Remember the Jersey Giant chicks we got last June?
Here it is three and a half months later, and they're definitely showing their genes as giant birds. The roosters (we have three) are bigger than our adult older ladies (Americaunas, Buff Orpingtons, etc.), and the young Jersey giant hens are just about the same size as the older birds. At only three and a half months, they clearly have a lot of growing yet to do.
The hens are still too young to start laying -- we don't expect their first little pullet eggs for another two months or so -- but the boys are starting to get randy. Our farm has missed the lusty crow of a rooster since the sad loss of our beloved Snap last May, but now the boys are tuning up and finding their voices, so once more we're being serenaded.
Early crowing attempts for young roosters are pretty funny. It resembles nothing so much as the caw of a hoarse raven -- no melody, no syllables, just a croak.
But practice makes perfect. They're getting better, though none of them are Pavarotti yet. "He's missing a 'doodle' in there," noted Older Daughter this morning, listening to one fellow's attempt.
Meanwhile, when we ordered these chicks from the McMurray Hatchery, they threw in one free "surprise" chick into the batch. We had no idea what breed or gender it would be.
It turned out to be another rooster, a virile manly little guy ... with the emphasis on little. Especially compared to our Jersey Giants, this guy is so small we wonder if he's a bantam breed.
Because he's so small, this little guy is very skittish and something of a scaredy-cat. We named him Barney and think he's the cutest little thing. Even his crow is soprano, in keeping with his size.
Unfortunately we don't need another rooster; and since little Barney is just too sweet (and small) to put in the freezer, we're going to see if we can find a good home for him.
Does anyone have any idea what breed he is?
UPDATE: I think reader Sarah nailed it. Little Barney sure does look like a Silver Leghorn.