It’s hard to believe that just 15 weeks ago, I brought home a peeping box of fluff from the farm supply store. I was new to the chicken world and completely out of my element. I quickly identified that one of the chicks that we’d brought home was a bit special to me. It had two yellow dots on its head and was outgoing and friendly. It LOVED to eat and really loved special snacks.
As it grew, it became even more friendly and seemed to like people. It was the most active chick in the bunch and would run right up to the side of the brooder box to greet us. I inquired of several learned chicken people on the internet, and the verdict was that it was probably a male chick. We named him Vinnie. That’s him in the back with the two yellow spots on his head.
I had no idea what breed Vinnie might be. He’d been pulled from a bin of apparently several breeds and I thought that maybe he was a black sex link due to the yellow dots on his head. So, again, I inquired of the chicken gurus on the internet. I found out that he was a Barred Rock.
As Vinnie grew, we came to just love his quirky personality. He was full of curiosity and well, sort of weird chickeny charm. I still wasn’t buying that he was a rooster. He mostly hung out with the pullets and didn’t seem as “roostery” as our other rooster, Cluck Norris. I REALLY wanted him to be a girl. I hadn’t planned on having any roosters, let alone TWO.
Vinnie became the subject of many blog posts. He always seemed to be in some sort of trouble, falling off of something or trampling one of the other chicks in the brooder. He was sort of a mess…for realz…but he greeted me every time I went out to spend time with the chicks…which was…well, close to constantly.
His comb was growing and was a little bit pinker than the rest of the chicks. I remained firmly in denial that he was a boy. He was just too sweet! Roosters aren’t sweet! Or are they…
Vinnie had a big pink, jiggy-jaggy comb now. I was sure he was a pullet and was an early bloomer. I had seen photos of other young Barred Rock cockerels on the internet and Vinnie seemed to be way too dark in color to be one of the silvery white and black youngsters that I compared him to. I posted this picture to the chicken gurus on-line and everyone agreed. He must be a pullet. I happily started thinking about changing his name to Valerie.
Despite all of the trouble Vinnie/Valerie got into almost ALL of the time, he was actually very tame and would follow us around the yard if we took him out for supervised free range time.
At this point, our confirmed rooster, Cluck, had become stand-offish and shy. Vinnie continued to be charming, sweet and friendly. However, I noticed that his colors were changing a bit. His head was becoming lighter in color. And oh my…those big wattles and that comb! Maybe the gurus were right the first time! I desperately didn’t want him to be a boy…but…
Indeed…he did seem to be a “Vinnie” and not a “Valerie”. He didn’t act like a cockerel at all though. He walked away from every challenge from anyone else in the flock. I started thinking that maybe…he didn’t know he was a rooster yet! His tail was telling us that he most definitely was a rooster…and the size of his feet? Not dainty and pullet like at all.
We just love Vinnie and all of his strange, goofy, quirks.
Every day when I get home from work, I can’t wait to change clothes and dash out to the chicken coop with some sort of tasty treat. Vinnie greets me every time with his “GIMME-GIMME-GIMME” dance. He was the first to check out a new kind of snack as a baby and now as a big boy, he still leads the way when a new snack is introduced. He taught Cluck all about the deliciousness of watermelon.
He’s also a very smart chicken. He knows everything about cordless drills.
Sometimes, for fun, he hangs out with his best buddy Greg.
Sometimes, he just likes to bask in the sun and work on his tan…to attract chicks. See how well it works? Honestly, I thought he was dead in and I was going to have to use a chicken defibrillator on him when I took this picture.
He’s also very brave. He protected the whole flock, including Cluck Norris, from the scary orange ball.
The chickens elected him to be Chairman of the Flock after he gave a riveting speech at the recent rally in the coop.
He’s also become devilishly handsome.
I hadn’t planned on two roosters, but we love them both.
Vinnie and Cluck have a forever home with us.
We just adore every bit of them…but I’ll always have a soft spot for my baby Vinnie.