Too Many Cockerels?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by arpyhh, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. arpyhh

    arpyhh In the Brooder

    When we bought our day-old baby chicks this spring we knew that there was a (good) chance we would end up with a rooster amongst our laying hens, even though the backyard breeder we got them from tried to convince me she could sex them at 90% accuracy. HA!
    A rooster wasn't really in our plans....
    So now that they are about 11 weeks old, we have come to realize that we have not one, not two, no, not even three, but FOUR cockerels!

    My one and only experience with roosters was being viciously attacked every time I entered the coop (he didn't remain in my care :-( )
    SO I don't know what to do with theses guys... Our primary motivation for having a flock was to get eggs. I am torn as to what we should or can do with four roosters!
    I have young kids, and I worry that they can get hurt. We are very hands on with our flock and are somewhat attached to all of them...

    Eating them isn't an option!

    Please- I need advice here.

  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    You would need at least forty hens to be able to keep four roosters. Otherwise, the females will get mated too often, and their backs will get torn up. Also, if you have more than one rooster, they may fight.

    I would get rid of all but one of the roosters. Pick the nicest, least dominant one, and problems later on in life with him being aggressive will be minimized. Handle your rooster every day. If he pecks you, peck him back. If he attacks you, pin him to the ground and keep him down. You don't have to be mean about, it, but you have to let him know that you are boss.

    If you want to keep all four roosters, build another coop, just for roosters. If all of your roosters are kept away from hens, they will not fight, at least not seriously.
  3. jesirose

    jesirose Songster

    Mar 14, 2012
    McKinney, TX
    If you don't want to process them, then sell them or give them away. You can use Craigslist or ask around at the local feed store. Our first batch of chickens was 75% roosters, and the feed store just took them back for us. (They had huge coops and runs for all the birds people brought them - they went in with all the other roosters and some turkeys. The females for sale were on the other side of the property so the roosters didn't fight.)
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    If you are new to this, and have small children, I would strongly recommend getting rid of all the roosters. I think roosters are for adult homes, and with experienced poultiers. Small children can be seriously injured with roosters, and roosters often ruin the enjoyment of hens in a small space.

    Let all of them go..... in a couple of years, your children will be older, you will have more experience, and then if you want, try a rooster.

    Mrs K
    2 people like this.
  5. I am attached to all my boys too, not enough hens. I had to get a separate coop for 3 of them 2 in one coop 1 in the other. (They were picking on the one). We almost had to give them away. They attack a little bit. There are ways to train them. I have been trying to find ways, one way is pick them up. Then gently put 2 fingers (1 on each side of the top part) on his neck. That feels to him like another rooster is on killing him. Then you keep doing that when u hold him and he sees your giving him a chance and becomes nicer. It worked on my boys. But if u stop doing it they get mean again. I would try that before they get mean(If they get mean). Whether they are mean or not you need 8 - 12 hens per rooster. And I do respect that you don't want to kill/eat them I would never kill my boys either. (or any rooster). I hope your boys are nice! Good Luck!
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    1. You didn't want roosters in the first place
    2. You have small children
    3. You're not experienced chicken keepers
    4. You really don't want roosters now, you just got some by accident

    Put an ad on craigslist, flyer at the feed store, things like that. Don't expect any money for them, except maybe the Polish cause they're cute, and don't ask what they're being bought for, unless you get a strong cock-fighting vibe. Really, most roosters don't live a long and happy life, and there are worse things than a good (short) life and one bad day. I fully understand you not wanting to eat them, but understand there aren't many forever homes for roosters.
    1 person likes this.
  7. arpyhh

    arpyhh In the Brooder

    Thank you ALL for your sage advice...
    I know you're right about this. I will try to find them a home.

    I'm too emotionally involved to be a good farmer I think.
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Yeah, it sucks to get attached. It doesn't help when kids are involved. The good thing is, I think the kids are a lot more resilient about having to get rid of an animal like this than we are! You just have to matter of fact explain why you can't keep them and how they're going to go to a better home. I'd skip the potential dinner thing, though [​IMG] I'm a firm believer in kids being on a need to know basis!
    1 person likes this.
  9. aldarita

    aldarita Songster

    Aug 2, 2012
    Brenham TX
    I am exactly in the same train like you. I have to rehome 6 (maybe more) of my 12 week cockerels, they are absolutely beautiful. I can only keep 2 because of my pullet ratio and how do you select the ones you want to keep when they are all so beautiful?
    I am not a good farmer either, it is going to be a sad day when the cockerels go.
  10. lilliesanchicks

    lilliesanchicks Songster

    Feb 14, 2013
    I have to sell a bunch of roosters tomorrow some where packing peanuts some are from hatching last year. I realy don't want to but only I would eat them if I processed them.
    So my only choice was to find a place that I could sell them as no one wanted then when I posted them online. So they are going to an animal auction place. [​IMG]

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