Back in July, Penguin got a very sweet gentle Easter Egger chick in a bantam assortment from Ideal Poultry. As a chick, it was kind of pale buff and grey colored. As seen in the photo below on the the right, in comparison to my other bantam Cochins, it is a little larger than bantam.
As it grew, it was generally lavender (pale gray) with accents of yellow and a little buff around the neck and chest. Based on temperament and on feather growth on the wing bows and tail, for the first few months, I was pretty sure it was a pullet. Then it started to change colors, first getting a dark slate blue colored head around 6 weeks old, then around 13 weeks old, reddish patches in the shoulders and wings. Ugh Oh! I was getting really worried about this change in color because I read in one really long thread at BYC about sexing EEs by color alone, and that Easter Eggers are always males when they are light colored like this one, especially if they get red on the wings. However, the comb was still very pale and tiny with only a single row. Also, I didn’t see any hackles, sickles, saddle feathers that screamed rooster so far.
When this Easter Egger was 13 weeks old, I posted it’s picture in the “What breed or Gender” forum at BYC to see what the experts thought. The photos above are from the post. Based on the photos, the votes were mixed, but enough so that I decided to keep this chicken until it either crowed or laid an egg. Meanwhile, I set up an isolation pen in the garage. Just in case it started crowing, I would have a place to keep the noise muffled from disturbing neighbors (or husband) temporarily until I found a home that could take a rooster.
Four weeks ago, at 4:45 AM, loud repeated crowing came out of the coop, enough to wake both my husband and I up from a sound sleep. Oh no, it must be the Easter Egger! So outside I ran in my PJs to see what was up and to quiet the culprit down. Well, after a few minutes of spying on the coop, it turned out to be Penguin! She has done it a few times before on the rare occasion over the last few years. So, into the garage isolation pen she went, along with a stern lecture about how “the city prohibits crowing fowl and that she would be looking for a new home if she makes a regular habit of it.” She must have gotten the gist of the conversation because we haven’t heard her crow since.
Fast forward a month and the chicken is now 20 weeks old. I went on a Girl Scout sleepover with my troop at Sea World on Saturday and left my son in charge of the chickens. I returned home last night to warm hugs and a wry smile from my son. He went to the fridge and proudly pulled out a green egg! Boy was I doing the happy dance! This chicken is definitely a pullet after all; she officially laid an egg because none of my Cochins have ever laid that color.
Even if I thought it was a female for sure, I would have said we were weeks away from her laying. The egg took me by surprise because the chicken has not been vocal like a pullet getting close to point of lay, or squatting, or even very red in the comb yet.