Ahh, I remember the good ole days of hatching baby chicks, watching them grow up…and discovering that you have hatched over 15 roosters out of 24 eggs. What?! This is not supposed to happen to me! Life is supposed to be perfect and work exactly the way I want it to. Said a very delusional me. Since life is not perfect and I am not God, I cannot dictate whether I will hatch a chicken or a rooster. So, what do you do with too many roosters?
Why you need a rooster
Now, roosters are beneficial in several ways to the farm or backyard homestead. The main two reasons are that roosters protect their women and fertilize eggs so that they can be hatched. You can see more reasons to own a rooster here.
Obviously, if you are looking to hatch your own eggs either to supplement your own flock or to sell for profit, you are gonna need a rooster. Hatching your own eggs means that you can add chickens to your farm at any time. You can hatch as many as you want! Whether your chickens have stopped laying or you are looking to collect more eggs each day, either are good reasons to hatch your own eggs. This way, you don’t have to shell out money and pay someone else to gain more chickens.
The second reason to own a rooster is to protect your flock. Roosters will fight to the death to protect their women. Even if it means attacking their owners (the little stinkers). If that happens, learn how to tame aggressive roosters here. But if you have hawks prowling the skies or have foxes around, roosters are a great natural deterrent. Since I have had roosters, I have not lost a single chicken to a predator.
What to do with too many roosters
“But, Kelly, you’re not answering the question of what to do with too many roosters!” I know, I know, I just wanted you to know the benefits of owning a rooster. But if you are like me and have hatched WAY too many roosters, you are looking for ways to offload the little roos.
1. Keep some of the roosters
If you don’t already have roosters in your flock, keep some of them for yourself. Roosters that have grown up together from hatch have already established their dominance and pecking order. My first hatch had 5 roosters. The picture is of Fernando, who came out on top and I absolutely adore him. He takes wonderful care of the ladies, he is super protective, and great with humans.
2. Put the roosters up for sale on Facebook
Hopefully you are already a part of a farm sale group on Facebook. For my area in Indiana, I am on two boards where people are constantly selling livestock of all breeds. If your roosters are purebred, you can fetch a good price for them. If the roosters are “mutts”, perhaps not such a good price. Start out at $5.00 each and go from there. If you can’t sell them, give them away.
3. Make chicken stock out of the roosters
My Mexican in-laws and friends tell me that roosters “make the best chicken stock”. Now that I see what a little box of chicken stock costs (around $5.00 each), I’m seriously contemplating making my own chicken stock from now on. After all, the goal is to become self-sustainable. Then, after you make the chicken stock, use the meat to make a stew. A good time to slaughter the roosters is when they are around 4 months old.
In addition, I put an offer out at my church for anyone who wanted some roosters. I had a friend take 4 for his backyard flock. But, I had a couple, who are from Ghana, insist on purchasing 2 live roosters from me. They said that rooster meat was a delicacy and were super excited. I thought that was very interesting…
What if I think killing roosters is inhumane?
Let’s say for example that I let my new 15 roosters grow up all together. Number one, I have to introduce the roosters to my old roosters and pray that a cock fight does not break out. Number two, they will kill each other anyways. One rooster needs about 10 chickens. Unless I had a farm with 150 chickens, I cannot sustain 15 roosters.
The roosters will fight each other so that they can get to the ladies. Do yourself a favor and save yourself from heartache later on down the road when you have to bury a dead rooster.
Hatching your own eggs has its’ ups and downs. The downs being figuring out what to do with too many roosters. But, like I said, there are several ways to solve the problem. What do you do with your roosters?