It is with a terribly, terribly sad heart that we say goodbye to Jasmine. We took a gamble and lost big.
It didn’t take long to figure out Jasmine was not a Black Minorca. Nope, Jasmine is a Blue Andalusian splash. This breed as once known as the “Blue Minorca.” Both are Spanish Mediterranean breeds, and are therefore closely related.
According to the ALBC (American Livestock Breeds Conservancy), the Blue Andalusian is a “threatened” breed.
- Threatened: Fewer than 1,000 breeding birds in the United States, with seven or fewer primary breeding flocks, and estimated global population less than 5,000.
Had I known the name of this breed when we were there, we certainly would have gotten more. We have one other conservation breed (Dominique) that is on the “watch” list, but had I known the status of the Blue Andalusian, I would have opted for more of those instead of the others that I got.
From the beginning, we were captivated by Jasmine. The biggest issue – once we figured out the breed- was not knowing the sex. As Jasmine grew, I searched all over for pictures of BA pullets and hens. I found several, which led me to continue scratching my head.
You can see why I wasn’t sure. Red combs and wattles for this breed don’t mean “boy” because both sexes have them! Early on, I was really, really wishing I had gotten more than one so I would have been able (in theory) to have some comparison.
Saturday morning, we woke around 6:30 am to strangled sounds coming from the living room. Jasmine tried to crow- twice. After giggling, I went right away to research whether or not pullets will try to crow. And yes, they sometimes do. I set out to find a home for Jasmine; you know, just in case. Arrangements were made with the stipulation that I would call the next day or in the future if Jasmine really was a boy.
Sunday morning came. Jasmine started exercising his lungs around 6 am. The 13 other girls seriously were rolling their eyes, like “What is up with him?! We want to sleep!” After about 1/2 hour, he stopped, but I knew Jasmine would have to go out to the farm (literally, a farm with 60 acres).
I called my contact after church, and we made arrangements for her to come and get him in the afternoon. She called about 1/2 hour out, so we would have time to catch him and love on him. Catching wasn’t hard, since all of our chickies are very tame and friendly.
We’ve all been pretty sad. It is hard to let go when you are unsure of where your pets are going for sure, especially when it’s a real concern that they will be eaten. If he had not been a rare and threatened breed, I might not be as concerned, knowing it’s usually an inevitability with roos.
We are extremely attached to all of our birds. I had a hard time thinking about the exchange; his squawking and unease. It makes me sad to wonder what his new home is like. I know she doesn’t do fighting, but will he be picked on by the bigger roos? Will he have the company of some sweet girls? Will he get treats and be given ample accommodation in this heat? Hopefully, he will be prized and loved, and be allowed to live out his days safely, mating and being “the man” he was born to be.
We all miss our pretty boy. We are already trying to find a way to be able to get a small number of Blue Andalusian pullets next year. I’d do it now, but don’t know of anyone who I can combine an order with in small numbers. In the meantime, I’m going to sit with a chicken in my lap and wait until next year. And then we’ll let Chicken Math take over again!