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What to do with your roosters
I am wondering how to deal with my roosters. I would like to give my hens a break from the roosters but I don't really have a way to separate them. And I am looking into having even more roosters around long-term in the future than I have now, for breeding purposes.
Does anyone have any advice for me in this area?
Friday, August 19th, 2022
Personally I rarely hang on to a rooster for more than one season to avoid any risk of him breeding with his daughters.
Friday, August 19th, 2022
Well, it is fine if he mates his daughters you just don't want to hatch those eggs. And I would be specific about which roosters I breed with which hens.
Saturday, August 20th, 2022
Are you uncomfortable dispatching them yourself? Rooster meat makes excellent dog or cat food, and cooks up quickly in a pressure cooker. We eat it ourselves, you can put interesting spice rubs or sauces on it, etc. It definitely has a "wilder" taste than a store bought chicken, but it makes amazing fortifying soup stock. Pressure cooking it breaks down the connective tissue so it isn't tough or stringy, and the comb and wattles are a powerful natural source of hyaluronic acid, important for joint health and skin elasticity.
Generally, when they start harassing the hens and the hens start to get bald backs and look haggard, that is a sign I need to do a rooster cull. You will never be short on roosters. I only keep them around if they are an exceptionally rare pure breed that is hard to find. Do a cull and give the hens a bit of a rest. There will be plenty of cocks of all kinds in time for spring lay, ready for a fresh season.
Thursday, September 8th, 2022
No. I am not uncomfortable about dispatching them myself. I do dispatch extra roosters that I don't want. And I do like eating the meat off of chickens that have been more free range like mine rather than those you would buy in the shop. And to deal with the toughness factor in some birds I think my Mom would usually put their meat in a crockpot or in the oven and cook them at a lower heat for a good chunk of time. Although I am not sure exactly as I am not the cook around here usually.:)
But the reason I wouldn't just get rid of my roosters as soon as signs are showing on the hens is just that some of them I want to use for breeding. If you are trying at all to breed for certain characteristics or anything like that you can't just get rid of your roosters and buy in new ones every year.
What I was kind of thinking was to build some little hoop coups similar to the ones you can find in the article on the link pasted below.
The other thing is I want to be as self-supporting as I can. I want to get the chickens I need and then keep breeding them and buy in new ones as little as possible. This is sort of a hobby of mine. But I also want to make some money off of them. If I can't make them profitable then I will probably just get rid of them.
Saturday, September 10th, 2022
Make a little ark for them. They could go in the house at night with the girls and spend the day in the ark. I don't know if anyone's tried it, but could you tether them somehow? The hens could simply stay out of range then.
Monday, September 12th, 2022
I don't know whether this would work well or not. It would keep them from being able to get away from predators as easily.
Tuesday, September 13th, 2022
I put my excess roosters in large metal dog travel cages. Easy to pop up and down and easy to move to fresh grass every week.
Then I use a coal bunker as bed box to lock in at night. I hang food and water inside out of reach of rats crows etc keeps down wildlife transmission and keeps food dry from rain.
Friday, October 14th, 2022
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