Friday, October 19, 2018

Roosters are the Bomb!

My son Sam with my buddy rooster Pepper

I know I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again, "Roosters rock!"  Poor roosters get a bad rap.  If you've ever been chased or flogged by a mean/bad rooster, then you know what I mean.  I have been blessed to raise all my roosters from young chicks and I really can't imagine having a flock without them.

Baby pic of one of our young roosters, Pip
(Silkie/Olive Egger mix)

Seriously, there are definite pluses if I didn't have roosters.  There wouldn't be that LOUD crowing at ALL hours of the night and day.  The hens wouldn't have bare backs.  The hens wouldn't be harassed on a daily basis.  Things might be a little quieter in the chicken yard.  HOWEVER, I would also miss that extra level of protection from predators, the referee who breaks up silly squabbles between hens, the protector who helps keep new babies safe in the chicken yard, and finally the comedy and antics that would be missed without my roosters.

Dudley, another one of our young roosters
(Black Copper Marans/Olive Egger mix)

To clarify, yes, I have had some bad/mean roosters that I have raised from babies.  When I see that their temperament and personality is going to be less than sociable, then we don't keep them.  Mine have all gone to freezer camp and been appreciated and enjoyed on the dinner table.  I have had some that have been sweet, but harass the hens way too much and have not been the protectors they need to be.  Those have either been rehomed or put to freezer camp.

Percival (Percy), our second in command in our main coop
(Plymouth Barred Rock/Silver-Laced Wyandotte-we think- mix)

I really don't like hatching eggs for the simple reason that I know I will have to deal with rooster decisions.  I want to keep them all, but of course you can't.  As it stands right now, before our last hatch I had gotten it down to 7 roosters.  Since this past spring due to hatches and a purchase of unsexed birds from a friend of my husband, I am back up to 14 and have more decisions to make.  Four of them are pretty easy since I am completely unattached and they will simply make some good future meals.  Of the remaining 3 we still want to keep 2.  The 3rd of the 3 is a sweetheart but I have no where to rehome him so alas, he will be appreciated for the food he provides my family.  Of the two extras we want to keep, one of them is the son of a rooster we had to rehome and is no longer alive and the other has found a very special place in my heart.

Hazel, our sweet silkie roo

If all goes as planned I suspect we will end up with 9 roosters.  That is still too many for the flock we have but if they behave we might pull it off.  I have 3 separate pens.  One pen has one rooster, another has two and my main pen with most of my hens has the other six roosters.  The six roosters include our patriarch, Cedric, who is crippled and pretty much lives inside the coop now, Percival and Kristoff (brothers, Kristoff is now the main rooster), Hazel (our silkie boy who is very quiet and keeps to himself, everyone loves him), and finally our two newest Pepper and Pip (pip is the son of our other silkie roo we no longer have and Pepper has become my newest buddy).

A mix pic of some of our boys.  The top left is Sir Galahad
 that we rehomed, but he perished.
The bottom left is Sweet Pea, another one of my favorites

When you have a rooster who does his job, he can be worth his weight in gold.  The extra protection and ability to help keep peace in the flock (except when they are acting up!!), is invaluable.  Have you had positive or negative experiences with roosters?  Would you, or do you keep roosters in your flock?

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