We began the preparations of finding Bandit a new home, much to my husbands dismay as this is his favorite chicken. We already had to cull one hen-turned-rooster and he was one of dear-ol-husbands favorites too (apparently it doesn't pay to be his favorite chicken). My husband was a bit 'broody' that night and ended up serenading the chickens with this song (lyrics printed for your enjoyment, since it's a little tough to hear. And sorry for the sideways view-this was very impromptu. In fact, I was over filling chicken waterers when this happened...).
"I love me some chickens, yes I doooo. I love me some chickens, yes I dooooo. I love me some chickens, the ones with big SPIKES. I love me some big chickens, I hope they're name ain't MIKE. I love me some chickens yes I dooooo!"
-Truly an original, written and performed by Joe
MAN, if our neighbors didn't think we were hillbillies before....they sure do now!
All serenading aside, me being the information seeker that I am, I searched gobs of photos of Blue Andalusian chickens at 4 months old. This chicken looked like all of the hen photos to me, as the roosters had a very different look to them, including a collar of black feathers and much larger combs. I posted some photos of Bandit on the wonderful forums at www.backyardchickens.com (a great resource for learning about keeping chickens) and asked if there were any experts that could help me determine if this one was going to crow or lay eggs. Come to find out, the development of spurs is not a good gender indicator and in certain breeds, especially Mediterranean types, the hens can develop some pretty nasty spurs. They all said that this was a girl (or pullet in chicken talk). **Lets all listen as we breathe a sigh of relief on the backyard farm.**
SO, we are anxiously awaiting, again, for Bandit to lay. She will be our only white egg layer, as all the others lay brown. Her breed is not supposed to be very winter hardy, but are very dependable and prolific layers. Bandit has a great personality-she is super sweet and loves to settle into your lap for a nap! She's also the first hen to bed before dusk-definitely NOT a party-girl! While she is quite skittish and flighty, this is a great breed with a wonderful personality. I am so glad she is a SHE and that we can see her lay some eggs soon!! However, she is quite flighty, as evidenced by the fact that she loves to fly up on the dog run fence and watch whats going on inside. Sometimes we here a slight knocking on the window....