Izzy is no longer with us. Don't worry--we didn't eat her. (Although why I have a problem with that when we regularly eat chicken, I can't explain.) This morning, after the third straight day of jumping out of bed to shut her up--in her coop, in the dark--the KH and I decided to take her back where she came from, which is a feed store in a rural area near us that also sells small farm animals and chickens.
We loaded her into the car and the KH drove her to the feed store. He walked in with Izzy tucked under his arm, and the proprietor took one look and said, "No room for roosters." At which, Izzy let loose with a full volume "cock-a-doodle-DOOOOO!" that immediately stopped all activity in the store. The proprietor's eyes flew open and he said, "Oh. I see. Put him in the yard."
It turns out, our little Izzy hen is a freakin' rooster! A beautiful, healthy rooster, according to the feed store, where he crowed the entire time the KH was there--much to the amusement of the staff, who are astonished we managed to keep him this long. It really explains a lot. Especially Izzy's sudden interest in Mimi. I think the young cock is starting to notice girls (sorry, couldn't resist).
So we're back to two chickens, and I must say, I'm really looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow!