How to choose which cockerel(s) to get rid of

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by shandy, May 18, 2016.

  1. shandy

    shandy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2016
    We have 12 chickens, 9 are hens and 3 are roosters (almost 100% sure). We have 3 of each: plymouth rocks, buff orphingtons, rhode island reds and easter eggers. The 3 roosters are: buff orphington, rhode island red and easter egger. We are pretty sure that keeping all 3 roosters is not going to work out and we have someone that would take all 3 if needed. I am wondering if there are any of these breeds that tend to be less aggressive roosters? We have 2 children, ages 6 and 9 and they of course don't want to get rid of any of them, but I am wondering if sooner is better so they don't get as attached (if that's possible [​IMG]). Any suggestions on whether to wait and see who will work out best in our flock or just choose one to keep and re-home the other two? How do we decide? Thanks!

  2. 0wen

    0wen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2016
    Southwest Virginia
    If you have someone who will take them all right now, I'd get rid of them in case that opportunity isn't there later on...

    Realistically, you don't know what a rooster is going to be like when they are adults until they are adults. Breed doesn't matter a whole lot, but some people subscribe to the thought that gentle breeds create acceptable roosters - generally not true and you can search the gentle breeds and find a lot of examples of roosters being horrible. Especially true with hatchery birds where breeding stock isn't selective by anything more than the most aggressive roosters getting the opportunity to mate. This isn't to say that all 3 of those roosters won't grow up to be perfectly fine roosters - just saying the odds aren't in your favor and ads for free roosters are a dime a dozen whereas you have the chance to rid yourself of the problem immediately.
  3. shandy

    shandy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2016
    Thanks for the honest reply! We will have a hard time with this because we were planning keeping one, just didn't know how to choose.... Maybe we are better off without any...
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    If this is your first experience with chickens, I would get rid of all three, asap being you have someone to take them, those offers do not come along all the time. Roosters take some experience. Work gradually into the chicken hobby, just having hens the first year is what I always advise, later on if you have a broody, you can add day old chicks and enjoy that part, later on, one of those will probably be a rooster, and by then you will have a bit of experience under your belt. Roosters are a crap shoot, some can be very violent!

    Children and roosters are often not a good combination. Let your kids get some experience too.

    If you keep roosters, in my opinion, you need to be able to cull birds, because sometimes they need to be culled. If you don't think you could cull a bird, don't hatch and don't keep a rooster.

    Mrs K
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    "Cull" doesn't necessarily mean kill. It just means to remove from the flock. Here, we do cull with a hatchet and stump, I know that not everyone can do that. As far as the kids are concerned, they are resilient, and you are the parent. Both should work in your favor. They might be unhappy for a bit, but they should get over it soon. Just be very matter of fact and tell them that you have decided that roosters are not a good plan for now. And then do what you have to do. I would also say the sooner the better for giving them to the person who is willing to take them, before the kids get any more attached. I would also suggest not "replacing" the roosters with more hens at this time. Enjoy the ones you have, get used to chicken keeping, and move on from there.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I do like having roosters in my flock, BUT I am also willing to eliminate bad actors, and manage all the cockrels that are hatched here. Many go in the freezer, some to new homes, and a very few stay on as future breeders. Your cockrels are young, and only time will tell about temperament and possible human aggression. It might be a good idea to move all these boys on now, and get cockrels next year. If you do want to keep one, it would be best to keep and evaluate all three for a while longer. Your children will have to learn about flock management, which means 'where the boys go' among other things. Mary
  7. shandy

    shandy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2016
    Wow, you all have impressed me with your responses and it gives me a lot to think about! Either way we decide will be a learning experience for us and our children! I think we have framed the experience pretty well by telling them that we can't keep all roosters, and chickens can be enjoyable but are different types of "pets" than our dogs. They definitely are resilient kids and I want them to enjoy the experience too! Thanks so much everyone for your straight forward answers, it's extremely helpful!

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