Miss Delaware’s Adventures in Gender

Miss Delaware’s Adventures in Gender

Farewell, Delaware from Charlotte Freeman on Vimeo.

Miss Delaware is the bigger of the two Delaware chicks I raised this year, and although I hesitate to say it, she’s my favorite chicken. I never thought I’d be a person who could tell the chickens apart, much less the kind of person who has a favorite. But she’s kind of hilarious — for one thing, she’s very very vocal. And curious. Even when she was a little chick, she’d come over to see what you were doing, or rather, would come over to supervise whatever you were doing.

She’s also pretty funny with Raymond, who she torments. He knows he’s not allowed to kill the chickens, so she’ll come right up and peck him. Or follow him around the yard. Or charge him just to see him flinch. Poor boy, he’s so good, and he never attacks them anymore — now he just comes and hides under my legs.

One of my Wyandottes was definitely a rooster, and so I arranged for my commercial chicken rancher friend to take him — for real, not euphemistically. But Miss Delaware was getting so bossy, and so vocal, and even starting to crow to the extent that I was beginning to wonder if the bucket I’d pulled her out of was actually sexed at all, or perhaps she’d snuck through somehow. I was very sad at the prospect of Miss Delaware being a Mister, and having to go away.

So my rancher friend shows up and while it’s clear that the Wyandotte is a boy, we decide that Miss Delaware is just a very aggressive hen. She’ll flare her neck feathers at you, and come up and peck you, and is really noisy — but her shanks weren’t elongated like the Wyandotte’s, and most telling, if you went to pick her up she’d do that hen-frozen-in-terror crouch. And roosters, apparently, never do that.

Which means that Miss Delaware is still here, and without the Wyandotte rooster, she’s become a little calmer and quieter. Although she still thinks she needs to hop up on the backyard table edge to see what I’m eating for breakfast no matter how often I shoo her off, and tell her No! Not allowed!

3 thoughts on “Miss Delaware’s Adventures in Gender

  1. I just came across your blog and like what you have done with your small house. I am just about to begin building my small home from recycled materials. I am also planning to have a couple of laying hens to help keep my plants and soil healthy as well as to have fresh eggs. I’ve never had chickens before, so we’ll have to see how that goes once I get to that point. Of first order is to get my home built and then begin to implement the ideas of permaculture into the miniature food forest I hope to plant.

  2. I think that just may be the way with Delawares. I had two of them and they were both aggressive hens. One of them would bite at my hand anytime I reached in the pen to change the water.

  3. She almost never bites at me, and in fact, is the first chicken I’ve ever had who wants to be picked up. She’ll come over and do that crouch-y thing in front of me. I find her hilarious. She follows me around the yard commenting on everything.

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