Topic of the Week - What do/can you do with unwanted roosters?

sumi

Égalité
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Yorkshire Coop

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I try to rehome any boys but unfortunately there are not always a lot of takers. I give myself a cut off point at how long I will try for and after that they are culled and put out as fox bait.

I mainly have always had polish boys which due their size do not warrant growing them on for meat. A larger breed and I certainly would.

I know it may seem harsh to some doing this but I know they have had a good life with me, the end is quick and they serve a purpose in the end.
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
10 Years
Feb 2, 2009
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First and foremost, if you don't have a plan for the cockerels don't hatch any eggs. They are your responsibility, act responsibly.

While you can eat any chicken of any age and sex, some breeds and crosses are going to give you some pretty small chickens. Still, people eat quail and they are pretty small. One option with unwanted males is to eat them at some point.

Another option is to kill unwanted males and dispose of the body. A lot of breeders and hatcheries do that with males and also unwanted females.

Depending on your set-up and how many you have you may be able to keep a few with your flock. This is more of an option for rural areas where space is plentiful, it will not work nearly as well in suburbia for several reasons.

You can create a bachelor pad, keep the males in their own flock. With no females to fight over they are generally peaceful. You have to build the extra facilities and feed non-productive chickens but you have that option.

You can try to sell or give them away. Realize when you do that you have lost control of their future. They are likely to be eaten.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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I've been able to sell one, gave a couple to folks who needed or wanted them.
But there are way more people who are also trying to get rid of them,
it's not worth the trouble(IMO) to post an ad then deal with all that.

I keep chickens for food and hatch yearly for replacement layers and don't have the resources to house and feed a nonproductive bird.
So.....
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I slaughter cockerels at 13-16 weeks, before they start causing chaos and while still tender enough to grill for that crispy skinned deliciousness. Not much meat but the grilled bones make for some excellent stock. Anything older than that I pressure cook until meat is done and is saved aside then a couple more hours to get that bone broth.

Resting the cleaned carcass in fridge for 48-72 hours for rigor to pass is essential for chewable meat from any bird(except maybe CX?). Tho no homegrown bird I've eaten, layer or meat breed, is as soft as a grocery bird, they are more 'toothsome'.
 

Harmony Fowl

Songster
Jul 17, 2017
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Virginia
We’ve eaten a few and plan to eat more. Before we did that, I gave some away. I still try to sell some that I think someone might actually want, but as default, I know a guy with snakes who’s happy to give me money for cockerels no one else will take for free. He says there’s a market out there and I wish I could take more advantage of it, but my family insists on eating the majority of birds ourselves.
 
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