Pitchfork and Pens—Cock-a-Doodle-Don’t

Pitchfork and Pens-2

Anyone who raises chickens more than likely has had this problem at some point—too many roosters!

I started out with three roosters. I received one to replace my favorite old rooster, Maverick, that sadly passed on to chicken heaven. I ordered a rooster to accompany my Cuckoo Maran hens, and I also kept a Frizzle rooster that was supposed to be a hen. Straight run chicks are a gamble on what sex you will get. I have heard of people having to order straight run chicks and getting all roosters.

In the past, an extra rooster wasn’t a terrible thing. If you didn’t need one for your flock screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-2-37-56-pmyou fattened him up and made fried chicken or soup.

Some people still do that but it’s so much easier to go to the store for your dining needs.

I recently found myself having a rooster epidemic, an overflow, a mess!

Another replacement rooster turned into a demonic bird that liked to grab my leg with his beak and then spur and flog me. He meant an unfortunate end, at least in his opinion.

Somehow I ended up with nine extra roosters after this season’s hatchings. OMG!

The crowing wasn’t too bad. Young roos learning to crow are actually quite comical. Kind of like a young boy going through puberty with his voice cracking.

But then some of these young birds discovered the attraction of the opposite sex. Ugh, not good.

I’m not trying to breed anything for hatching now, so keeping a breed uncompromised wasn’t the issue. I just needed to keep the peace.

I separated the youngest into a pen and that helped some. Then I had to put a couple into small coops by themselves.

The hens were thankful not to be tormented anymore. One rooster comes by, gets romantic and then the next rooster comes by and says, “No, she’s mine,” and runs the first roo off, and then he gets romantic.

By the time it’s over, there is a rooster fight, and the poor hen lays there exhausted, dazed, and sad. They will quit laying if they are harassed too much and when it is really hot, they can get heat exhaustion and even die.

In the past, I hadn’t been able to even give the little twerps away, except to an older couple who would take one or two to butcher on occasion.

This go-round I tried a couple of livestock buy, sell, trade sites and I’m happy to report that all the extra boys found good homes, with lady friends, and won’t be served up in a stewpot.

Things have been much quieter, and peace reigns once more at my house.

…Until this morning when a cracked voice rose up to celebrate the sunrise in a coop that was supposed to house only young hens. Dang.

Read more from Tamara Hartl!

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