What's your too-many-roos story? We've had about 50 chickens free-ranging here, as well as turkeys and ducks.

mamasimba

Chirping
Jan 4, 2012
5
3
61
We've had as many as 50 chickens, about a dozen of whom were roos. One of our adult roos, having no hens of his own, adopted our big setting turkey hen as "his big woman" and and kept guard over her while she was setting. Another young roo, obviously hormonally driven and lacking a hen, tried a relationship with a single male duck (not a successful or satisfactory arrangement, to say the least). Eventually, all our extra young roos met their demise on one day, as I got fed up with their crowing and squabbling and assaults on ducks and decided to "go hunting" for them with a 22 rifle. This was an efficient way to thin our free-ranging roos without having to catch them all -- but to this day, I still miss that crowd of free-rangers as an extremely interesting few months. All I have now is 3 Ameraucana hens and an ambitious young Bantam rooster. I thought I really knew about chickens after hatching eggs, brooding chicks, and free-ranging birds in those past years, but I had no internet then. I've learned much more from closely watching my few new chickens, getting to know them better, and looking up my questions on the web. Thanks for a great website!
 

Sally PB

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
1,916
4,631
233
Belding, MI
I got my first flock of chicks this last spring. Yep, Covid chicks, like so many other people. I got three Black Australorp pullets and three straight run Buff Orpintons. I didn't know that "straight run" actually means, "we can't tell that it's a pullet, and it's probably is a boy." Sure enough, even though I thought my chances of all cockerels was 1 in 8, ha ha, I got three cockerels.

At four months, hormones hit, and two of them turned into mean, unruly, pullet raping SOBs. Finally, the girls wouldn't even get off the roost. I went in, fed and watered them out of a bowl in my hand. They scarfed that stuff down! I knew those two boys had to go.

My husband had told me that he was happy to eat the eggs, but would have nothing to do with culling any birds. I couldn't find anyone to take them, even for chicken dinner, some disassembly required.

I ended up catching them with a fishing net, taking them behind the garden shed, and shooting them with a .22. Then I buried them in the garden. And I cried, hard. Even though they bit me and were terrorizing the girls, I knew it wasn't their fault they were born male.

But then there was peace in my flock. The remaining cockerel is good with the pullets. He tidbits, there's no evidence of overmating (even with just three pullets), and he looks out for them. When I hand out treats, he passes off the bits I give to him to one of the girls. He eats the fourth or fifth one.
 

ronott1

A chicken will always remember the egg
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
Mar 31, 2011
65,970
179,088
1,982
Woodland, CA
My Coop
I got my first flock of chicks this last spring. Yep, Covid chicks, like so many other people. I got three Black Australorp pullets and three straight run Buff Orpintons. I didn't know that "straight run" actually means, "we can't tell that it's a pullet, and it's probably is a boy." Sure enough, even though I thought my chances of all cockerels was 1 in 8, ha ha, I got three cockerels.

At four months, hormones hit, and two of them turned into mean, unruly, pullet raping SOBs. Finally, the girls wouldn't even get off the roost. I went in, fed and watered them out of a bowl in my hand. They scarfed that stuff down! I knew those two boys had to go.

My husband had told me that he was happy to eat the eggs, but would have nothing to do with culling any birds. I couldn't find anyone to take them, even for chicken dinner, some disassembly required.

I ended up catching them with a fishing net, taking them behind the garden shed, and shooting them with a .22. Then I buried them in the garden. And I cried, hard. Even though they bit me and were terrorizing the girls, I knew it wasn't their fault they were born male.

But then there was peace in my flock. The remaining cockerel is good with the pullets. He tidbits, there's no evidence of overmating (even with just three pullets), and he looks out for them. When I hand out treats, he passes off the bits I give to him to one of the girls. He eats the fourth or fifth one.
:hugs Having to cull birds is very hard!

hatched chicks that are suffering is on of the worst ones for me
 

Sally PB

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
1,916
4,631
233
Belding, MI
hatched chicks that are suffering is on of the worst ones for me
Oh, I can imagine! I will probably have to face that day sometime too. I hope to hatch some BO over BA next spring. And then I'll have to deal with excess cockerels again, I'm sure. But I will never buy straight run again.
 

ronott1

A chicken will always remember the egg
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
Mar 31, 2011
65,970
179,088
1,982
Woodland, CA
My Coop
Oh, I can imagine! I will probably have to face that day sometime too. I hope to hatch some BO over BA next spring. And then I'll have to deal with excess cockerels again, I'm sure. But I will never buy straight run again.
It helps to have a plan for what to do with the extra cockerels. There might be a rooster rescue in your area or an Animal auction to sell them.

Expect that you may have to cull a chick when hatching and be ready for it. It helps!
 

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