Should we cull the boys ???? advice please

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by oesdog, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am thinking of Culling the boys.

    I didn;t really want to because I wanted to breed from them for next years chicks. However the big Maran boy is getting quite horrible in a matter of days hes gone from a biddable boy to a vicious pest. He is now constantly fighting with the red sussex roo boy to the point pf torn crowns and blood!!!!!!!!!! Duck and Nugget are lovely but are now getting quite a handful they used to pal about and were good frends up until about 10 days ago when they reached maturity. The other little Roo blue has started to copy them and heckles up to his longterm hen friend Omlet. I am afrade he will hurt her.

    The big issue is should I cull or not. Also the neighbors complain about the noise from the roos - we did know right off that the boys were tempory! This will be our first Cull any advice?????

    - hanging , processing etc. I guess a roo boy is much llike a male Pheasant inside??? Done those before and one hen that broke her own neck by accident but never killed our own for food yet. I feel kind of bad about it??? Even though I wanted to do Meat birds?

    Oesdog - [​IMG]
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Definitely weed them out, or you will have abused hens on your hands. The sooner, the better eating; keep reminding yourself of this.

    I pick a couple to save that both look good for breeding and have the instinct to do things like wait while the hens eat the treats, etc. But then, I don't want an incubator, so I want eggs handy when someone goes broody. Remember those juvenile hormones won't be nearly as much trouble with fewer roos to squabble. You just have to decide whether to keep one or two, or do them all.

    None of us enjoys killing, but.... you know it's part of it. At least you have some experience with processing. Doubt you'll notice much if any internal difference.
     
  3. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I know it is part of the rearing of the chickens to cull the roos and like you I don;t want an incubator as we had a really bad experience with it. Little Blue and Omlet were hatched day 27 and 28 and really shouldn;t have survived. They both walk a wee bit funny and little omlet the hen has a curved breastbone. So I want her to go with a really gentle Roo. Blue is the most gentle of all the roos. So I guess we would keep him but he is a bit wonky on the legs when he runs. It isn;t genetic its due to us mucking up the incubator. So we have always felt responsible for those two. The last thing I want to see is Blue copying the bad boys. He is a bit of a coward and with the bad wonky legs I doubt if he would be able to harras the girls too much. He always stands over omlet to protect her and he always gives her the treats. The other roos don't do this.

    I guess i just need to get over the chopping bit - duck will need to go its a shame as they are lovely looking roos but he is just not a nice boy.

    oesdog [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are some very helpful stickies in the meat birds section that will walk you through butchering your chickens. Beware, there are many pictures.

    It sounds like you probably just have too many roos together with too few hens. So if you really want to keep them for breeding, you might consider whether you can either separate all the roos from the hens until spring - or separate each roo with a few hens, so the boys aren't competing for hens. They tend to behave better when they're not showing off for the girls, and each other. [​IMG]

    And don't forget those teenager hormones are especially bad when they're first figuring out that they're boys, if you know what i mean.
     
  5. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    If you have the space - build a pen for just the boys - once away from the girls the fighting will simmer down. There will still be dominance squabbles, but 9 times out of 10 one cockerel will back down in a cockerel pen when they would not have if free ranging with "girls" around. Then you can process on your time, not rushed cause they are beating up the girls.


    I have a couple pens of boys. One is a horse pasture with a rabbit hutch. The hutch is sleeping quarters for two roosters (14 months old) who are just pets.

    Then I have another pen (40 feet by 15 feet) with a 4x4 coop - it houses up to 9 cockerels, who await a day with the hatchet.


    While my boys pens are right along side of my free ranging girls - the penned cockerels do not fight like they did when they free ranged.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    My normal advice is to keep as few roosters as possible to still meet your goals. You are less likely to have rooster problems that way. The way I read your post and signature, I think your goal is to have fertile eggs and that you do not have a whole lot of hens. I'd think one rooster would be plenty to achieve that goal.

    Cull does not necessarily mean kill. It means to select to remove from your flock. I raise chickens for meat as well as eggs so for me cull does pretty much mean kill, but for some people it means give away. If you hatch chicks, you will wind up with more roosters and maybe more hens than you want. You really need a plan to remove them from your flock.

    I don't mind the processing in general but I don't enjoy the killing part. It is just something I have to do to meet my goals. And, yes, the anatomy of a rooster and pheasant should be pretty much the same.
     
  7. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    PunkinPeep and Ridgerunner - I have 3 Roos and only 8 Hens. Roo boys are Duck Maran, Nugget Red Speckled Sussex and Blue Cream Legbar. All rare breeds really though the roos are not 100% as two of them have Leghorn in. BUt I wanted to put Duck to the Maran hen and get more Maran Hens, Nugget to the Red Sussex and get more of those and Blue my baby - to Omlet his own baby Maran Hen to get some Olive Eggers. So while I do have too many Roos right now each had a purpose and the two big boys were either going to the freezer or out to another flock. I didn;t want to keep those lads forever but Blue - well I love him and it would break my heart to kill him and really there is NO meat on him. He is very scrawney. He gives all the nice food to Omlet.

    HorseFeatherz NV - I did seperate the roo boys from the Hens. We had them in the Girl coop until they started Crowing but that Coop is on the neighbors side that complains so we took the boys out and gave them a coop behind the sheds the other side of our house. It was only then that the Roo boys started fighting - AFTER THERE WERE NO HENS!!!!!!! They actually behaved better when I got them out to free range with the girls as it seemed to calm them. Until today when that didn;t work either and we had to lift one by the tail and dump him back in the boy coop alone. The other two roos stayed out with the girls all day without bother. Thing is Nugget Seems to only have eyes for one hen and Blue another so they don;t really care when the big boy Duck is not there. He is deffinately the dominant Roo. Blue is the bottom and he is younger than the other boys, Nugget is the middle man.

    I have an issue with the girl pen at the moment as it is devided in two. The two younger chicks Blue and Omlet spend their day in there. and the hens have the other bit. Which has the coop in. Omlet should lay anyday as the other two baby hens laid their first eggs last week. We had to take the coop out of the run and put it the other side of the property for the roo boys though, so now Omlet and Blue have no proper day time cover or a laying nest as the Hens chase them away from the coop if I open the devider up.

    Also Gerty and Isobella hurt Blue if he goes in and they chase Omlet away from the nest boxes. Its all gotten a wee bit worrying right now. I seem to spend a deal of my day carrying Chickens from one pen to another. It is not what I wanted to do. The thing is if it were not for the neighbor I would just open it up and place Blue and Omlet in the coop and let them fight for a place but Blue can;t sleep there because he is noisy and so he ends up sleeping in the shed with Omlet ( They have never been away from eachother and pine if I part them - I mean they go mental and screech the place down!!!!! They are like an old married couple!!!) But this kind of means that Omlet never establishes herself in the hen house either????? I just think I am getting in a bit of a mess with it all now. I don;t really want to kill anyone but I have to and that is sad. Next year I will be in the same situation if I want more chicks. I have to think of getting my head round the Hatchet ( or rather Duck and Nuggets heads under it!!!)

    Oesdog - [​IMG] HELP???????
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  8. RareBreedFancier

    RareBreedFancier Surrounded by Broodies

    Nov 5, 2010
    Australia :)
    It does seem like you are having problems and not enjoying your flock as much with all that is going on.

    An option which you may or may not like, could you give they boys away if you can't kill them? (Since they are rare you might find it fairly easy to find them homes)

    Would buying pullet chicks next spring instead of breeding be an option? That would save you the problem of dealing with more roosters next year.

    If Duck and Nugget went that would give you a separate pen for Blue and Omlet, yes? This might be a good solution if you can't part with him and he can't live in the hen house next to your neighbors.

    I know how sad you must be but it's no good for you or them if your stressed, they are stressed and they are fighting.

    Good Luck [​IMG]
     
  9. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks for that - Yes we were thinking on those lines as there is a lot of money time and effort going into bringing your own birds up from eggs. The down side of course is that outside birds can bring disease and distress to an already established group. It is a hard call. DH is a bit sad over the prospect of killing his boys as he is quite a lot more attached than I am - or maybe he just thinks I would be upset. Funny how you get yourself into the thought of Meat birds and when it comes to it killing something you brought into the world nurtured and cared about, that is not easy and then the thought of eating that bird well maybe one would not enjoy that as much as one thought??? THough we have processed and eaten our lovely New Hampshire Hen Eleanor. She broke her neck accidently on the coop roof. We didn;t kill her and the kids still think it odd that Mummy was carrying Eleanor about crying cause she died and then when we had mourned her - I plucked, processed and cooked her>????? They think it bazzar but well she was dead and a chicken and I wasn;t about to waist the meat. Actually doing the killing bit well thats a different matter isn;t it.

    Oesdog - yeap stressed and worried [​IMG] - I guess I really did want a closed flock.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  10. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May i say please, that it sounds like you are of a practical enough mindset, that it might not bother you nearly as much as you think?

    I don't like killing my birds. But i want to not waste their lives. Some get to live longer lives that others, but they all will become meat for my freezer. I appreciate them and enjoy greatly, and when their usefulness in my flock is finished, they become useful in my freezer.

    I think that if you were able to process your beloved hen after her accidental death, that you might be just fine after you change your mindset a little bit.

    The first time i killed (my husband does the killing now), i used to even pray over the chickens before i killed them, thanking God for their beauty and enjoyment and asking Him to help me put them down quickly and efficiently so they wouldn't suffer. Then i would thank Him for the sustenance they would provide, and i would go for it. Getting my mind into a healthy mindset made a big difference.

    Now we do a lot more at a time, so hubby does the killing and plucking, and i do the rest. Though i still tend to write their names on the packaging in the freezer, if i know them. But the whole thing isn't nearly as traumatic as i thought it might be. And we have absolutely no trouble eating them when the time comes.
     

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