their nesting boxes.

After about 5 minutes of waiting groggily for something to happen, The Brave Little Chicken (our smallest leghorn) jumped off from one of the roosting poles and onto the ground.  All the other little pullets, almost as if in formation, ran inside the coop.  The Brave Little Chicken walked over to where I couldn’t see most of it, flapped its wings and then I heard it – a strangled cock-a-doodle-do!  Of course, he/she/it was hidden so I didn’t actually see it crow, but don’t they flap their wings when they crow?  And, and… don’t roosters like to sit up high where they can watch over their flock?  I think if this one is really a rooster that he is still very young and just developing his crowing abilities.   I did see him jump on top of a hen and grab her by the neck a few minutes later.  I read roosters do that when they’re mating.  Maybe he’s practicing that, too? 

Of course, our other leghorn also looks like a rooster.  And truth be told, I’m not sure these were sexed when we got them since our friends went up to a farm and just “grabbed what they could” for us.  Perhaps all the young chicks that were hatched at that farm were still unsexed.  It’s possible, isn’t it?  Likely, even.  The big leghorn still hasn’t really displayed that behavior even if he is the biggest one.  He has big wattles and a big red comb, and I’ve even suspected his tail feathers to be saddle feathers…  I suppose only time will tell with them.

This crowing at 5 a.m. though, it has got to stop.  The past few nights it has been hubby that has been awakened by the crowing, with me completely oblivious to it.  This morning, I finally saw it for myself (sorta) and I definitely heard it.  I’m guessing if *I* deep sleeper that I am, heard the crowing, so did our neighbors.  And we just can’t have that.

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