Eggs almost ready to hatch - question about male chicks

Jo Protherough

In the Brooder
May 30, 2020
11
25
36
Hi

I am new here and have had chickens for just under 12 months now having got them from a friend in the village who was moving abroad. I have 9 hens and a cockeral (called Dot). Three of the hens went broody about 3 weeks ago; two of them have been getting up twice a day to feed, drink and poo - the third refuses to so I have been feeding and watering her where she is. Maybe she is getting up during the day - I don't know.

My question is about the male chicks that will hatch. Our cockeral Dot is a big stroppy sod that sees the world in terms of Food, Fighting or Fornicating. He is very very good with the hens and as the land is away from the house I am happy to have him protecting them. I do think, though, that he will make nuggets out of any males that hit puberty.

I do not intend to kill anything. I know that a lot of people do that and that this is the standard way of dealing with male chicks but I am an old bird myself and fairly stuck in my ways. And- I appreciate that this is not a great situation to find myself in. I probably should have tried to stop the broodies being broody or something, but I didn't and here I am.

I am in the UK so from my googling it appears that you can't neuter a male chicken here. Is that true?

Assuming it is I, and assuming I don't want the flock to turn into a battleground, is there anything that you can recommend? If I get them their own hut and give them part of the field to live in with some hens will they be all right if they grow up together? Or will they still fight?

I'll stop any more going broody now...

Jo
 

kelseyk

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
Apr 11, 2017
1,026
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I'm not in the UK so can't answer the part on whether it is legal to neuter the cockerels or not. But I can tell you what I have done with my boys. My chickens have a really large run. They used to free range but then we had a fox start showing up so I decided to fence them in. I definitely had too many roosters for the number of hens that I had and the boys started tearing up my girls pretty good. So I made a bachelor pad for the boys that I did not really want to keep. They get along great together in there where there are no hens to fight over. I am trying to sell some of the roos if I can, the others will just end up meat birds (if I ever get around to doing it that is.) So they will grow up good together no problem with no hens around - They will fight if there are hens in the pen with them though.
 

keesmom

Free Ranging
12 Years
Jul 28, 2008
10,711
4,646
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MA
I did a quick search on neutering - or caponizing - cockerels in the UK and I couldn't get a definitive answer. I can say caponizing isn't going to be a viable option for you anyway. It must be done at a very young age. If you wait until 3 months or older, when the hormones start to kick in, the procedure could kill them.

If you can't process them yourself, or can't part with them, your only real option would be a bachelor pad for the excess males. For the most part they should get along okay with no females. First you'll have to see how many eggs even hatch. It's good you are thinking ahead on what to do with them. Unfortunately it's something not everyone has plans for in advance.
 

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