When I received my spring chicks McMurray added 7 red star cockerals to the order 'for warmth' - ha! we had 47 birds in that order they didn't need warmth. Anyhoo .. We tended those baby roo's the same as all the pullets. They were fed and cared for and loved and played with by our children. My 19 month old can carry them around (with supervision!) in the barn when we are all out there petting and holding them all. They are 19 weeks old now. I have noticed they have become more aggressive toward the hens especially in the past week or two. Just plain out MEAN to the hens. This morning I was out in the barn and one of the big boys comes over, pecks my shoe, nips at my knee which is the signal to pick him up. I tucked his big self under my arm and went about filling feeders and talking to my girls. Yet another comes over with the same song and dance wanting his turn. So down goes one and up comes the other. I hold him while I check the waterers and set them out for my husband to fill. Soon all the chores are done and I am standing in the door watching the interaction of all the chickens. Buster throws back his head and lets out a magnificently loud crow quickly followed by Laf then the Packing Peanuts follow lead. I love that sound. It makes me smile. So, I am standing there watching this with the hens around my feet picking and scratching. Suddenly one of the Red Stars jumps on my sweet partridge rock hen and grabs her by the neck and just holds her down on the floor. Immediately before I can react 2 other Red Stars come over and bite down on her. She is squawking and raising the roof - I would be too! This just ticked me off. We have known for sometime now that we had to cull the roosters. They have been so friendly and docile to us that we have really put it off longer than we should have. Truthfully I have been waiting for cooler weather to do the deed and we haven't had any. It is in the upper 90's and even hotter in the barn this afternoon. I grabbed one roo and pulled him off of her and used my foot to get the other two off. The one in my hands I took out and put in another room with my stand by large dog crate for separating chickens if needed. I go back inside and one of the Red Stars is starring down Buster but learned his lesson quickly and backed down. I grabbed him up and put him out that same crate. No sooner had I come back in than the other Red Star was pecking and wanting to be picked up. I grabbed him up and put him out with the others. I was just fuming. I checked my hen and she is fine. I was just fuming mad at how aggressive they were and the tag teaming of that hen. I sort of felt bad, too, because these guys are some of my husband very favorites from the coop. I went back into the house, put on a huge pot of boiling water, my husband sharpened a knife and the hatchet. We made 3 slip knots in some length of small rope. I went back to the barn, pulled out 2 of the bullies and left the third one for my husband to get. One. Two. Three. We hung them to bleed out while we got the pot of water and other things we needed. I dipped the birds for less than one minute to loosen the feathers. Once I had finished the picking my husband did the gutting. Start to finish it took us 2 and a half hours to dress, clean-up and burn all of the 'evidence' (including coming inside washing and finishing the birds and us getting a shower). I know it would have taken much less time if we weren't having to keep an eye on my 19 month old who thought it was fun to try to squirt everyone with the hose, or run off behind the barn or any number of other things little boys do. LOL Fully dressed and ready for bagging each bird weighed out at just a little over 4lbs. I am very pleased with them but know they can't hold a flame to the cornish x's we are raising now. They were lined with a nice strip of fat. The flesh is whitish/yellow. I have one soaking in the frig for tomorrows dinner. This weekend we will most likely do the other four meanies.