what do you do with your illegal roosters?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 27, 2010
hi, I'm a new chickenista who has 10 chicks of assorted breeds. I bought 6 from the feed store- supposedly they're all pullets but I assume their precision isnt as good as McMurrays or some place like that. Anyway, I have 4 from MMH also. My question is if/when I discover that one of my pullets is a cockerel, what do I do with the cockerel? i cant have roosters in my borough, dont want them anyway. Ive seen people post them for free on craigslist and at the feed store, but I dont think I'll be lucky enough to find someone who would want him. What have you done? Do you eat them at the 6-8 week stage, when they're discovered?
You can always give the re-homing a try. But if you don't find takers and consider butchering the boys for the table you should wait until they are nearly grown. At 6 to 8 weeks, they are way small (only the cornish crosses, the meat type chickens, will be large enough at his age). A standard sized rooster will be grown out at around 16 weeks. Some cockerels start crowing early and others take a long time. So, I suggest waiting until either their crowing could get you in trouble or they are grown big enough to give you a good meal.
Good luck and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that your chicks are all girls!
Well, you're in PA and so am I, and well, I can have roosters.

You can always find someone who will take roosters. One of the farmers down the road from me said he would let me bring any roosters to his place if I decided I didn't want them. All I've ever seen at his place is rooster and guineas. You can always advertise on craigslist.

I live in the city and I can't have roosters either. I tried to hatch 19 mail-order eggs last spring, only three hatched and one died within a few days. I raised the remaining two. At a bout 9 weeks it became apparent that the larger dominant one was a rooster (he started to crow LOUDLY), I posted an add on CL and found a home for him. The lady who took him brought him to her mother's farm in Minnesota where he's living with his own flock of hens. I also had a few offers from folks who planned to take him and butcher him, which could be an option if you don't want to butcher yourself.

The second chick I hatched had a gimpy leg and grew a lot slower. I assumed it was a hen until one day about a month later he started to crow too. Since it didn't seem like his genetics were worth passing on, we butchered him. He was small, but he provided a good meal for my family, and I didn't really have a choice since I have a few more hens than I'm supposed to and I don't want to draw unnecessary attention to my backyard.

I'd advise trying to re-home the roosters on CL, and if that doesn't work either butcher yourself or find someone who will take them for free and butcher him for their table.
I'll remember you said that. Im in Morrisville, we could meet in the middle in Allentown and do a hand off!
We ate ours. I know some people have a hard time eating their "pets" but for us it was a practicality thing. I.e., we have to eat and the chickens in the store were once living animals too. In the case of our own chickens, we knew the kind of life they had had (free-ranged, fed treats every day, HAPPY!) and we researched for a long time before doing it to find the most humane way to process them. I don't believe they suffered much if at all, and they were treated with respect and dignity right up to the last moment, which is more than can be said for commercial meat chickens. So for me it wasn't an issue but I do recognize that not everyone would want to do this. I also wanted my kids to know "where their food comes from". We used every last part of them that we could (made stock from feet etc) so that their lives weren't wasted at all. The way we look at it - the girls provide food in the form of eggs and the boys in the form of meat. As for age, we did the first three when they were 16-18 weeks of age and the last one when he was about 23 weeks. They didn't crow until about 16 weeks so I figured there was nothing for any of our city neighbors to object to until then. At 6-8 weeks, most dual purpose birds are still not going to be near the size to provide a decent meal, so if you decide to go this route, I really think you'll want to wait until they are older/bigger.
We have an educational farm down the road that took a bunch of cockerels off our hands. A friend put his on Craig's list and that worked quickly. Where we live, you can't have males in town but you can just outside, so there's usually someone around who will take a boy off your hands. Good luck!
I'm in South Central PA and decided to rehome my 2 one year old roos after DH complained that they crowed half the night (they did) and he wasn't getting enough sleep. Also they were being too hard on the girls ~ had most of them bald from mating.

I put an ad on Craig's List offering to sell them for $5. each or 2 for $8. I had a couple drive over an hour each way from Maryland to get them. They were looking for new blood for their EE hens. My roos were EE/Spangled Russian Orloff mixes. I liked the couple so much I just gave the roos to them instead of charging them. I was surprised that I actually had several people interested in "buying" them so you might be surprised that people may want them.

Good Luck and
that you have all pullets!
we have every intention of killing/eating our chickens, my husband keeps reminding me they're not pets (although he called me from work just now to ask how our sick Brahma chick is, hmmm...). We also want our kids to know about the cycle of life and the food chain. they know these chicks are a future dinner (they're only 5 and 6 though, we'll see how they react when the time comes).
I cartainly hope if we have roosters they'll delay crowing till a decent age, if not off they go to chicknjane- hahahah

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