Well, it's happened. Again. Our latest batch of chicks, like our last batch, came with an unexpected surprise: a rooster. Gretchen is, apparently, a Gregory. The last time this happened with our "hen" named Buttercup, we were forced to re-home him after he started crowing at a few months of age. With neighbors that complained about nearly everything (our trees, our bamboo, the dogs barking in the neighborhood, the kids playing next door, the fact that the sky is blue and not purple with green polka dots; you name it, they probably complained about it) we knew it would not be long before they came knocking to complain about our little songbird so we regretfully re-homed our rooster.
This time around the situation is somewhat different. Sir and Misses Complains-a-lot have moved out, along with two other neighbors with the subsequent result that now the neighborhood is full of nine barking dogs, three noisy teenagers, two screaming kids, one shrieking parrot, and a partridge in a pear tree. So the addition of one rooster seems to hardly make a dent in the general noisiness of the neighborhood. Add to that the fact that Gretchen has yet to utter a single cockle-doodle-doo: not so much as a peep has escaped his tiny bird mouth. (Knock on wood.) Should Gretchen decide to start, we are going to try to a No Crow rooster collar (check them out here if you want: http://nocrowroostercollars.com/). At best it will reduce or eliminate the crowing. At worst it will be a fashion accessory to make him look charming while he does crow. As long as Gretchen maintains his vow of silence it looks like we will be keeping our rooster and starting a new adventure here on the Unfarm as rooster owners. He does seem to round out our flock of four hens nicely. Keeping our fingers crossed.