What to do with too many roos

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Diavolicchio, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Diavolicchio

    Diavolicchio Buk Buk Buk Buh-GAWWWK

    I've got two newbie questions I'd like to ask of you seasoned chicken folks . . .

    I'm soon to be starting my own flock and will be getting a few rarer varieties as fertilized eggs that I'll be hatching at our farm. I'm raising my flock primarily for eggs, but I also want to breed my own additional birds over time to develop the best flock possible. Regarding numbers, my goal is to end up with a flock of about 8 times the number of hens than roosters. Once the eggs hatch, I'm guessing that I'll likely end up with more or less an even amount of girls and boys at the beginning. I'm not counting on finding neighbors who want to adopt any extra roosters, so I'm curious what most chicken folks do is this situation with all of their extra cockerels. Do folks typically raise everything to the 12 week stage and have whichever birds butchered that they don't want for their flock? Or do people generally cull the cockerels once the chicks have been sexed and they've decided which they want to keep? My concern is that the coop will become quite overcrowded if I raise everything to the 12 week stage.

    Second, I'm curious how old cockerels generally need to get before it's apparent to someone who understands chickens which best meet the Standard of Perfection and are the best to keep for breeding purposes.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

  2. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2010
    Bump. Same questions I have since I will be starting a heritage breed flock in the spring. Anyone? I'm going to raise Javas.
  3. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2010
    In your situation, I would try to sell the extras - lots of folks like fancy chickens. Post in local classifieds or sale newsletters. You could also try a flea market, if one close by allows you to sell animals. (Just don't mix any unsold ones back in your flock, because of exposure at the market; let 'em go cheap at the end of the day.)

    If you do decide to raise the cockerels to eating size, you'll want a separate pen. They can get very aggressive with each other and the hens if there are too many.
  4. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I post mine on craigslist as soon as I can tell which ones are roosters- I'll throw in girls if I have to. [​IMG] If they are purebred, I would also call your local 4-H - they took a bunch of my 'interesting' roos!
  5. queenbeezz

    queenbeezz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Craig's list. I got rid of all my extras in a few days.
  6. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    You're right that raising them to eating size takes time, space and resources. I am not a breeder so do not have the number of excess roos that you will have. Nevertheless, having bought a straight run group as my starter flock, I did end up with some roos that I processed at 16-17 weeks. I can't say the feed to meat conversion ratio was that good but the meat sure was.

    I just hatched out my first batch and would love to be able to hatch more. I also keep snakes and one of my thoughts has been that if I could identify the males under the age of 2 weeks (about the biggest my snakes would be able to manage), I could use the males as snake food. And before anyone jumps on me - hey, a snake has to eat too. Right now I'm feeding the snakes frozen rats that I purchase so I figure that every chick the snakes eat saves one rat's life. In order for this to work though, I either need to get very good at vent sexing (something I've yet to try) or make sure the eggs I'm hatching are sex-linked. So its just an idea in the works at the moment. However you might try posting an ad on your local Craigslist and see if you have a market in your area for snake food. Snakes bigger than mine would be able to handle bigger chickens so even if you had to wait until they were 12 weeks old (most roos are easily identifiable younger than that though), you might find you have someone willing to buy them from you for that purpose.
  7. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I eat my extra roos.

    I have a grow out pen, that the boys go into at about 12 weeks of age and hang out until 5/6 months or so. If at 6 months they look really good and are a possible breeding cockerel, I will keep them around longer to let them mature a bit more (some breeds can take 12 to 18 months to finish growing).
  8. Junkmanme

    Junkmanme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chicken ala King. Chicken Noodle soup, "smoked" chicken sandwiches, chicken, mushroom, and rice "stuffed peppers",
    Chicken Cacciatore, Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken Rockefeller, Rockefeller Chicken, Chicken Jerky, Pickled chicken, ...............
    Cornish Game ROOSTER, etc.
  9. draye

    draye Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2010
    Eat them, We can ours after butchering ours, pressure cook them and pack into jars with broth and seal using pressure cooker.
    Makes for quick easy made meals.
  10. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    Quote:we use a pressure cooker too. It makes them more tender. If they are rare or unique you could probably find them a new home.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by