Several months ago we bought fertilised Plymouth Rock chicken eggs. One dozen were placed in our Janoel 48 incubator and left for about 3 weeks. You can read the whole start to our Plymouth Rock chicken journey here.
Since then the chicks have grown big quite quickly. Of the eight that hatched, all are still alive.
Unfortunately six of the eight are boys… This fact doesn’t suit our very residential yard well at all! We quite like our neighbours and we hope they like us too. No doubt that would change quickly if we had a (or six) crowing roosters!
With only two girls, we’re a little disappointed, but that’s nature.
So what do we do with six budding roosters? It’s a good question, and one that we’re currently pondering. One boy has recently been given to a friend who lost their own rooster this year due to a fox attack. Foxes are very hungry and there are plenty of fox attack tales across this region. Hungry animals make desperate animals, and this situation places poultry in jeopardy!
With five boys left, we are wondering what to do before they begin crowing. I’ve threatened to order a boning knife and try culling at home. We both have experience on a farm killing chickens, so we’re not worried about making mistakes and causing pain for the Plymouth Rock chickens or ourselves – Rach and I just aren’t sure if that’s what we want to do.
An alternative is to simply sell the boys off. There are sites where this is possible, and they’re likely to go to a good home. There’s also a chance that they will get the chop at their new home, but that’s what happens to roosters sometimes. If it doesn’t work out – then it’s off with their head! They’ve eaten plenty of chicken feed and taken plenty of time, but they’re still unlikely to fetch more than $5-$10 each.
The two girls are far more intelligent than the boys. Slightly smaller, darker and far more cunning they are difficult to catch and make my life difficult when I’m late and need to put them away. These girls are likely ending up at Rach’s Mum’s house in the short term. Roosters are not so welcome however.
So what would you do? To kill or to sell our Plymouth Rock chickens – that’s the dilemma! Unless of course there is another option? Feel free to share below.
On a sidenote, it is with sadness that we announced the end of the Briars Market the week before Christmas. Lasting about 10 weeks over two and a half months, it was clear that there was insufficient demand for the market in its current format. We may try and run a monthly market in 2016 but no dates have been set and we have plenty on our plate as it currently stands!