I've feared this day for months now. Ever since I brought my baby chicks home from the store. My fear was that one (or more) would turn out to be a rooster. And indeed, Poppy is really a Spice Boy.
I've suspected it all along. But Cuckoo Marans are very difficult to sex and develop combs and wattles early on making it very deceptive. And I had decided to ignore what everyone said until I heard a crow. Which I haven't yet. But I was watching them last night and Poppy has these HUGE legs and feet. I mean like three times the size of the other three. And then there are those saddle feathers. Which are at the lower portion of their back and are pointy. Poppy definitely has saddle feathers. And Poppy's behavior screams rooster too. He gently watches over the other three. Letting them eat first before he steps in.
So I'm really bummed today. I love my four Spice Girls and they all get along so well. Breaking up the pack is going to be difficult on each of them in addition to me. I really have my heart set on having four girls.
I suppose I could try and trade Poppy for a pullet. But then there is work to introduce a new girl to the group and with that comes risks of introducing diseases and resetting the pecking order. Or I could wait for one of my girls to go broody and buy one or two new baby chick for her to raise. But with that again, comes the risk of getting another rooster.
There is a chance that Poppy would never crow. A very small chance. And if I thought that would be the case, I'd keep him simply because he's georgous. And there is one school of thought that says, this could be the case since he hasn't crowed yet.
On the flip side, he could just be a late bloomer and a month or two or three from now could just start crowing and never stop. And that would just be disastorious given that roosters are strictly not allowed in my city, and that I live so close to my very quiet neighbors.
So I'll try to get my head around this tonight over a strong cocktail. (No pun intended.) And I'll keep you posted. Please send me your love and prayers. And to Poppy too.