That was the text I received yesterday from my father. I replied, "Oh." I did not repeat the extra words that may have been going through my mind. I have always thought this big, red bird might be a boy. But because it seemed more feathered/older than the other New Hampshire Reds when we got it, we thought that maybe it was just a few weeks older. Nope. Well, it might be. But that doesn't make any difference to the fact that we are not going to be eating any delicious, golden eggs from this chooky.
Autumn, aka Big Red, aka Fred III is a BOY!
Not a good success rate. Enough to put people off getting chooks. The thing is, the breeder we got them from really does know his stuff. I think the issue was that the chookies were too young. Would've been good to wait a few more weeks, but he didn't suggest it and I didn't know any different. So, we are now faced with yet another trip to Ngatea to return a chicken. We are seeing if there are friends home to visit en route.
On a more positive note, my chooks are gradually getting more tame and coming up to the door as we go to feed them. My dad made these really cool automatic feeders using some downpiping. Munchkin and I have been doing our duty and getting up there to feed them several times each week. And the chooks are now down to once-a-day feeding (was twice a day when they were little - another reason to buy chicks over 12weeks old as they don't need food constantly in front of them by that age). The garden soil where the two cages have been is looking quite impressive. And the girls love eating any of our summer fruit that goes a bit ripe or mouldy (which we never seem to completely avoid).
I am just hanging out for eggs!