Very true. As roosters are frequently for free around here, cull will likely mean off with his head. I have tried to give him and my Polish hen away as a set for incentive for pretty chicken owners, but alas it didn't work. :( And are roosters ever happy in a bachelor pad alone?! I just can't stomach social creatures being left away from their own kind, only allowed to see them.
And I can totally see your point in that. Chickens get complicated in your head sometimes. Pets or livestock? Most other animals are pretty clear cut. And ending something's life is never a good feeling....I'm setting here on the computer when I should be out culling three cockerels, just cause it's so not my favorite thing to do .
I hear you on the hatching all males. I've butchered 3 cockerels, I have 10 more to go as they reach the appropriate age. To show for them, I have 7 pullets. What happened to 50/50?
I've never tried re-introducing a de-throned rooster. My last guy to be booted by a son was 4 years old, and I planned on keeping the son. I really, really liked the father (Rocky) but felt his fertility was decreasing. I would have been okay with allowing him to live on the fringes of the flock but he was so depressed, as you describe your rooster. Only one elderly hen would hang with him, and he was just miserable. I finally felt he'd honestly be happier out of his misery and we butchered him. so, that was the experience I was drawing on when I said you could replace your Polish if the hens wouldn't accept him back.
do you have any Polish hens? I know they don't have a reputation for being stellar layers, but some folks here have had hens that really churned out the eggs. maybe your boy will have some production type genes to pass on.....of course, you've got to get a pullet off him to find out
Exactly! He is extremely depressed!! All day long he has literally just sat slumped around in the garden, as physically small and droopy as possible. I did just give him some actual feed (aside from garden pecking) and some water. It took him a few minutes, but he went and ate at least.
He strikes me that he wouldn't be happy on the fringes at all. Plus I don't have the fenced space for him, or the coop. I had to use a dog crate when the babies were around, and I don't want to deal with separating again until we get a decent permanent structure and pen up. Even if I did give him my single Polish hen. Which she has not ever been interested in mating that I have seen. And not a stellar layer- maybe 2-3 a week in the high lay time?
I agree with the replace if they won't accept him back. I lost him this morning, and as horrid as it sounds, I had really hoped he fixed my problem of culling him for me by disappearing. :( (What a chicken I am! lol). He had just made himself insanely small and smooshed next to a plant barrel so I couldn't see him.
You mention all males- I let the hen keep 6 eggs. Never really candled or anything, so no clue on viability. 3 were duds. 3 hatched- ALL cockerels. Urgh lol
Right now I think he is going to retire to my parents hens. If he gets along with the hens and doesn't crow my parents nutty (unlikely, as the noise is going to be the killer so to speak, as they are insanely sensitive to roosters. Notice I said I had 3 babes before? Yeah, I gave them one last year for Christmas ((wrapped in a box and everything! It was awesome lol)) . He lasted 2 months maybe before he 'well, he just disappeared' lol. I think they will try harder to tolerate this guy because they know how much I like him. lol (I was in tears this morning when I saw how dejected he was. :( )
And the trade off they will get from me is that the plan had always been that I would be the breeder/grower of the hens for both our houses, thereby preventing us buying and raising chicks.
We both received all these birds from a family friend who brooded out too many babies and had to get rid of young adolescents. I have absolutely no desire to brood chicks on my own. Nor the space or real ability to keep the dogs or cats away from them in the house. And my BO hen did a stellar job with these 3 roosters it seems. (I doubt she can be to blame for their male hormones kicking in lol). Heck she had the whole lot of hens, the dad rooster, and 3 curious barn cats to defend against, and did great.
Urgh lol. I am going to do a post in Craigslist and a local Facebook page and see if anyone might want the rooster and hen for free even. :) I hope I can cull (kill) future birds with no issues, but this first group is hard. My husband initially said they would all be killed at 3-4 years of age to make room for more... but he has since said 3 get stays of execution to old age- my favorite hen, his favorite, and then the BO who broods wonderfully. What homesteaders we are! lol