We all know that when we let our hens sit or we buy straight run chicks, we are going to get roosters and extra roosters are a very bad thing in a flock.. the boys will start fighting. Injuries between them increase but the worst is that they will do WAY too much wear and tear on your hens.
Keeping a good rooster in the flock is needed to me.. There are some really great reasons to keep a rooster or roosters in your flock.
Roosters are needed to make chicks! LOL Reason NUMBER one for sure for me.
Roosters are flock protectors, they will and have over the years given their lives in protecting the hens and chicks from both dangers on the ground and in the sky!
Roosters make the hens happy, I know this sounds like a strange one, but when you see them together, you will see the boy present gifts.. Here I found something really nice to eat.. come my pretty little hens
A truly great rooster will dance for his girls, he is a gentleman in this way and the hens do seem to enjoy their dancing if you know what I mean LOL
However in my laying flock of twenty (with the youngest girls still not quite laying age yet) I have three roosters. They get along and if they did not, I would be removing one or more of them, I want good temperaments breed into the next generation.
These boys were lovely, they had good temperaments, they had excellent genes but they were mixed breed. The oldest was about 8 months and the youngest were five months. It was more then time to butcher them out in the cooler weather. As soon as they were clearly roosters an old enough to be away from mom (after she started laying eggs again) They were run in their own pen. Think of it as a male only pen.. lots of crowing but no fighting as no stress of breeding females. No big older males beating them up. A much better way to be raised then in the mixed flock. Only one male of this grow out pen made the cut to be moved to the mixed breed pen as a young up and coming back up rooster.
Nothing will be wasted, the main bulk of the meat will go for household use. Some of has been de-boned, some of it will be used bone in and a good amount will be aged and then simmered for soup stock. Its been a productive day on the farm. Its never a good day when its a butcher day. Having said that there is a sense of pride in the meat I bring into the house. Some of these boys are third or more generation of self-hatched, momma raised here on the farm chickens. I have known them since they were hatched and they were raised and treated no different up until today then their hen sisters. They had a good life with one bad moment.
The extra’s above that will go for critter use, the feathers will go for crafting and or will be used in both compost and put in a tub with water and they will be composted down for later use in the gardens.
It means I will have one of my winter pens to clean out and get ready for whatever its used for next 🙂