Unexpected Rooster Questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Janay, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. Janay

    Janay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2013
    Cape Cod, MA
    My Coop
    Today I received my order of 15 chicks. As I placed them in the brooder, I realized that there were a bunch more than I ordered. Turns out 10 were added (without charge) as MALES FOR WARMTH. I was not expecting that. So I now have 25 chicks and am trying to figure out what to do. I can't keep any of the roosters as it is illegal in my town. Not interested anyway. My family wants to slaughter them, which is ok with me. We have a friend who knows how to slaughter. At what age will I be able to tell roosters from hens? I have Wyandottes, Brabanters, and Rhode Island Reds. My coop is not at all big enough for 25 chickens so I need to get rid of these roosters before I move the chicks to the coop, which I hope to do in April. Does anyone have any idea how I can go about slaughtering these roos and when?
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Even at this stage you should be able to identify the male packing peanuts. They should all look the same (probably yellow). Raising them alongside the pullets is no more work right now. In about a month, you will need to enlarge (double) the space they have. By April when they go out to the coop, they will be too small to process and "shouldn't" have any behavioral issues. If the space is the right size for 15 adult hens, it will be fine for 25 8 weeks olds. If you can push things out until the end of May, they will be a better size making it worth to butcher. You might be able to find someone who will take them around 12 weeks and grow them out for another 4+ weeks for 1/2 the birds.
  3. kgby13

    kgby13 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 7, 2013
    Not sure on the answer to your question but interested where you purchased then. Pm me please
  4. farmgirl200

    farmgirl200 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2015
    Maybe don't slaughter them. I mean try to find a home for them first. It's sort of sad thinking that they don't have a chance. Do what you want but I just hate to hear this sort of thing:(
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Being raised properly to a good butcher weight is not not being given a chance. Finding homes for unwanted cockerels is not as easy as some would like to think and, in most cases, those cockerels are bound for the stew pot at the new home anyway, so it really isn't changing anything other than who reaps the benefits of the care and feed put into them.
    2 people like this.
  6. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2014
    Buffalo Wyoming
    I do occasionally have to put excess roosters in the freezer. But it hurts my feelings to do it. That's why I usually have 6 or 7 roosters running around here. I've had good luck with selling a few of them on Craig's List. Or just offer them free to someone who will raise them for meat.
    I can usually pick out the roosters by 5 or 6 weeks old. If the comb starts enlarging or turning red then you have a roo. [​IMG]
  7. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    That happened to me last year. I ordered 7 pullets and they threw in 8 Rhode Island Red "males for warmth"! One of the 4-H families took them off my hands and raised them for meat as I just didn't have the coop space for that many birds.

    I've butchered cockerels of dual-purpose breeds around 16 to 18 weeks of age, but there's not much meat on them. Perhaps they'd fill out faster kept in a all-male group and fed broiler ration, but I've usually fed them alongside the pullets I'm raising.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  8. Janay

    Janay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2013
    Cape Cod, MA
    My Coop
    Thank you all for the input. I will think about it and talk to my family too. Any other thoughts or ideas are welcome.
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Not sure if it's where the OP went, but Ideal commonly does this.

    If you want to raise them for slaughter, the best age range for processing is around 4-5 months old. How you raise them until then can be an issue. They can stay with the pullets for a few months, and you can process a few birds each week as they start crowing and trying to mate. This would keep the pullets from getting overmated, but your males can be on the small side. I'd plan to have spearate housing for them starting around 3-4 months, pull all the males to another pen to raise for another 1-2 months. Process all at once or a few at a time then, according to your pleasure. I like my meat birds on the larger side, so I like to keep them a touch longer.
    2 people like this.
  10. Janay

    Janay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2013
    Cape Cod, MA
    My Coop
    The problem is I have no where to keep the roosters separately. I'm afraid I'll have to process them early or sell/give them away. I just don't have the space to keep them for longer. Plus, as I said, it's illegal here to have roosters.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015

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