I have struggled with how to write about this. It’s not an easy topic, nor one most people want to hear about, but it is a necessary part of keeping animals.
This is the first summer we’ve let hens hatch their own chicks. I knew when I allowed it to happen that I would eventually have to figure out a way to deal with the inevitable roosters, but as with most things I deemed that a problem for the future.
I also fervently hoped the odds would be in our favor and we would get mostly hens. This hope did not pan out, and of the 6 chicks that have made it to adulthood thus far, 4 were roosters.
On Friday, we culled the roosters. I did it myself and it was somehow easier and harder than I expected it to be. It was the right decision for the flock and the farm and while this is less important, it is still a factor – the pocketbook. Now that fall has descended on the farm the chickens are going through a bag of feed every two days which costs over $200 a month.
It was a less than ideal experience for all involved, but I am happy that the process was smooth and it was over in one day. There are three more chicks and we aren’t sure if they are roosters or hens, but once again I’m putting all my hope that we are 3/3 on hens.