Killing your extra roosters - How to deal with it?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by erinnyes, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2011
    Basically, I hatched eggs from a breeder and have a bunch of extra roosters I don't need. I sold a bunch, but even though they're all really nice quality I still have some left. I'd rather not keep extra roosters over the winter, so that means I may have to slaughter some. However, this is not something I have ever done before and I am nervous to say the least!

    Basically, I know a guy who will do it for me for $2 a bird, which is really reasonable. But I raised these guys and I guess I feel bad about having them killed, even if I'm not the one doing it! Something about being responsible for the death of a healthy living thing really bugs me. Can anyone offer me advice on how to cope with this? I understand it's a part of life, but I'm having trouble deciding that it's the right thing to do! :(
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  2. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2012
    The best way I deal with this is to remind myself I ate chicken for lunch. Livestock are bred for a purpose and if you don't eat them or they don't produce eggs they become a pretty expensive pet. I would most definitely hire someone with experience to do this for you as it can be emotionally difficult.
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The comedian, Bill Cosby, in an early show of that famous series, once said to his son, Theo, "I brought you into this world and I can take you out!"

    Hatching is fun, but with it comes responsibilities. Since there is no absolute way of sexing pre-hatched eggs, this is the problem. I hope you sort it out in a positive way.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  4. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just watched that episode last night on Netflix.[​IMG]

    Erinnyes - I think (for me) I came to the point of being totally okay with it (just last week actually) when I realized that I was concentrating more on the life of the fowl than the life of a human...which was pretty bass ackwards. Eating chickens you raised yourself - you know what you'll be putting on the dinner table for your family. Can you say the same of the birds you purchase in the market or grocery store? Nope. In essence, by butchering the rooster you're ensuring that you and your family (or whoever gets the bird after butchering) will be consuming something healthy, whole, pure and good for them (versus God only knows what from the store). You're also paying respect to the rooster by utilizing him in a way that shows appreciation to his kind. That's how I reasoned it all out anyway (not sure if it will help). :eek:)
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  5. CGinJCMO

    CGinJCMO Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2012
    Cole County Missouri
    I had similar feelings about a Barred Rock cockerel I bought as a chick knowing it was a boy. I thought one rooster to protect the flock, maybe hatch some BR next year. Then I got two Easter Eggers that I hoped were female and they were Cockerels! I later got another EE, a pullet this time. Now the boys grew up looking fine but I had 10 females and 3 males and that's too many. I had to make a choice. My options were to
    1) sell them
    2) eat them
    3) take them far far away and let them loose (I've done that with captured critters).

    Choice 3 was too cruel because they wouldn't know where they are and might not be able to find enough food, and they could become someone else's problem (potential problems with wildlife but I don't think it's quite so cruel for them like it would be to a chicken).
    Choice 1 didn't seem likely because of the number of other people who try to rehome roosters. I was going to go with the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy of what they'd do with the rooster but I felt that I wouldn't get anywhere near the dollar investment (grocery store price of chicken would have been higher than I thought I could get).
    That left Choice 2. I did butcher two of the chickens. I chose to keep one very handsome EE roo (hoping to hatch more next spring) and butchered the other EE cockerel and the BR cockerel (had a harder time making that decision because I bought him on purpose while the others ended up being boys when I wanted girls). I think the $2 price is great. I have one more cockerel (given to me) that I need to butcher in the next few weeks and I hope to find someone else to do it (I don't have any good sharp knives thanks to my kids-my knives tend to mutilate more than cut ).

    Good Luck with your mental dilemma.
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  6. ShadowSwirl

    ShadowSwirl Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 11, 2012
    I feel your pain. A friend gave us 4 young birds a month or two ago. Our first live chickens ever. It now appears that two might be roosters. City ordinance says -0- roosters allowed. The neighbors are getting impatient but we haven't caught anyone crowing yet. Looks like two are starting to produce combs but they are still really close to the same. Is there a good way to be sure I'm putting the right guys onto death row before I carry out sentence.

    Was thinking I could just break their little necks unless there is a better way. Don't want to traumatize the survivors if I can avoid it. I know they are not that smart..... :(
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    X2 - If you're uncomfortable butchering them yourself, I would pay the $2 per bird to have them processed. The meat of a home-grown chicken is just so much better than what you can buy in the store. It actually has flavor and texture.
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  8. Grassman 52

    Grassman 52 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2012
    Ludlow Mass
    I feel bad every time I have to process any of my birds, but I remind myself that I give them a great home and a good life.
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  9. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I told my fiance right before my first processing that this was going to either make me a vegetarian or a farmer so be prepared. Farmer it is. The truth is that I eat meat and all of those animal that I eat everyday are no different from the ones I raise. To me, I am far kinder to the ones I kill than to the ones I buy. I would ideally like to get to the point someday where I am not buying much at all. I find a sort of zen and respect in doing it myself and in letting as little as possible go to waste and in a good life and a good death.

    If you are interested in doing it yourself I have a good video I found that shows a humane process and butchering. The woman who does it has a great philosophy. Let me know if you want it.
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  10. ShadowSwirl

    ShadowSwirl Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 11, 2012
    I am a meat eater.

    I've always thought it was good for meat eaters to know the price paid for the meal. You waste less food when you understand the price your meal paid to feed you. Life is a terminal condition and death by predator is much faster and easier than old age.

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