My off-grid, simple living, homesteading lifestyle can sometimes lead me and my thoughts down very different roads than most people. For instance, if you had asked me five years ago, heck, if you had asked me five months ago what would be occupying my thoughts this winter, chicken diapers would not have entered my mind. But here I am, wondering if and where I can get myself some chicken diapers.
Now, I don’t just go around thinking about chicken diapers. I actually have a very good reason for shopping around for just such a thing. It turns out that one of my chickens is in actuality a rooster. Poor old Midget, who is no longer so little, started crowing the other day.
I had noticed some odd behavior a few days ago, but thought that maybe she was just being a jerk to Whitey. I was watching the chickens in their run through the window, and saw Midget jump right on Whitey’s back. Whitey is the one laying eggs, and maybe Midget was just a little jealous. Nope, (s)he was horny.
And much like adolescent males of our own species, Midget’s mounting fiasco was awkward and over quickly. I didn’t really put a lot of thought into it until the next morning. I had let the girls out and was back inside when I heard an odd sound. It happened again quickly, and I easily placed the noise as that of a rooster crowing. I ran to the window to see Midget all puffed up and strutting around. Then he crowed again.
It was not the regal, wake-me-up-for-chores crowing, but unmistakable nonetheless. It sounded like he was going through puberty, with his voice cracking and the crowing kind of unfinished. Instead of cock-a-doodle-do, it was more like cork-a-do. But he was persistent and actually made some progress by the end of the day.
I’m not going to lie, I like Midget. He follows me around the yard when he’s out and has never run when I’ve gone to pick him up. But I don’t want a bunch of little chicks running around either. There’s no way they’d survive during the winter anyway, and I definitely don’t want a bunch of little chicks stuck in a box in my cabin.
And this is what brings me to the diapers. I’m wondering if there is a contraption that will help Midget keep it in his pants, but if not, I’m only left with a few options. Eat him, give him away, or keep him. I could keep him alive this winter, but it will be tough. Without the other chickens to cuddle up to to keep warm, I’ll have to take some extra steps to prevent him from freezing. But I would like to have some more chicks in the spring.
Keeping Midget is the option I’m leaning towards right now, but if I can’t find some chicken diapers, I may end up with big pot of Midget soup.