10 things you wanted to know about chickens but were afraid to ask – 1#

Breeding chickens means you will inevitably get cockerels. Options for the cockerels are as follows:

  1. Grow them on for the table
  2. Sell them as part of a breeding group
  3. Sell them to another breeder who is wanting new blood
  4. Sell them at an auction that takes single cockerels or pens of cockerels but be aware that they will at best end up on a table or worse still used be used illegally either as live food or for training fighting birds
  5. Rehome them through one of the many recycling websites or publications
  6. Keep them which is fine if you have the space/finances to feed & house them
  7. Cull them out as soon as you are able to sex them (on day one for commercial hatcheries)

It might seem like a fine life being a cockerel in a breeding group of many hens, mating 20-30 times a day, eating, sleeping and never having to lay an egg (the human equivalent of passing bowling ball) but for the huge majority of those that are hatched that’s a reality they will never experience.

Bresse cockerel - a breed for the table

Bresse cockerel – a breed for the table

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13 thoughts on “10 things you wanted to know about chickens but were afraid to ask – 1#

      • Urban environments do seem to be a bit touchy about cockerels. To me they don’t seem to make any more noise than dogs, hens laying, planes, trains, buses, cars, yobs etc 😉

      • Mmm, Maybe we’ve got used to the urban sounds, but even I struggle to sleep through pre-dawn crowing, maybe it’s because we have less space and they are only meters from our homes???

      • Possibly, although I don’t have a lot of human noise here and have around 30 cockerels pretty much within spitting distance from the house and sleep through it. I suppose its what you are used to, I for example would be woken up if I heard voices or a car door in the night

  1. We’re lucky to have lots of space, so I try for number 6 as long as the new cockerel doesn’t bully the older ones. Had to resort to number 7 one year when we had 4 new cockerels who, for want of a better term, gang-banged the hens so ceaselessly they started to refuse to come out of their house.

    • A good reason Janet, and one the books don’t often mention. Its important to keep the ratios of male:female at the right level to avoid such scenarios. On the flip side too many hens for one cockerel can result in heart problems for the lad!

  2. Pingback: 10 things you wanted to know about chickens but were afraid to ask – 2# | ChickenStreet

  3. Pingback: “How much is that Hen?” – The True Cost of Incubation | ChickenStreet

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