Interesting day on the farm today. First of all, it actually felt like winter, especially this evening when the freezing rain started to fall as we were closing up the birds for the night. Unfortunately, the chickens will have a little less body heat tonight; we culled three roosters this afternoon.
When the ratio of hens to roosters gets out of balance bad things happen and mostly to the hens. However, the cocks can wreak havoc on each other, I guess that is how cock-fighting got started, because they really go after each other. One could have no rooster and still have a decent flock, but our intentions are to breed new chickens. We all know how baby’s are made. . . well it is the same for chickens there has to be a male and a female to make new chickens. In order to breed “true chickens” we need a hen and a rooster of each breed desired. We currently have four breeds: Buff Orphington, Rock Barr, Hampshire Red, and Black Jersey Giants. They were all purchased from a reputable breeder, but no matter how good a breeder you are you cannot play God (or Goddess) and choose what sex the chicks that hatch are. It is hard to tell what sex they are until they are two or even three months old. Therefore, it is up to the buyer who receives the purchased chickens to restore the male/female balance of the flock.
Making long story longer, this is exactly what we did today. As I type this, one of our roosters is in the oven roosting with beets, sweet potatoes (both grown on the farm), carrots, and potatoes. We are looking forward to a delicious dinner and give thanks to the rooster. Ken did the neck breaking and head removal, then I took over to do the plucking and gutting. One of the roosters we gave away to a wonderful elder member of the community who is always offering to help everyone, the second (as I mentioned) went into the oven, and the third went into the freezer.
We still have another 10 or more roosters to remove from the flock, but all in due time. The full-on rooster Armageddon can wait for another day.