Thursday, February 18, 2021

A Rooster By Any Other Name...

As mentioned in my last posting (check that out HERE) Ruby’s feathers were pointing more toward cockerel than pullet. And things have finally become official.

This little Bantam Rhode Island Red has finally crowed!

The chicken we’ve been calling Ruby will now be called Rudy, and we’re extremely excited by it. I’m not sure if our neighbors are, but us? Definitely. 

Let’s see Rudy in action!

When we first brought our Flock home, they were all underweight and infested with chicken lice. (More on this a few Posts back, so check that out HERE.) Obviously we didn’t know this. And I doubt the place where we got them from knew it either, as it wasn’t as reputable as all of its online reviews said.

Ruby - as he was known back then - was small and had a very pale comb, usually the sign of a pullet if everything I’ve read is correct. Anyway, that’s probably why the man who helped us thought she was a female. Or maybe he just didn't care. Also, the fact that she was going through her first molt didn’t help matters. There were no hackle feathers. There were no saddle feathers. There were no sickle feathers. But again... it was her first molt and what eventually would become her full-on self - or his full-on self, as we know now - hadn’t begun to show.

Here’s a quick Before-and-After comparison of Rudy from when we first brought him home and now.


Yep. That's the same chicken. It's amazing what can happen after some proper care and a good molt.

What’s that, you ask? What are hackle feathers and saddle feathers and sickle feathers?

Hackle Feathers are the group of feathers found on the neck of a chicken. When it comes to hens, the hackle feathers are usually a little bit wider and maybe even a bit rounded. And with roosters these feathers are generally long and thin and pointy-looking, kind of like hair.

Rudy and his Hackles, Saddles, and Sickles
As for Saddle Feathers, this is the group of feathers that look like, well... a saddle. They sit on the back and are right in front of where the tail starts. Hen and Roosters both have saddle feathers, but a rooster's saddles are generally longer and come to a point.

This brings us to Sickle Feathers. These are only found on roosters. And they are the tail feathers that are long and curved like... wait for it.... like a sickle.

You can read more about Hackle, Saddle, and Sickle feathers HERE. And a lot more about chicken feathers in general HERE and also HERE!

Anyway, Once these three groups of feathers started to become pronounced, it was just a matter of time before the crowing started. And start it did!

So, we now have a rooster in our midst. And while we may not be the most popular family in the neighborhood because of it, I think it’s pretty cool.

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