Saturday, July 2, 2011
My Pullets are Crowing
What to do with roosters in the city? Wait it out and see what happens or be proactive and sell them or, heaven forbid, eat them myself? I was lamenting their fate when a fellow urban backyard chicken farmer clarified that city ordinances do not expressly prohibit roosters -- they are banned only if the neighbors complain about the noise. The noise, hmmm. So far, their cock-a-doodle-do's are pretty pathetic. They sound like pubescent boys with unpredictable voices. Plus, since we blended the new birds to the flock, the roosters haven't made even a peep. Once the adjustment period is over and they find their full voices, and the fall weather beckons our neighbors to throw open their windows for some fresh air, we may have a problem. But that is several months away. Plenty of time to share fresh eggs with the neighbors and establish the bribe.
Speaking of cock-a-doodle-do's: A precocious 6-year old girl visited our farm the other day. As the chickens gathered around her feet, she looked down and said, "They're clucking. I thought chickens said cock-a-doodle-do." I explained briefly about roosters and hens, and ended by saying, "Chickens can make as many as 30 different sounds!" Her beautiful round eyes turned up to look at me in surprise and delight. And then she asked, "How many different sounds do humans make?" Indeed. It's a good question with an almost imponderable answer. We speak many languages, laugh, wail, squeal, moan, grunt, sigh, snicker, whimper, burp, whoop, smack, groan, smooch, scream ... and the list goes on.