When we first set out to have chickens, I had read that Silkies were hard to sex, but I chose to ignore that part. I would for sure be able to pick out a hen- they’re fluffier! Well, the first two chicks I picked out turned out to be roosters- Daisy Roo and Lily Roo.
Daisy was my first pick. As soon as I walked into the room where all of the chicks were, I spotted him first. He was so fluffy! I loved his colors. Lily Roo was my next pick- a little spitfire running around the brooder. Hubby picked out Violet (the only Partridge silkie), and I snagged Petunia because she was so tiny.
From the start the two secret roosters were my favorite. Daisy Roo wasn’t scared of me, and was the first to eat mealworms from my hand. Lily Roo was next and I was even able to get him to sit on my lap and eat.
After a couple of weeks, I noticed the two of them were constantly in some kind of weird chicken stare-down contest and I thought- theres no way they’re both roosters. Then one Sunday morning, Daisy Roo let out a loud, crisp, clear crow. I loved it!
Lily crowed a few days later. And it was a scratchy, pathetic, adorable little crow. Then the two of them started having crowing contests- they both wanted to have the last crow. Kind of funny, right? Two fluffy little roosters trying to be tough guys? Not in an urban, residential neighborhood.
For a few weeks I had convinced myself that both of them were, in fact, hens and they were competing for head hen. They were not. We tried crow collars on both of the roosters and they helped slightly, but ultimately we wound up taking them off. We asked our closest neighbors if they could hear the roosters, and they said no so we stopped worrying.
Daisy Roo paired up with Petunia, and Lily Roo paired up with Good Chicken Violet. They all got along. That is until the fight for head roo began. I opened the coop door one morning to let them all out and Lily came running out bloodied. It wasn’t a serious injury- his comb had a minor cut. But it was upsetting none-the-less.
Over the course of the next several months, they batled it out and Lily Roo would not stand down. Even though he was smaller, and both of the hens had picked Daisy Roo, he would not give it up. I would come home to feathers all over the yard from scuffles.
Our first attempt at a solution was to get more chickens. When that didn’t work, it became apparent that one of the roos needed a new home. It wasn’t an easy decision to come to, but ultimately we settled on Daisy because he was the prettier rooster and had a much better chance of finding a home. Tiny little Lily Roo would get passed up for sure.
I posted in several chicken groups online to see if anyone locally would be interested in Daisy- I wanted to visit where he’d be living and meet his new mama. I couldn’t bare the thought of him becoming a meat bird or being mistreated. Someone messaged me and was really interested in him- I saw her setup and it looked wonderful. It seemed like a great fit.
Unfortunately, before we could get anything coordinated our cat Boo got very sick and needed to be hospitalized. It took me a month to bounce back from the stress and by that time, she was no longer interested.
Outside of me haphazardly offering Daisy Roo to one of the guys redoing our roof (which I freaked out about instantly), no one else seemed to be looking for a Silkie rooster. Then, someone came along that wanted him for a breeding program! Such a perfect fit. I already knew by that time that he was a great papa roo, and he would have all the hens he could handle at his new home.
The date was set for early June. My mom would drive him back up with her after her Mother’s Day visit, and he would go to his new home from there. I had months to process this and still- when the day came I was a mess.
I have never re-homed a pet before, and nothing could have prepared me for this bitter-sweet feeling of failure and triumph. All I could think about was what a wonderful roo-and pet- he is. And now, those memories help me get through times when I’m feeling a little sorry for myself.
I used to shove a hand full of mealworms in his face and see how many he would scoop up and give to the hens before he would stoically take one for himself. I used to love to sit in our backyard and listen to his silly, funny noises. Sometimes, he’d walk over to me for a visit and we’d chat back and fourth- of course he’d have to have the last word. I think about giving him a bad ass mohawk so he could see a little better after he walked face-first into our hammock stand.
It’s been a couple of weeks and while it’s still too quiet in our backyard now, I like to sit and think about a special gal he’s found and hope he’s treating her like a gentleman. I know for sure she’s getting her fill of mealworms.