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Help i have too many chickens

(18 Posts)
Southwestwhippet Wed 13-Jul-11 18:01:24

Well it is a long story involving my mum getting a bit over-excited about eggs at a chicken auction and a couple of bad incubator hatches followed by one amazing one but I am now the not so proud owner of NINETEEN chickens. Of which only seven are hens sad.

So what on earth do I do with all my cockerals? I actually only want to keep my four millefleur hens plus I also have a very tame lavendar frizzle cockeral I don't think I can part with.

so that leaves me with a pair (one boy, one girl) and two trios (both one boy and two girls) which I can probably sell somewhere plus OMG six lonely cockerals? who are all starting crow. blush I am going to be the least popular person in the villiage with a reputation for being mental if I don't get rid of them soon. Any ideas other than bopping them on the head?

thanks

faverolles Wed 13-Jul-11 20:20:06

If they are pure breeds you could try giving them away if someone wants them.
But tbh a cull is probably the most realistic option. Sadly no-one wants cockerels.
Please don't be tempted by fur and feather sales - cockerels go very cheap and can often go to be fighting cock bait sad

Riveninside Wed 13-Jul-11 20:22:36

Dinner im afraid

Southwestwhippet Wed 13-Jul-11 20:40:55

Thought so, but thanks for the heads up re fighting cockerals. Mine are pekins so I don't know if they would be at risk but I would def not want them to end up in that situation. sad

pixelpeeper Thu 14-Jul-11 08:55:35

Can you advertise them on omlet marketplace as free to a good home?

stupefy Thu 14-Jul-11 08:59:21

Eat them!

NearlyHeadlessnickelbabe Fri 15-Jul-11 14:45:39

you might be able to sell them, but I think the best bet is to keep them till they start crowing, then eat them.

Southwestwhippet Fri 15-Jul-11 20:51:19

I don't know if I can eat them. They are my friends. sad I had to chase them out of the kitchen yesterday... Maybe I can find a friendly neighbourhood fox to take them off my hands wink

hopenglory Fri 15-Jul-11 20:53:29

Coq au vin

NearlyHeadlessnickelbabe Sat 16-Jul-11 11:11:55

it depends where you live, though.

traditionally, that's what is done with male birds.
the females are kept for eggs and the males are kept for meat.

It's only the recent industrialization of food production that means that hens only are kept for meat and eggs.
Of course, that means that the males are thrown away at birth.
I think that's a lot worse than giving the boys a happy home and feeding your family with them.

christmasmum Sun 17-Jul-11 19:45:23

If you eat chicken anyway, isn't it better to know for certain that the chicken you're eating had a great life before it ended up in the pot? That always helps me morally!!

Are the cocks pekins? Then they're rubbish for eating. I'd advertise them as FTGH at your local feed merchant and on poultry forums first. I've always managed to rehome pure breed boys through contacts like those, but I've only ever had to home 2 or 3 boys a year. If it comes to it though, and no homes can be found, the most humane thing to do would be to cull them. If you don't know how, or are squeamish, it might be worth contacting your local vet. Mine agreed to euthanise any birds I couldn't home, but luckily I never had to do it. Are any of the cocks particularly interesting? Rare colours? Great example of the breed? Frizzled? That all helps to find them new abodes. A nice picture can work wonders. My frizzle pekin lad from last year went to live with a lady in the peak district, where he lived the life of Riley. She sent me the pictures to prove it grin

Southwestwhippet Tue 19-Jul-11 20:01:27

I do have a lavender frizzle boy but he is the one I'm keeping. I love him!

The other boys are two millefleurs, two wheatons, a slightly dodgy porcelain (nothing wrong with him physically but he has a bit of brown around the neck area), a lavendar and a lemon splash. Don't know if any of them are great examples of the breed, I think the lavender is rather smart looking but I could just be biased as lavender and millefleur are my favourite colours.

I've advertised them in my local pets at home as FTGH, will also put an add up in the local feed mills. They are pekins BTW.

Pets at Home is unlikely to get you a hobby breeder home I'm afraid. They charge twice the price of feed stores for all of their chicken stuff. You really need to advertise in a feed store or on poultry sites to stand a chance of finding them good homes. The other option is to find them some girls and sell them as pairs/trios. An awful lot of breeders will only sell birds that way to ensure they're not left with all of the boys.

FWIW, I'd try the poultrykeeper.com forum, the practical poultry forum and maybe bluelaced. They all have for sale/wanted boards and if you supply pics you might get lucky.

thisisyesterday Tue 19-Jul-11 20:34:38

this is a really, really stupid question, but do all cockerels crow?

cos i really wanted some chickens, but we don't eat many eggs so would be a bit pointless having hens
but i don't think my neighbours would love crowing every morning

Yes. All cockerels crow. Some are louder than others, but there's no real way of knowing until each bird gives it some. If you have neighbours, don't get a cockerel. It will cause mayhem. I had a serama cockerel for a week. Then I lost my bottle and sent him back to the breeder.

Southwestwhippet Wed 20-Jul-11 08:14:30

I've got a pair and a trio so that is two boys spoken for...

I know pets at home is super-expensive (only popped in as it is on the way home and I needed some frontline for the dog) but I thought it was worth a go to advertise there. Can't hurt, right?

Will draw up some adverts for the local feed mills today and head over to the poultry forums.
thanks all

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