Well, we have finally and conclusively determined the sex of Featherfoot—he has begun to crow.
The Ancona rooster (Mr. Rooster) has been crowing for months now, beginning promptly at dawn (or his new artifical dawn…a light goes on in the coop at 6 a.m., ensuring the chickens have the 14 hours of light they need to keep laying eggs). Featherfoot has made only an odd scraggly noise, if any at all (sometimes he just opens his mouth and nothing comes out). However in the last couple of days he has begun a hoarse crow, which we hope he will perfect.
He isn’t really much of a rooster. He has taken to making a grab for the hens from time to time, but they don’t take him seriously, and usually just run away from him (he can’t run fast, and looks ridiculous when he does—his size and feathered feet make him look like a cartoon chicken). He is bossy, but a coward. From time to time he challenges Mr. Rooster, but he always backs down. Mr. Rooster has a deformed leg, and so he too doesn’t exhibit many rooster characteristics…he prefers to be lying somewhere, usually in the sun. So provided Featherfoot doesn’t get pecked to death (so far so good with the bloody foot), and our two roosters aren’t too rooster-like, we may yet keep everyone.