Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Something unheard-of happened on Sunday: Kim sold six cockerels at the local chicken swap.

You need to understand that this is the time of year when everyone is looking hard at the chicks they have bought or hatched, trying to figure out how many pullets and how many cockerels they have. We call it The Great Rooster Lottery, and the end result is always the same: everyone tries to unload their cockerels. Some people raise them to eating weight and then butcher them, as we did last year. But Kim was really proud of her boys: she has been breeding for size, and the six cockerels she brought to the swap were fine specimens - good enough to breed rather than eat. Kim was determined to find new homes, good homes, for these six youngsters.

She didn't have great hopes. Neither did I. When we unloaded the crates the folks beside us came to have a look. "Cockerels?" they asked, and then shook their heads sympathetically. We all know this sad dance.

But nobody factored in how compelling the combination of Chicken Mama and Science Teacher can be. People may have wandered over just for a look and maybe to ask "How much?" but they stayed because of Kim's passion and knowledge. And then they bought because of the healthy birds, and clean cages, and because Kim answered every single one of their questions - clearly and patiently like the teacher she is. She sold one cockerel, then another, and another, then two at once, and then the last one - all to people looking to start their own breeding programmes, or for a rooster to help protect an existing flock.

Woo hoo!

It was an interesting morning for me, too - a lovely woman named Kate came over to introduce herself and to tell me she had been reading the blog. How cool is that!


Negerigeletschtempoit said...

As always, I clicked on the pictures. Oh, girls! That's Professional quality on cages, boxes and display! How neat.

I am happy that you managed to sell the boys. I feel sorry when they go to the pot.

Alison said...

How funny, I didn't know "cockerel" was the common term up there for what we call roosters. That's a really impressive display you put together--you gals are real farmers now!

Doc said...

Very impressive and even more impressed you sold so many cockerels. Speaking of.... how is my favorite "Odd Hector" doing these days???

jeanives said...

How are the nesting boxes going?

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Well done Kim !
All of her hard work, dedication, and close attention to practices of good hygiene, has paid off..
So very rewarding.

How lovely you were able to meet a reader of your blog, out of the blue ;)

Miriam said...

Miriam of Negerigeletschtempoit, how lovely to hear from you again - I hope all is well with you!

Alison, up here "cockerel" refers to a juvenile rooster - something less than a year in age, kind of like "pullet" refers to an immature hen. I can't speak for chicken terms south of the border!

Doc, Hector is very well, keeping an eye on his latest batch of youngsters. He sends his regards!

Jean, Kim has sold one double nest box so far - I'm sure she wishes she had sold more, if only to give her something else to do in the workshop - she's running out of building projects!

Paula said...

The first reaction I had when I read that Kim had soeld 6 cockerels was "sweet!"...well done!

And south of the border, male chickens under the age of one year are called cockerels as well.

If Kim is looking for something to do I would love to have her come down and give me a hand finishing up Hensdeep. I still have to figure out the nesting box, feeders and watering set up....

Anonymous said...

Miriam, We almost went to the swap, and now I'm very sorry that we didn't! The display you two put on must have stolen the show, if our other experiences at the swap are any indication. Those nest boxes are GORGEOUS; I'm puzzling over where we might put such a thing...

And believe it or not, on Sunday night we were over at the neighbours scouring for a few Buff hatching eggs to add to our mutt-pile of those going under our latest broody! Oh well, our paths will cross any day now!

Shim Farm said...

That was well done! It's nice when things exceed our expectations. And even nicer when you meet a blog-reader in person!

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