Rooster question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BethsFlock, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. BethsFlock

    BethsFlock Just Hatched

    May 21, 2016
    San Diego, Ca
    I had a rooster from my chicks that I decided to keep (only got 2 hens out of 6 chicks.) He started beating up one of the hens last weekend to the point her comb was bleeding, so I kicked him out of the coop/run and intended to put him on Craigslist for someone's Christmas dinner (I processed the other roo's, but I just don't have time right now.) he's been living outside the coop for a week now (with food and water, of course), finds somewhere to roost at night and hangs out around the hens during the day. I tried to get him in a cage at night, but he wouldn't have it, he wants in the roost with the hens or in his roost out in the wilderness, wherever it is. I'm starting to wonder if this is a happy life for him. Obviously it's not super safe, he will likely be coyote or bobcat dinner, but do you guys think a rooster would be content living this life? Am I being inhumane? We live in rural SoCal, so it doesn't get terribly cold, although it has been raining. Thanks for your opinions!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If you let him in with the hens you should be able to pick him off the roost after dark. That’s how I’d catch him.

    On the other part, whether it is inhumane to allow him to live in the wild with you feeding and watering him and him staying on the other side of the fence from the hens is a pure judgment call you have to make. I grew up on a farm with a flock of free ranging chickens. During good weather we didn’t feed them, they fed themselves. But it was always a flock, not one individual. Yes he is at risk from predators. He might be taken today or he might survive for years. In the 18 years before I left home we had two predator attacks on that free ranging flock. They are always possible but just because they are possible doesn’t mean they will happen today.

    In my opinion, that’s not as horrible life for him. He gets some comfort from the two hens being nearby during the day, though he can’t fulfill all of his duties as flock master. He gets to chase all kinds of creepy crawlies, scratch and play in all kinds of really disgusting things, and in general be a chicken. With the predator threat, which could be years away or today, he would have a pretty good life ending in one pretty bad day.

    I don’t know what your goals are or reasons for having chickens. I personally would not be happy with a chicken, male or female, roaming around like that. But if you are OK with that, it’s your decision.
    1 person likes this.
  3. My Uncle free ranged his Chickens exclusively.....No Coop really or a run at all......He had a ram shackled Coop he Brooded the Chicks in and once ready he let them out to do what Chickens do......They slept where ever they Roosted.....He always butchered in the fall........I think as long as you provide him with food and water her will do fine unless something gets him....?
    They all become pretty smart once set free to manage themselves.....

  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    As Ridgerunner says, it's your rooster and your call. We aren't here to judge even if you've asked us to.

    I will say, if it were my rooster and I didn't want him around anymore, I would put an ad on Craig's List or the radio station's pet placement segment, if you have a station that does that. That's how I rehomed two extra roosters two summers ago, and each boy went to a place that needed a rooster for a flock of many hens. Talk about a happy ending.

    A friend of mine had a rooster like yours whose behavior with the hens appalled him. He was on his way to deliver him to the local animal shelter when he ran into a young man who asked if he could have him. Months later, I spoke with this young man and I asked how the rooster was doing. He proceeded to describe his roo's new life.

    This rooster was a pet. He watched TV with the family in the evenings and slept on a file cabinet at night. During the day, he frolicked in the yard with a goat and a beagle for buddies. In summer, he would sleep with the beagle in the dog's house.

    So, my story is to point out that there are many options for unwanted roosters. It only requires a tiny bit of effort.
    2 people like this.

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