Saying Goodbye to a Buff Cochin Rooster


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 18, 2012
Eastern Shore of Maryland
I figured I would put this little story in the Local Chicken Laws and Ordinances section. On May 21st of this year, I got 28 chicks from McMurray Hatchery. We ordered the meat and egg combo, which is 10 layers, and 15 meat birds. These were our first chickens ever. We were supposed to get 25 with a free rare/unusual one thrown in, but ended up with 28, one extra meat bird, and one extra rare/unusual. As we watched them grow, we had fun identifying everyone, and unfortunately, we had two roos, which happened to be the two freebies. One was a Golden Polish, and one was a Buff Cochin.

Our town law states that you can have backyard chickens, as long as they are not offensive. Basically, no noise or smell. Well, when we heard the roos crow for the first time, we checked with our neighbors, who said that they weren't bothering them. I wouldn't say they were very loud, no louder than a truck, or motorcycle going by on the road. The fire whistle is an ear splitter in our town, and the roosters crowing didn't even come close to that. I can hear dogs barking from across the road. We knew that we had to get rid of the roosters anyhow, and started trying to find homes for them in our local craigslist, swap and sell on facebook, and word of mouth. By this time, the one thing you aren't supposed to do had happened. We were attached to them. It was then that we got the letter from the town. We had two weeks to get rid of the roosters; two had complained.

Our Golden Polish found a home with a girl I work with, who had a farm. The buff cochin wasn't so lucky, with the only possible new home being running around in a neighborhood in a nearby town, eating a diet of cat food and crackers, according to the person who wanted him. I wasn't going for that. I didn't think that was a good, healthy life for him. Each day he was with us, I spent time with him. He let me hold him, he never tried to attack me, and he was so adorable! I absolutely loved him.

On the day before the last day we had to get rid of him, we had to cull him, at 21 weeks of age. I held him, sobbing like a baby, while my husband did the chopping. The saddest thing is that he let me hold him, and never made a noise. He trusted me, and I was holding him while he got the ax. It was so sad to me, and I had a lot of anger towards the neighbors who complained. I knew the entire time that we couldn't have a rooster, but yet I couldn't help my feelings of annoyance towards the town rules, and the neighbors.

I've learned a lesson through all of this...never get attached to a rooster if you can't have them in your town. It's been three days since he was culled, and I still can't get him off my mind. I felt a little pang of sadness when we culled our 16 meat birds, but I knew that they were for meat, so it was easier. I'm really going to miss my buff cochin, but hopefully I'll never have to feel those feelings again. I'm sure it's because I'm new at this, and I'm sure that with each chicken culled it may get easier. I just wanted to share this, to help me get over it a little more.

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