Our hatchery has a practice of including a “mystery” bird with an order. The idea, I guess, is to expose people to other types of birds and as a thank you for ordering from them. Our order this past July was all Buff Orpingtons (3 roosters and 30 hens). They are all “buff”colored, hence the name. The mystery bird was obvious from the first day we got her. Aaron told us that the word in Spanish for surprise is Sorpresa. So that is what the little chick got named. ‘Presa for short. You can pick her out in this picture of when they were just two days old.
She grew along with the rest of them and for no particular reason, we assumed that she was a hen. So Sorpresa was referred to as a “she”. Here are some growing up pictures:
Sorpresa grew into a quite a large bird. Zina suspected that she might be male a couple of weeks ago. We looked her up on the internet and she looked for all intents and purposes as though she was a she. We assumed that the breed itself was pretty large and still assumed that she was going to end up being an egg laying addition to the family.
Until today. Sorpresa was caught in the act of crowing. Case closed. She/he has a pretty good voice too. We have now been able to discern that yes HE does possess the rooster’s tail feathers and the comb of a male Wyandotte. Unless “she” was mimicking a rooster – which I’ve never heard of – ‘Presa is going through a sex change in our heads. Sorpresa….. is a rooster. Here he is and then another of the Orpington boys to compare to.
Now while this has all been fun and the “mystery” bird has certainly lived up to his billing. We will not be having 4 roosters in the hen house. They are nice enough to each other now but there have been skirmishes for dominance. As we wanted a pure Buff Orpington flock for layers and some boys to help produce hatch-able eggs, Sorpresa the rooster is likely to become Sorpresa the Fajita.
So surprise! Sorpresa! Girlie hen birdie is manly rooster birdie. It’s always something.
Things are coming along nicely is appears! I find it really weird that you are doing this in colorado while I moved to Michigan and am planning much the same project. Just bought a 10 acre farm outside of Jackson last week. It’s supposed to close by Dec 6th. I have a pole barn to build, fencing to put up, house to update/modify, Shop to insulate, etc… I’m only 45, so maybe I’m ahead of schedule, but damn if I haven’t come to many of the same conclusions you have about the food supply. I went out to eat yesterday, and all I could think was for $50, I could have food way better than this for almost a week. Tis a big price we pay just to not cook for one night. I’m considering a similar blog to this one, but with better colors and content of course :p I am so “jazzed” that you have not only been able to object to the status quo, but have also decided to do something about it. Congrats to you and yours.
what a wonderful story! and having ‘been there/done that’ i chuckle over what that moment of revelation was like.
best of luck to you in your endeavor. the rewards of a life such as this are monumental.