Culling Roosters - how many roosters should I keep?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by andysforrest, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. andysforrest

    andysforrest Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    We have a small flock of Buff Orpingtons, mostly 26 weeks old. We found out through growth that we were "blessed" with three roosters (and already had one in the older flock). We are going to cull roosters this weekend and I can't decide whether I should cull two or three. We have a total of 17 laying hens and 4 roosters. We're definitely culling two of the roosters. Should I cull a third one at the same time? We're low of freezer space, so I don't have the extra room to just butcher and save one. Any thoughts, suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Andy
     
  2. birdicus7

    birdicus7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it's personal choice really. If you want to hatch eggs I'd keep 1 roo per 10-12 hens so I'd say keep 2. If you don't plan on hatching and just like the morning wake up call keep your best one.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    By cull I guess you mean butcher. If you want fertile eggs, I'd keep two for sure. If you are not worried about fertile eggs, you do not need to worry about keeping a second rooster. It is possible one rooster will keep all 17 fertile, but the rule of thumb is that it takes one rooster for every 10 to 12 hens to assure fertility.

    The way I do it is to leave the meat on the claw. I butcher two or three at a time and leave the rest alive so they stay fresh if the power goes out and I lose what is in my freezer.

    Good luck!
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Butcher the two that you like least- whatever the reason. If problems arise in the future (fighting, human aggressiveness, wear and tear on the hens) cull the third one. As Ridgerunner suggested "leave the meat on the claw."[​IMG]
     
  5. andysforrest

    andysforrest Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2010
    Thanks for the thoughts everyone. We definitely have two roosters picked out, they're the bottom two and chase the hens everywhere - which is highly annoying (both to us and the hens). Of the other two roosters, the top rooster is the older one, just over a year old and he is very protective of the hens. This is both a positive and a negative, which is why I'm on the fence. We have a 4-yr old and I won't let her go in the coop because I don't trust the rooster, but I do like the idea of fertile eggs.

    Andy
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Good thinking about your child. The plain and simple rule is never trust roosters (or any protective male animal) around small children.
     

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