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Spreading Permaculture by Telling Stories: My Rooster Problem

 
edwin lake
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I posted this on Facebook with the idea of getting more people interested in Homesteading and permaculture. Notice I don't say anything in my story about permaculture at all. I asked my FB friends to comment. I also tweeted it out. What do you think about my strategy of spreading the gospel of permaculture by telling stories?

Here's the blog link if you prefer to read it there.

#HomesteadProblems What To Do With The Young Roosters

I have a rooster problem and need help. It wouldn't be as urgent a problem except our strong Wyandotte rooster died suddenly leaving his sons to a tyrannical reign over our five hens. Consider my story and please comment so I may find a solution.

Katrina and I have raised chickens here in Tryon, North Carolina, for about two years now. We have good egg-laying chickens and picked out the best eggs in our flock to incubate, hatch, and raise. However, the three eggs we hatched (this spring) all were roosters. Two of the roosters are nearly identical twin hybrids except one rooster has golden earrings, and one silver. I chased them into their coop this afternoon and took the picture above.

As I mentioned, just as these young roosters were starting to crow, their father (a Wyandotte) suddenly died. (We think it might have been a poisonous snake or insect.) That left the hens temporarily in charge until the young hybrid roosters got big.

Their father, the Wyandott rooster who died, was an excellent rooster. He was respectful of the hens, frequently locating food for them and always looking to defend them from harm. He interposed himself between the threat (whether dog or human) and the hens. He once intervened to repel a dog attack, leaving him with a severe wound (from which he recovered). His intervention likely prevented other hens from dying (one died). The young hybrid roosters really had no time to learn discipline from their father.

We also hatched a pure-bred Black Copper Marans (BCM) egg. This egg came from dear homestead friends who raise BCM chickens. The BCM is a wonderful breed. We have one BCM hen, and she lays the highest quality chocolate colored eggs. Her eggs are easily the most beautiful of all our chickens. Naturally, instead of another egg-laying hen, when this egg hatched we got a third rooster. (See picture.)

The two young hybrid roosters are now dominant and are terrorizing the hens. Neither has yet become dominate over the other. They prefer to exercise their dominion over the hens in tandem. This is weird and brutal. You hear a hen scream, and see the second hybrid rooster hurry so he can join in the action. It is no wonder that most of our hens just hide out in the coop all day long.

Because of the situation, we decided to cull the two hybrid roosters. They are great beautiful roosters, but on balance, we believe the BCM rooster would make a more awesome sire.

This is all just background for the problem. Ok, here it is. What are your opinions on what we should do with the hybrid roosters?

1. Should we sell them on craigslist; or
2. Eat them.

One final factor to consider before you comment. We think the quality of the meat will be excellent. These birds have been raised on non-GMO grain and free range food. We expect the meat to be different from anything you can buy at a grocery store, and we are curious to taste it.
 
Neal Foley
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Location: union Maine
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edwin lake wrote:
This is all just background for the problem. Ok, here it is. What are your opinions on what we should do with the hybrid roosters?

1. Should we sell them on craigslist; or
2. Eat them.


Roosters are a hard commodity to shift.... if they were purebred then you would have a chance at selling them. But usually mutt roosters are a dime a dozen if that. Since you've put the effort into them, I'd eat them. Nothing wrong with that....
I've raised chickens for 25 years and have eaten a lot of rooster.... They're better if you can get them before they really start being active and crowing, etc....or they can taste strong--hence the Coq au Vin recipe's ingredients.
Keep at least your main rooster and one other....it's helpful for both roosters and the flock in general. Depending on how many chickens you have you might keep another....I think the rule is one Cock to every 10 hens. When I lost my Cuckoo Marin rooster--the junior male--this spring, my main rooster backed off on his efforts with the ladies....so now I am not getting as many fertile eggs. Something about competition, helping nature along I think.....
If you ever end up with more than two or three roosters, don't keep the boys for too long or there'll be gang rape of the youngest, weakest males by the others....It isn't pretty... and it ruins the quality of the meat.
 
Devin Devine
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My opinion is yes, absolutely tell stories. Your rooster story is a good one too, for he purpose, and well told.

And I'd eat one of the twin roosters, than see how it goes.
 
edwin lake
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Thanks for the most excellent comments.
 
Sharon Carson
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I  cull old hens and old roosters always being sure to have an extra rooster in case something happens . I wait to butcher till they weigh at least 7 0r 8 # live or they will be scrawny . The freedom rangers get big quicker but it is usually 4-5 months before the Delawares  are big enough. I make them in a heavy covered skillet slowly and they are much better than any store bought bird . I keep about 6-7 hens with each rooster as that is what works best for my chicken tractors . . It is very important to not have too many roosters and to sell give away or butcher them to keep the ratio with the hens in balance.  I have given the hens a break at times by putting the rooster in a separate pen or yard .
 
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