Ever since my wife became involved in large-scale egg production, she currently has eight hens, she purchases a few chicks each spring to replace the older hens that have ceased laying.
Judy usually treks to the local farm supply store during their annual spring “chick days” and purchases a half-dozen or so. We’ve had great luck with them in the past and can usually count on them to begin laying by late fall.
This poultry project belongs entirely to my wife. Other than eating them and their eggs, I don’t like chickens. As a result, I seldom go out to her chicken house, unless there is a problem with the feeder, water bowl or electricity for the lamps. Such was the case late last summer when Judy asked me if I would repair their waterer before we left for vacation. Being the loving husband that I am, I agreed.
When I returned to the house, I asked my wife if the newest chickens had started laying. She replied that they had not, but she expected them to start anytime.
“Well,” I began, “there are at least two of them that never will lay a single egg.”
“Oh, no, are they dead?”
“No. They are roosters.”
In several years of purchasing chicks, I guess we’ve been lucky to have never gotten anything but pullets before. But, being the inquisitive person that she is, Judy wondered how she could tell the difference when the birds were babies, so that she could check them herself, next year.
I informed her that I did not take a poultry production class in college, but I remember from my high school days in FFA that there was a lot of squeezing, feeling, and close visual examination involved in sexing chicks (probably the reasons for my lack of fondness for the critters) and that job was probably better left to the experts because I didn’t have a clue.
At about the same time Judy purchased the young chicks, she also obtained two young kittens to replace an old cat that had called our farm home for close to 15 years. When she picked them up from the neighbors, she asked me to determine whether they were male or female. I assured her that they were both females and we would have to take them to the vet in a couple of months, lest we have dozens of cats in a couple of years. She went ahead and scheduled the procedure.
A couple of days before the scheduled veterinarian visit, Judy asked me if I was certain that the now, 3-month-old cats were, indeed, female. Even though I hadn’t examined them lately, I told her I was pretty sure I knew the difference between male and female cats – and I told her in a fairly smug manner.
“Then what are those things protruding from their derrieres?”
“Oh, I see. I guess you better cancel the visit to the vet’s office.”
“I guess you didn’t take the cat production class, either.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here