Cockadoodle. . .

roosters
from the FB page, Blessed Little Homestead

Roosters. Nine to ten of them.  Adults. Too adult.

Here’s the deal on roosters.

They are totally useless for anything except: 1) serving as some protection for the hens (although when the raccoon massacred ours, the rooster couldn’t stop him- they can’t see at night), 2) serving as sperm donors, and 3) crowing, which is either annoying as hell or music depending on your viewpoint (I vote for music).

I am pro-rooster.  We have one. We had two, but dispatched the older one about two months ago.

A flock of hens needs one rooster for about every 10 hens.

What you see pictured there are enough roosters for about 100 hens.

Any fewer hens than that and the roosters will start to fight because somebody is going to get left out when it comes to mating.  Any more hens, and the roosters will exhaust themselves (literally).

We once kept too many young roosters for too long. It was ignorance on our part. We knew the potential dangers, but didn’t understand how young they can be when the fighting starts.  And our chickens are one of the most docile dual-purpose breeds around. I never want to watch a young rooster being ripped apart by the older rooster ever again.

We separated them all immediately and put the excess roos in the freezer/canner the next day.

In addition to that, roosters have some sort of nasty habits.  They can be very calm and sweet when they are young. The older they get, the crankier they get, and the “cockier” they behave. They see human beings as a challenge to their authority and they guard their hens with vigor.

And they are equipped by nature with the means to inflict injury. They grow spurs on their legs.

spur

Like that.  The pointy thing.  It is needle sharp.  And a rooster knows how to use those.  They fly at you and fling their legs up, and stab you.

If you’re an adult or older child, you get spurred in the leg.  It’s a deep puncture wound and becomes infected very easily. The rooster has been walking around in the dirt and that’s what is all over the spur.

If you’re a young child, it’s much more dangerous. You can get spurred in the face or as a worst case scenario, in the eye.

Roosters and young children are not a good mix.  Having too many roosters just exacerbates the situation.

[I have recently been informed about a really cool method of removing spurs safely.  If you’d like to know about it, contact me.]

And thinking you’re going to eat the excess roosters is, well, a sort of pipe dream.

When you buy chicken at the store, you’re getting very young chicken, maybe 7 or 8 weeks, max. When we incubate chicks here, we end up with about half cockerels and have to butcher them. They do not gain weight like the hybrid chickens that are raised by the industry, so it takes longer to get them to any size.  We typically keep them about three months, maybe a bit longer.

It’s a trade-off. The older they get, the more they weigh and the more meat we get. However, they also get tougher. So we’ve found by trial and error that 12-15 weeks works out fine for us.

Grown roosters (and old hens) are tough as shoe leather. You have to either slow cook them or pressure cook them. I use them as dog food.

At any rate, this is not an example of “homesteading.”  This is an example of newbie “homesteaders” who need to spend less time on Facebook and more time reading about raising poultry.

12 thoughts on “Cockadoodle. . .”

  1. Hmmm so many roosters with not enough hens? Wonder if they are looking to hold cock fights? Sorry if I offended anyone, but that comment was sooooo just there. Had to go for it. Hope I was able to provide some levity to such a sad situation.

  2. Nicole & Joe have been directed to particularly good blogs about poultry and of course, books, web pages, etc.

    They disregard every piece of good advice offered, regardless of the source. How do we know this? The photo with the watermark. They simply never do anything any better through time.

  3. The Nauglers’ foray into raising livestock reminds me a little of “Jean de Florette,” a French film starring Gerard Depardieu. A city dweller inherits a farm and decides to become a farmer, with his naiveté producing disastrous results. They should see this film. Maybe it’s on their streaming Netflix.

    The rooster flop-in-the-making comes as no surprise. The Nauglers already lost all their rabbits, we presume, to the predators (no mention of rabbits for months). They have failed two years running to have a garden with any yield. They alienate themselves from neighbors and locals, instead of endear themselves in the community. Those farming folks have the experience to save the Nauglers lost animals, time, money.

    But instead, they just wing it.

  4. Soon they will be trying to “up” their game and post the information they have gleaned here and pass it off as their own.

  5. Yes, all those roosters are beautiful. They won’t be for long. They will start fighting. It will be a bloody mess. Spurs ripped out, combs damaged, eyes missing.
    I’m always shocked by how much blood comes out of a small wound on a comb, even though I expect it.
    Roosters will fight to the death. I had 2 young ones fully engaged once. By the time I made it home, they were each missing an eye and just covered in blood. I could not seperate them, and for me to try to pick them up to separate just puts me in that spur danger.
    They were both dying anyway from those wounds, so I dispatched them with a shotgun.
    They died fighting.

  6. @Sandrine Bonnaire said: “They have failed two years running to have a garden with any yield.”

    I keep forgetting this bit of info. Gardens are not hard, or at least several different veggies are not hard. I don’t have a green thumb, partly because I don’t like to garden. To given an example – I can kill a philodendron. But I have had successful gardens. Cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini and pumpkins. No my garden is not varied but it is what we eat and the kids want to plant. The biggest thing I have to remember to do is weed and keep the vines separate so I am not accidentally picking a pumpkin when I mean to pick a squash. We have clay soil, so it isn’t the best for a garden (I put in garden soil on the garden to make it better.) I have found the right dirt, plant at the right time (per the seed packet) and keep up on watering (if no rain) and weeding and I produce veggies. I haven’t produced enough for a family of 13 but I have produced edible fresh veggies.

    If I had hungry kids and needed to supplement my food budget, believe me, I would learn really fast how to have a successful garden with romaine, carrots, cukes, potatoes, zucchini, asparagus, strawberries, watermelon, and sweet corn to make sure my kiddos had fruits and veggies. And if I wanted to homestead (I don’t, at all) I would also learn how to can excess fruits and veggies or learn how to make strawberry jam, etc. But not Nicole and Joe. I can’t image not doing everything I can to make sure my kids have enough food, shelter and warmth. Why they hell have they failed? All from lack of trying is my guess. I just don’t understand these people!

  7. Well, evidently the flock isn’t thriving.

    Blessed Little Homestead wrote, “We were planning to make a soup with the two rotisserie chickens I got on mark down in the deli.” February 8, 2016

  8. I see what you did there, Tekla. hahaha!!!

    I apologize for random outbursts of laughter, if that offends someone.

  9. One method, which we have used in the past. And Al uses another method which I have managed to forget. He actually went to some trouble and did a video for me. And now I forget, which makes me a bit of an ingrate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.