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Urban Roosters, please give your advice. Thanks!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by A2I, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. A2I

    A2I New Egg

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    Hi, I am in New Zealand. We live on an urban property and were given 6 chicks to raise. Four turned out to be roosters and now they are crowing. I've thought about different ways to quiet them down so the neighbours dont get upset or have asked people about letting them go, that is releasing them into the wild bush. The bush here in NZ has very little to no predators as far as I know however the people I have asked here sayu that is is cruel and they will starve, not being able to survive and look after themselves, chickens are dependent on humans to live... and I just wanted to hear a few comments regarding that last statement from knowledgable people here on this forum. I dont like the idea of abandoning animals and I dont really want to kill them... at all really and I am trying ti exast all the possiblilites prior to that option, there was never an interest to look after them to kill and eat them, only for eggs... however I now think the person who gave them to us so eagerly recognised them as roosters when they were chicks.

    The other option I have been thinking about is making a large coop for the four roosters but at a low level for them to roam about in freely just low enough to prevent them from stretching out and crowing. That way we would take care of them and feed them. Perhaps some might find that cruel also. I dont know, plesae give some thoughts. I've found them out to be incredibly intelligent little creatures and we have made an attachment, we are going off eating meat altogether (vegetarian) and I would just like to hear some suggestions from others.

    Thanks in advance!

    V.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree that it would inhumane to let them loose. When they are raised in captivity, they don't really know how to fend for themselves in the wild and can end up starving. I also don't think your option of keeping them in a low enclosure so they can't stretch out and crow, will work. I've seen them crowing while sitting on a roost, so they can do it without stretching out, and will feel compelled to shout out to the world - because that's what Mother Nature tells them to do.

    If you aren't able to find homes for them in a more rural area (here we have Craigslist where we can list items for free - do you have anything similar?) you might need to look at culling them humanely.

    It is not something I like to do but....when 50% of chicks hatched are roos, and at best only 1 roo is needed per 10 or so hens, that is a lot of roos who have no place in the world (doesn't even take into account the urban flocks where no roosters can be kept). So I've resigned myself that when I hatch roos and can't keep them, I have no choice. What I did do is research very thoroughly so that I feel comfortable that my boys don't suffer. When they hatch, they spend 16-18 weeks living a great life - free-ranging my urban back yard eating greens, dust bathing, feeling the sun on their backs and having unlimited access to food and water. When it comes their time, I try to keep them relaxed and at peace. I now have the process down so that I hit the main artery first time, every time, and they bleed out so quickly that by the time they would have registered pain from the slice, they are too unconscious to be aware of it. I will never enjoy doing it - but roos are a reality we have to face in this hobby.
     
  3. Smiles-N-Sunshine

    Smiles-N-Sunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There aren't too many options for roos. Rehoming is an option, if you can find someone outside of town willing to take them in - but you'd have to take him/her at his/her word about keeping them alive, and for how long.

    A sound-proofed coop may be an option, but I imagine it could become expensive, and the roos won't have the same quality of life as the hens out scratching in the yard.

    It is possible to have a rooster de-crowed, but from what I've read, it's a tricky, risky, and expensive operation.

    I don't know about zoning ordinances and enforcement in New Zealand, but here in rural Arizona the inspectors don't go canvassing door-to-door. They respond to complaints from neighbors. And a few dozen eggs from the hens can make neighbors quite neighborly.

    Hope that helped a little, I was just thinking out loud mostly. Good luck!

    Bryan
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    This is exactly my point of view. Even though it costs more for me to raise these birds than I can buy an organic free range chicken at Whole Foods market for, I do it to accommodate the 'no kill' hatcheries and my own incubation. And they're delicious.

    Letting them loose in the wild isn't a good option. There are predators everywhere and will eventually get eaten. We have coops, not because the chickens need a house, but to keep them from being dinner for an animal.
    Housing them in cramped quarters is cruel too. I talk to my neighbors and keep the roos confined till everyone is up or left for work.
    You still have too many roos for your hens and they'll fight.
    It's better to feed your family some well cared for nutritious protein.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  5. stcroixusvi

    stcroixusvi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 roos and understand your problem. There is no way to humanely prevent them from making the noise they make. We have one that spends his nights in the garage, and even when it is pitch black in there, he will crow. They are like dogs barking - if something alarms them, they crow. Not sure where the myth of crowing at sunrise came from - probably someone who wanted to give a roo away to some unsuspecting person.

    We are building another coop. Still, I wish I had the nerve to HEchicken does - I have no trouble eating chicken, but cannot bring myself to eat my own chickens. I do not think they should be turned loose. We had one roo that ran away from our dominant roo and spent the night in our wilderness. He was so relieved to see me in the morning, he patiently waited while I picked him up. At this point, your guys are domesticated, not wild.

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  6. Mudpuddle

    Mudpuddle Out Of The Brooder

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    I also live in an urban setting and have had the same problem, I keep 1 roo for furtle eggs an my neibors have gotten used to him, but more than 1is to many and they will soon start to ware your hens out. I have always sold my exess roos or given them away for free if they dont sell.
     
  7. A2I

    A2I New Egg

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    Thanks for the replies so far, I appreciate your time in giving advice. Four out of six have started crowing and have done for a few weeks now... two have not, is that enough to confirm the two that dont are hens? How can I tell for sure? and do I need at least one rooster to keep them laying eggs? Sorry if my questions appear naive and thanks again for your time.
     
  8. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA

    They don't need a rooster to lay eggs. If you could post a picture of them, we can help you tell if they're hens. [​IMG]
     
  9. Mudpuddle

    Mudpuddle Out Of The Brooder

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    Yep they should probubly "look" like roosters if they are old enough to crow
     
  10. A2I

    A2I New Egg

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    I think the brown and speckled ones are hens.

     

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