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More chook talk

BJM asked for more pics of Spoon and Chel, on account of they are funny. Here’s Spoon and Po, back when Po still had a big, round, poofy girly crest. All my boys looked like girls until they were almost three months old.

And Deborah HH asked how I feel about the boys, since I had resisted have a rooster for so long.

I like my boys. Males have lots of strut and personality. Unfortunately, they can be crazy aggressive with each other (and with people, too, though none of mine are). I spend a lot of my day shuffling cockerels around to make sure everyone gets some garden time.

I’m sure it’s pretty miserable for the boys in captivity. They particularly hate seeing other cockerels having sex, and I make sure certain hens only go with certain boys (they have definite preferences).

The alternative was death. Experienced chicken keepers, even of hobby flocks, toughen up and kill their excess boys. I couldn’t. It would ruin the whole chicken experience for me.

I’m told if you have enough room and enough girls, you can keep multiple boys without incident. In fact, I’ve seen it. One of my chook suppliers has a mixed flock that seems to get along pretty well.

All-girl flocks are just fine, and I’m not sure I’d seek out another cockerel in future. To build such a flock, though, means getting chickens from someone else and choosing a breed you can sex at an early age. You want them young enough that they will get used to handling, but old enough that you can reliably spot the girls. For Pekins, that’s about six weeks.

This will rule out Polands for me in the future, sadly, as it’s months before you can tell for sure. It also rules out incubating my own eggs, which is even sadder. I loved hatching eggs!

p.s. did I mention roosters are noisy as hell?

April 15, 2020 — 7:20 pm
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