Roosters can be a problem in more ways than one. For one, roosters are not allowed in many places. They could also be noisy and aggressive, effectively disrupting your and your hens’ peace. Let us help you with your rooster problem. Allow us to show you your options on how to get rid of roosters.
6 Ways You Can Get Rid of Roosters
The possibility of getting an unwanted rooster is always there.
If you’re hatching and raising chicks, there is a likelihood that you might get at least one male chick in each batch.
On the other hand, if you buy day-old female chicks from hatcheries and suppliers, then there is always a chance that you will accidentally get an unwanted male.
It seems the only way to make sure you never get an unwanted rooster is to always go for full-grown chickens. However, you won’t get the full chicken-raising experience that way! Also, that could be expensive.
Well, since we can’t get rid of the possibility of getting an unwanted rooster, it’s good to have an exit plan ready.
Without further delay, let’s examine each exit plan to see what would work best for you.
1. Send Him Back
If you got your rooster from a hatchery or a supplier, then you might have the option of sending him back.
When looking for a supplier, you might want to keep the sexing guarantee clause in the terms and conditions in mind.
A sexing guarantee is simply a part of the agreement stating that if you get a chick of the wrong sex, they would replace it or give you a refund.
Some hatcheries openly state how accurate their sexing process is. If it is low, it would probably mean it is a buy at your own risk deal. On the other hand, if it is high, then a sexing guarantee is likely. However, that is not always the case. Make sure to ask or check the terms and conditions.
There are a few things to consider with this option.
If you’ve read our discussion on how to sex chickens, you would know how hard sexing chicks are. As you would expect, mistakes can happen. Many hatcheries offer to replace or refund you if you accidentally get a cockerel or a rooster.
On the other hand, you can’t expect a replacement or a refund if you bought straight runs in the first place. If you’re not sure what straight runs are, then you can check out our complete guide to straight runs here.
If your unwanted cockerel or rooster was from a straight run batch, then you can try to ask them if they’re willing to take him back. They might, but as we have said, don’t expect a replacement or a refund in this case.
If they do take the little guy back, they would most likely sell him. In that case, you might want to try selling him yourself instead.
2. Sell Him
If you have excess roosters on your hands, consider selling them off! People are always looking for gorgeous roosters to add something special to their flock, whether it be breeding facilities or someone with a couple of egg-laying hens in the backyard.
Prices can be based on breed and condition plus age. So, if you take good care of your birds there’s even more money up for grabs when it comes time to sell.
That said, selling a rooster is not always that easy.
Roosters from common breeds are usually hard to sell by themselves. If you want to sell your rooster, you might have to put the guy in a package deal. You might have to add one to three hens in there for anyone to be interested in buying him off of your hands.
On the other hand, a rooster from a rarer breed is easier to sell. Still, you might have to throw in one hen in there to attract the breeders to buy him from you.
3. Culling and Cooking
Our next option is a little controversial. It could easily be the easiest or the most challenging option on the list.
If you’re not against it, the easiest way to get rid of your unwanted rooster is to turn him into a meal.
If you opt for the other options, you have to be aware that there is almost always a possibility that this is how your rooster will end up.
That’s why some say that culling and cooking them with your own hands is the most humane way to get rid of them. You would be able to give them a good life and end it in the best way you could. This way, you have control over how he goes. If you leave it up to someone else, they may not have the same compassion for him as you.
We find that this is one of the quickest and most painless ways to do it:
Some would say otherwise. However, as you will see later, there are much crueler ways to get rid of them.
We do know how hard this method could be! If this method is not the way for you, then don’t worry. Our following two options could be a lot more rooster-friendly if done the right way.
4. Rehome Him
Just because roosters are not allowed in one town, doesn’t mean the same restrictions apply in neighboring areas. Research the rules for the neighboring places. If roosters are allowed there, then you can try to give your rooster to a friend or family that lives there.
Giving your rooster to a friend or family would most likely mean he will be in good hands. If you don’t want him butchered, then your loved ones would likely follow your wishes compared to a stranger.
On the other hand, if you don’t have any friends or family willing to take him, you might have to risk it with a stranger.
Put up adoption advertisements. List down his good qualities. He would most likely catch someone’s attention. If you don’t want him butchered, then make sure you indicate it. Keep in mind that there is almost always the risk he would end up as dinner. Be extra cautious.
A petting farm, your local shelter, and bird sanctuaries: you have lots of options when it comes to asking for help with an unwanted rooster. There’s a high chance they would survive in these places.
Despite having lots of options, you have to consider that there are many roosters born and dumped almost on a daily basis. You might have a hard time finding one that has an open slot. If the little guy is already crowing and roosters are not allowed in your area, then you might not have time to wait. You might have to consider our last option.
Our last option is not the prettiest one. It is similar to the third option.
If you don’t have any option left, and you can’t bring yourself to cull and cook him, then our last resort is euthanasia. Find a vet that accepts poultry, and let them do the deed. Many vets don’t take in poultry. In case you have a hard time finding one, here is a poultry vet directory.
How You Should Not Get Rid of Roosters
Is there an improper way to get rid of a rooster? Yes!
Never leave a rooster in the middle of nowhere. Don’t dump the little guy somewhere and “let nature deal with him” as some would call it. This method is probably the cruelest of all. It would have been better if you culled your roosters.
When it comes to getting rid of roosters, it’s better not to go down the mean route. We’re talking about stuff like poisoning or drowning then that’s just cruel! Animals deserve respect and we must be mindful of their well-being at all times.
It’s not right either when folks neglect animals that need help in rehoming ’cause they’re unwanted. We should strive for finding a good home where these birds will receive proper care instead of ignoring our responsibility toward them entirely!
If you ever want someone else to take your excess roosters, do yourself (and the poor things) a favor. Always verify who you dealing with online before making any handovers as “responsible ownership” goes far beyond just taking possession.
Is it Illegal to Kill Roosters?
No, it’s not illegal to kill roosters. As a part of poultry industry, the act of taking the life of chickens in general is not illegal. However, you should choose a safe and as much possible painless end to these animals if you choose to cull them.
Reasons to Keep Roosters
Now, if roosters are allowed in your area, maybe we can convince you to keep one or two.
Why would anyone want a noisy and aggressive bird? Good point, but that’s not all there is to a rooster.
Many keep at least one rooster in their flock. This way, the group would have a defender. All that fire from the rooster is not all attitude, after all. A lot of it comes from his protectiveness.
He is an effective alarm when danger approaches the flock. He will signal the group. Hopefully, his “battle cries” will also alert you.
If you happen to arrive at the scene a little too late, these guys are often more than willing to sacrifice themselves for the flock.
To add, you might also want a rooster if you want some fertile eggs. However, keep in mind that hatching chicks would give you more cockerels and roosters. Unfortunately, you can’t control how many males and females you get with each batch of hatching eggs.
Don’t have an exit plan for the extra males you will have with each batch? It might be better not to hatch your own eggs.
Today, we showed you six ways on how to get rid of roosters.
Roosters could be noisy and aggressive, but they also have some charming qualities. It might be good to have one, but a few might become too stressful for you and your hens. Well, not to worry! Now you have six exit plans for all the extra roosters you will encounter in the future!
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch The Foundry.