I have wanted a flock of hens here at the farm since we arrived in 2003. I had raised a flock of Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks back in the 90's and had such a great experience with them that I knew I would like to do that again.This year, I finally got busy and made preparations and did some research and ordered the Ornamental Layer Collection from McMurray Hatchery. The biggest reason I wanted this group was for the unique specimens I would have running around for me and my family to enjoy. I also wanted my own eggs.
Roosters are not exactly what I had in mind when I ordered chicks. In fact, I did not intentionally order a single rooster. McMurray sent a free "Rare" chick which I believe was either the Crèvecœur rooster or an Ameracauna rooster. They also sent me 9 white leghorn roosters to "keep the other chicks warm." Before the shipping date, I called and asked for some Cuckoo Maran hens, but was told that I could only order a straight run of them. So, I asked for five Marans. Hmmm, three of those were roosters! Let me see, that makes a total of fourteen roosters. That's not all! I was at the feed store and saw that they had Ameracauna chicks for sale, ("all pullets" the sign read). So I bought the Three Amigas. One of the amigas turned out to be Stiggy, an AmigO. That brings my rooster total to fifteen.
Now for someone who didn't want any roosters to have fifteen seems a little ridiculous. I was not a happy chicken farmer. That was not the end of it! My friends at the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, MI knew I was into chickens and offered me some of their chicks. I received two White Japanese Bantams and three Buff Orpingtons. Both Bantams are crowing, but I understand that a Japanese Bantam hen may crow. One of them definitely has smaller features than the other. Two of the three Buff Orps are probably roos. So, my total for roosters stands at eighteen (or nineteen, bantam).
I managed to give the nine leghorns, two cuckoo marans and an ameracauna away on Freecycle. The other roosters are occupying a great deal of my coop strateegerizing. Right now, I don't really want ANY roosters. I think they are disruptive to the hens, and Bob started to have a go at Ruth on Sunday. She gave him a swift kick, missed, and her clog went flying and scared everybody.
I don't think I have it in me to butcher any of them for the soup pot. This leaves me in a quandary. If someone on Freecycle will take them, I think I am ready to part ways with them. I have a warm place in my heart for Khan, Stiggy and Bob, but I think their actions are getting to be too detrimental for the flock as a whole, (including the number one hen, Ruth).
I am planning on adding perhaps a dozen more good layers next spring, but I think I am finished with roosters.
If you have any ideas, I am sure open to suggestions.
Does anyone want some beautiful roosters?