Ah well. We kept them, threw them in the coop when they got older and they free range. I even gave them names:Fried, and Fricasee are the roosters, and Sauteed, Broiled, Broasted and Curried are the hens. Yeah, that was before we realized they were too small to hassle butchering them.
They're like 6 months old now. We have fun watching the rooster displays, holler at Fried and Fricasee to STFU and let them eat bugs. Well Sauteed come up missing one night. We have a nightly ritual where Dave herds the ducks into the coop with the chickens and I herd the geese into the garage into their pen. The chickens are the only ones who will go in voluntarily on their own. The others need to be herded. Sauteed come up missing at bed count. She's the all-white hen.
We searched hastily for a bunch of feathers on the ground, fearful that a predator got her. No sign. Ah well, we closed up the coop and the garage and went to bed. After all, it's not like we're missing much, it's a Banty Hen. Not even big enough to take the time to butcher...
She came back the next morning.
She's come back every morning to join her flock. Which means one thing: She's setting on a nest somewhere outside. Just what we need, more Banty chickens! Dave and I discussed and we decided to allow her her clutch of babies. After all, there's talk that meat prices will become abhorrently high. We may find that at some point those Banty Chickens aren't so much of a hassle to butcher.