Jessie’s Blog: Something to Crow About

This morning when I went to the barn to feed my friend’s horse, Buddy, I heard a sound that seemed like a dying peacock! It went on and on, at first clear and strong, but it trailed off long, low, and terribly slow. I looked around but could not see what it was. After a while, I decided to stop looking and get Buddy’s food ready. But as I walked into the barn, I heard it again! This time it was closer. Then I realized it was our new silkie!

A silkie is a kind of chicken. We have two silkie chickens, one male and the other female. The male, Westley, is all black and has fluffy feathers that look more like fur or hair than feathers. The female, Fuzz Foot, is all grey, like smoke. Westley is what is called a rooster, a male chicken over six months of age. He crows terribly, and the first time I heard it, I almost cried—it was so funny!



We got him from our friends Amy and John. Westley was hatched out at Amy’s little farm, and we got him because Amy’s neighbors didn’t like it when he crowed. We were lucky to get him, because not all roosters are nice, but Westley is really sweet. His name has a bit of a story to go with it. First, my sister, Emily, and I named him Chim Chim because he looks like a chimney sweep’s brush. But my grandma renamed him Westley, after The Man in Black from The Princess Bride.

When you get a new chicken, it is a good idea to wait until after dark to put him in your chicken coop. That way the other chickens do not actually realize that there is a strange chicken in the coop and they are less likely to pick on him. (Really! Chickens are not terribly smart.) We had him in the house for the day, waiting to sneak him into the coop, so I decided to see if he would make a good show chicken for the fair, which I will blog about later. What makes an animal a good show animal is sitting calmly, and also if they are easy to handle and won't be feisty all the time. Some chickens will peck and fly and wriggle out of your hands when you pick them up, but Westly doesn't, so that makes him a fairly good show chicken.

It was when he was sitting on the table, slowly getting used to the new place, that he crowed. My brother, Isaac, walked past and, as if that had been a signal, Westley crowed his slow and terrible crow. Isaac had been putting something way in the kitchen and when he came out of the kitchen, again Westley crowed! Emily, me, and my mom laughed and laughed after they finally figured out what the terrible noise was. Of course, I already knew what it was because I had been watching him to make sure he didn’t get into any trouble. But Emily and Mom didn’t. At first, I was laughing too hard to tell them what it was, but after I stopped laughing and told them about his crow, it was their turn to laugh. 

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