To Cull or not to Cull...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mes06a, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. mes06a

    mes06a New Egg

    Mar 14, 2015
    Please accept my sincerest apologies for the title.

    My wonderful wife and I have a less than wonderful Dominique cockerel, Richard. Now, I realize that it is indeed less than wonderful of me to tell you, so directly, that ol' Rick is less than wonderful. Nevertheless, he is quite unpleasant. We did not intend to get a rooster, however, finding ourselves with one, we endeavored to make the best of it. Richard has endeavored to thwart our efforts.

    He is aggressive.

    Let me be quite plain. He is a fierce specimen...more closely resembling a haughty, barred chimera (chimaera if you prefer) than the oldest extant American breed of gallus gallus domesticus. He breathes fire....almost.

    He is aggressive toward our hens. He is aggressive toward our dog (the two have fortunately never been allowed to face-off). He considers himself more than my match and most importantly...he has it out for my wonderful wife.

    Now. I realize that some may think that I am guilty of anthropomorphism or mere vilification but I assure you that Richard more than lives up to the most common nickname for that given name... My wife cannot set foot in our backyard without him attacking her.

    I am by no means a fan of the idea of having to cull Richard. He is a truly beautiful, albeit difficult and cantankerous, bird. I assure you that the situation seems to warrant such an extreme measure. I can further assure you that I do not relish this and have not reached this conclusion easily.

    I was asking advice from a co-worker who has experience raising chickens. He told me that we can cull the cockerel, but that this action will cause the hens to stop laying. He said that in Richard's absence (no, he did not call him by name), the hens may lay for an additional week or so but will soon cease laying.

    I'm aware that hens do not need a rooster to lay eggs. My questions are:

    1.) Will my hens, who are accustomed to the presence of a rooster, stop laying if Richard longer be with us...or anyone?

    2.) If we do cull dear Richard, would we need to replace him with another rooster?

    3.) Would my day time free ranging hens be in greater danger in our fenced yard without a rooster?

    4.) Do I need to grant Richard a reprieve and simply allow him to mature before taking such a drastic measure?

    I am truly grateful for any and all advice. I am open to alternatives but am not interested in being overly criticized for considering culling (yes, that does mean killing) my rooster. He is be-feathered. I am therefore fairly certain that he is not a person and is not truly sapient. Don't judge me.

    Actually, do judge me, just not too much on that one...
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  2. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 28, 2008
    If he is aggressive towards your pullets/hens, they will probably celebrate his removal. They will certainly not stop laying (as you already know).You do not need to replace him if you do not wish to have another cockerel or rooster. Personally I have never found a rooster to be a predator deterrent. If you have a fenced yard your main problem will be raptors. While others have reported their males have successfully deterred hawks, my experience has been otherwise. I had a 9 lb Wyandotte rooster taken out by a 2.5 lb Cooper's hawk.

    If you have someone willing to help you cull him, go for it. If you do want a new cockerel for what limited protection they provide this time of year is perfect. Tons of unexpected, well-behaved, non-human aggressive males are looking for homes.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Off with his head, Richard sounds like a wretched excuse for a rooster, I love roosters have many, Richard would be gone, I will not be terrorized by my poultry, takes all the joy out of it, your hens will be happy he's gone, get another if you want one, your hens will adjust and be fine without one.
  4. blkjak

    blkjak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2014
    Manitoba Canada
    I agree, your hens will thank you with eggs and you and your wife will be able to enjoy your chickens without having to watch your backs. I have made soup out if a few roosters who were just nasty in life but tasted really good!
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    "Nasty roosters taste best" is so true! He's an idiot and a menace, and needs to be gone as soon as possible. I have always had roosters, and after my first miserable obnoxious one, have never put up with that kind of behavior! mary
  6. mes06a

    mes06a New Egg

    Mar 14, 2015
    Thank you all for the support in my struggle with Richard. Although I was quite skeptical of the notion that our hens would stop laying if I cull him, I am relieved to hear that that is not accurate.

    ....I feel like that would be Richard's way of getting back at me from beyond the crockpot.
  7. trailrider330

    trailrider330 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2013
    Midwest America
  8. Daethen

    Daethen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2015
    Southwest Wisconsin
    I just got a small 14 hen flock that also included 5 roosters. They were very mean to the hens and started to be aggressive to my daughter. They are now taking up space in my freezer. They are very well behaved in there.
    1 person likes this.
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
  10. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

    Mar 3, 2011
    The Land of Enchantment
    I culled one of my cockerels today. He was too aggressive. Gorgeous, but too aggressive and had to go.

    Unfortunately I probably have 2-3 more growing up now. Nice = free food and housing for life. Spur me once = you're out of here!

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