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What to do with roosters

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Two weeks ago one of my girls hatched out 9 babies.  Now I'm wondering what to do with the roosters that I'm sure are lurking under all that down.  I cannot kill them - so that is out.  I know this sounds stupid but if I could find a vet to "neuter" them would that make them not fight or crow or do the other irritating things roosters do.  I already have one rooster and 3 "hens" who have started crowing.  I bought 10 "hens" last April - three are obviously not hens and the feed store will take them back.  But this batch that just hatched is not their responsibilty and while they may take them, I don't know yet.  I'm just wondering what you do with your extra boys?  Hoping for hens, but I'm sure there will be some boys in the batch.  BTW - mama is doing a great job and the other hens don't bother them at all.

post #2 of 16

I think you really should try to find homes for them if you can't cull them

post #3 of 16

I posted on our local craigslist. We had 2 silver sebright roosters. We were able to find "Zeus" a home with 3 standard hens. My children have gotten attached to our other 6 roosters. The rooster are different breeds. Some get along with one or two others. We currently have two chicken tractors, and two individual pens. Not sure this will be the final winter setup. I did cull two roosters that were deformed , one with twisted foot, the other a crossed beak/flattened head.

Good Luck.



Chris

post #4 of 16

I called avian vets in my area, hoping that de-crowing was an option when I got my first two roos, but there just isn't such a thing (I was thankful that the receptionists didn't laugh at me when I inquired.) You can caponize a rooster, but that doesn't stop him from crowing. BTW: my roos grew up together from day one and never once was there an ounce of conflict between them.

I try to re-home them when I get roosters now because I can't keep them (I'm not even supposed to have chickens!). Sometimes I can find homes for them, sometimes we have to cull them. You can put an ad on Craigslist in your area and hope for the best (ie: that they aren't going into someone's soup pot) or you can post an ad hereon BYC in the Buy/Sell Auction forum to try and adopt them out to a good home.

If you're going to hatch your own eggs, you're going to face this problem time and time again and the decisions that have to be made never get any easier. I have two Silver Spangled Hamburg chicks that are 4 weeks old right now that I have to figure out what to do with and it's a drag knowing that I can't keep them. sad

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

I've heard so many bad things about Craig's list I would probably avoid it.  I wish I could find homes for them - I keep telling people if a rooster shows up in their yard in about 6 months it's not mine LOL.
I know you can turn a rooster into a capon (think that's right) - but I'm wondering what kind of vet would do the procedure.

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam Allan 

I've heard so many bad things about Craig's list I would probably avoid it.  I wish I could find homes for them - I keep telling people if a rooster shows up in their yard in about 6 months it's not mine LOL.
I know you can turn a rooster into a capon (think that's right) - but I'm wondering what kind of vet would do the procedure.


What have you heard about craigslist?

proud mama of 22 female chickens, 10 ducklings, 2 jacob ewes, 1 chevoit ram, blind great dane, weimaraner, and a mutt
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proud mama of 22 female chickens, 10 ducklings, 2 jacob ewes, 1 chevoit ram, blind great dane, weimaraner, and a mutt
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post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

The fact these eggs hatched was a surprise to me.  This same hen and her sister (both cornish hens) sat on eggs for weeks until they started exploding (one of the worst smells in the world) so I figured my rooster was shooting blanks.  Obviously he's not.  Wish he was!  I don't particularly want to hatch out eggs - The hen disappeared on me and I couldn't find her - the dog did.  By then the babies had hatched and the peeping was what attracted the dog.  Now if I can train the dog to find the hen before she starts getting broody and disappears.

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

About Craigs list - that people who get animals from them a lot of times abuse them.  I'm on Face Book with several animal rescue people and groups and they will not allow people to post on Craig's List.  I'm not saying everyone who uses it abuses animals, but apparently it's enough to make these people adamant that their rescues are NOT to post on it.

post #9 of 16

welcome-byc

You're now dealing with one of the basic issues in keeping chickens: what to do with unwanted roosters.  The reality for roosters is that in a mixed flock the ideal ratio is 1:10-12.  That means there are job openings as breeders, flock husbands, & pets for about 10% of all roosters hatched (many flocks are just hens).  Therefore about 90% of all roosters hatched have their purpose on a plate.  It sounds grim, but really, there are worse fates for a rooster than to live a short pleasant life and then provide nourishment for some grateful family.

You could have your roos caponized (neutered), it's a procedure done on younger cockerels around 8-12 weeks old, and usually done in order to make the birds grow meatier and more tender before processing.  You could learn to do it yourself (I just did) or find someone in your area who does it, or try & find a vet willing to do it (it might be awfully expensive).  They may not crow or fight, but you'll still be stuck with birds who do nothing but eat & poop.  If you continue to hatch out chicks, you'll have more & more of these unproductive guys to house & feed.

You can try & find folks who would take them as pets or flock husbands, and you may have some success.  You'll have better luck finding folks who will have them as dinner guests.  Who knows, maybe some day you'll find that you have the nerve to learn to process them yourself!

It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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post #10 of 16

Try to find them homes.  We bought 5 day old chicks "hens" from the feed store.  One turned out to be a roo, sadly he was everyone's favorite a very sweet bird.  I started trying to find him a home as soon as we were certain she was a he.  I accepted that someone else may eat him but I couldn't do it.  These are my first chickens ever.  The main concern I had was about him being used for cock fighting training.  I used the auction feature here on the site and listed him free within a distance of my house with delivery.  I was willing to drive an hour one way but was lucky the person who contacted me was much closer.  I felt that someone through the byc site would either eat him or breed him but not torture or abuse him.  I was nervous about craigslist cause of the cock fighting thing.  In your area that might not be a concern.  If there are farms nearby you might ask if one will take him.  Freecycle maybe. 

I have heard that neutering is possible but very expensive. 

Another possibility if the trouble is you just don't wish to cull them your self but do like to eat chicken there are processors who will do small batches for you.

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