Saturday, December 22, 2012

Too Many Roos!

It is interesting how posts take on cycles. First, it is new goat kids that gain all the attention. Then, baby chicks, ducklings, or goslings have the focus. The pigs will get into some kind of mischief. A goat will begin milking, escape inconveniently, or become sick. The cats will hunt something out of the usual. Soap or cheese or crafts to be made. Barns and coops to be repaired, built, or finished. As new events happen or take precedent, my posts seem to follow.

Right now, the concern around here is the resident rooster population. When we hatched chicks to increase our flock of hens, we knew that statistically, we would get more roosters, too. And, there was a plan in place for what would happen to those lads, which involved eventually ending up in either our freezer or a friend's freezer. That was last Spring.

There are 8 roosters in this shot. 5 escapees and 3 on-lookers.

Now, on the 2nd day of Winter, I sit typing this to the sounds of 10 raucous Roosters. Yes, you read that right. I wrote 10. As in, 1/6 of our flock. Clearly, some of these have to go- for their happiness and well-being and for the health of our hens. Our roosters are handy and handsome. They protect the hens by sounding a warning should a predator approach. They provide baby chicks. They break up hen fights and often protect the youngest hens or those on the bottom of the pecking order. That being said, their main activities consist of eating, crowing, tussling for dominance or breeding- and they are fairly fond of that last one. And, that is a problem- too many roosters will run our hens ragged.

Here is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. We cannot keep 10 roosters. It is absolutely out of the question. On the other hand, they are so friendly and well-behaved. And, they have fledged into very handsome roosters. I don't have the heart to pen them up and send them to their demise. I thought about having Sean do the dirty work, but that didn't feel right, either.

So, New Plan: attempting to sell them as breeding stock for another backyard chicken flock. To that end, I took some pictures of the lads this morning and yesterday. The thought is to post them on Craig's List, Uncle Henry's, and The Maine Market Place. I will also post them here, tweet, and add them to our facebook page, too. I realise that in selling them, I have little assurance that they will escape ending up as some one's dinner, because ultimately, most people are carnivores (ourselves included) and chicken are livestock. But, I will certainly vet anyone interested in purchasing them to try to mitigate that outcome. I am hopeful that some like-minded individual or family will enjoy adding a good, friendly rooster to their flock.

Willie is a 6- month old Americauna-Buff Orpington Hybrid Cross hatched and raised here at Lally Broch Farm. Willie is very personable and likes to wander outside the fencing. He is unbothered by cats or other small animals. Willie has not begun crowing, nor does he yet have any spurs. He has a rose comb mostly hidden by a jaunty cap of cream crest feathers and speckled colored feathers over his back and haunches. His tail feathers are a lovely iridescent green. He has creamy white legs.
Rusty is a 6-month old cross between a Rhode Island Red hen and Americauna rooster. Rusty does not crow yet can CROW, but he does not yet have his spurs. His is very friendly and takes an interest on all the happenings in the hen yard. He does not attempt to wander the yard with the rest of the horde of roosters. Instead, Cassanova spends his time with the hens. He loves the ladies. ♥ Rusty has a rose comb. His crest feathers are creamy ivory. His back and hackles are speckled red and white. His tail feathers are iridescent green. Rusty's legs are yellow. His is a very pretty rooster and one of my favorites.

Simon is a 5-month old Americauna rooster. Simon is very personable, though a little stand-offish. He enjoys announcing the day, the presence of anyone in his vicinity, or pretty much anything else via loud crowing. Simon is often found outside the pen area, wandering the farm yard. He is quite the lady's man, dancing for the girls in the hopes of romance. Simon has a single comb, creamy white neck feathers that extend down his back. His breast and leg feathers are black. Simon's tail feathers are black and iridescent green. His feet are green. He would make a wonderful Alpha for a flock of his own.
Charles is a 7 month old Americauna rooster. He is gorgeous. We were really hoping that he would be a she, but as Charles grew and developed, it became clear that a rooster he was- and then, to confirm it, he began crowing. Loud, perfect cock-a-doodle do's through the morning and day. Charles is ready to be an Alpha in his own flock. He regularly leads the horde of young roosters on their daily escape from the pen and takes a few pullet hens with him. Charles has a single comb, long cream colored neck feathers flowing into gold feathers across his back, green feet, and long iridescent green and black tail feathers. Want to hatch Easter-Eggers for yourself? This is just the lad to do the job!

 Rocky is a 5 month old Americauna rooster. He doesn't crow and his spurs have not arrived, yet. Give him time. He has promise. Rocky has a single comb, white neck feathers that continue down his back, speckling with his black under belly. His tail feathers are iridescent green and black and his feet are green. He is going to be a beautiful boy when he comes into his own.
We have enjoyed them all and it will be a little sad to find them new homes, but we cannot keep them in one yard. I know this is what is best for all of us.
Thanks for stopping in for a visit tonight.
Good night.
Sonja ♥
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  1. Oh dear. I know how hard this is for you, and I hope you find good homes for all your boys, they are all very handsome, and I can tell you know each one of them well! Once we've named something here, we just cannot bring ourselves to have it on the dinner table. (OK, we did name a few roos "Stew" once). Good luck and Merry Christmas.

  2. I hope the fellas find good homes with lots of ladies to love!