Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about the health of your chickens, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.

Hatching eggs and the male chick issue
5

Cathpot · 08/05/2020 11:47

We would like to have a couple of hens , as we have just lost one and have a lonely single chicken. I have been offered an incubator to hatch some eggs- which I know the kids would love. However it’s brought me up against the issue of male chicks. We wouldn’t want to keep any males, I can’t see them being easy to rehome and I’m not desperate to have killing male chicks as part of the home school experience. I do realise by having chickens at all I am just moving the responsibility of killing excess male chicks out of sight, but I wondered what people usually do? Neither of two friends currently hatching chicks have solutions I’m comfortable with. I’ve just looked at our local site for rehoming ex battery chickens but they are shut until after lockdown so I think I’ll end up waiting - but it’s made me wonder about what people in the non commercial sector usually do?

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Perch · 08/05/2020 12:07

Mmm it’s a tricky one I’ll follow replies with interest.

Imo you should not hatch if you’re not prepared to dispatch. Hatch sex rate seems to be about 50/50, so even if you buy POL hens two boys would have been destroyed.

Prev hatch I had 4 cockerels, beautiful boys. I wanted to cull but persuaded by the kids they went to a farm that took cockerels and gave them away free if people bought hens. I visited afterwardsand they looked miserable. I regretted not culling.

This springs’ hatch I have two boys. I have decided they will have the best life I can give them till they start crowing and then I will cull. They know me, they only know our home, I don’t think rehoming is always the kind option.

Please
or
to access all these features

Cathpot · 08/05/2020 13:04

Keeping them until the last possible moment and then culling is technically doable as DH can dispatch humanely and I would be ok with that, but the kids would be too attached then I think. Essentially I’m sheltering them from the reality of the egg industry , which I do anyway as we aren’t vegan but this has brought it close to home!

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

StylishMummy · 08/05/2020 13:17

I'd let them grow until they started to crow, then they'd be on the dinner table. It's important that children understand where food comes from. They'd also have a much better life than any shop bought chicken

Please
or
to access all these features

naturalbaby · 10/06/2020 21:57

We got autosexing chickens so could tell what they were when they hatched due to different markings.
DH was prepared to cull boys but we haven’t agreed on when is easier - at 1 day old when it’s tiny and fluffy or when it’s older and becoming a nuisance? We couldn’t do it at 1 day old so we’re keeping him and will deal with him if/when he becomes unmanageable.

Please
or
to access all these features

fuckinghellthisshit · 14/06/2020 15:30

I let them grow until they are about a year/18 months and then take them to my hen supplier and swap them for pullets. He uses the silkies to mix into small flocks for families, some go into breeding - Marran, RIR etc. I am sure some are sold for the table he has a very mixed bag of customers - but I know he rehomes a lot as I see photos of them off with new girls all over the place.

Hybird cockerels have no value and the autosexed female chicks can be bought for £3/4 each so I sit any broody hens on plastic eggs, buy chicks and place them under her at night. That way you get a clutch of 6 female hybrids raised by a broody.

I really struggle to dispatch animals thou, it is a failing of mine, even when they need to for kindness sake I have to ask someone else to do it. :(

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.