Friday, December 31, 2010

The benefit of the doubt

It's been about six weeks since we figured out our pullet was really a cockerel. In that time we've gotten a lot of advice for "dealing" with the fact that he's male. Most of the suggestions were slaughter. I had a hard time justifying killing our rooster just because he has the wrong gene for our farm. Being male isn't a death sentence and it's not an excuse for unnecessary slaughtering. It's not his fault we picked him out. Remember our goal here at HeartSong is to reconnect with our food, give it the best life possible and treat it with respect and compassion.

Truth is he's been a good rooster. He keeps his girls from straying too far from the coop. Or herds them back when they go too far. He sings to them when he finds tasty morsels and generally just struts around the barnyard as if he was four feet high instead of just the single one. I have noticed him becoming a little agressive with the girls whenever the desire to mate falls on him. Which is pretty darn frequently. But that's nature for the most part, I think. Cant' fault him that.

Up until yesterday I've let him be and he's lived his life being a rooster and all that it encompasses. But then he walked across the invisible line I've drawn for him. I told myself that as long as he was "good" -meaning not agressive- that he could stay. I have heard people say they have roosters that are just fine and dandy, perhaps Coco is one of those. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. Heck, having my girls brood their own chicks was a neat idea up until he attacked Amelia.

Now every time I look at him I am mentally guaging his weight for the pot. Her scratches on her face, neck and shoulder will heal and there probably won't be scarring but Coco has dissolved my trust in roosters.

Out of the fourteen still brooding in the bathroom, the roosters will be the first to go. Farm lesson 64 well and learned. This weekend his time is up.


  1. Our rooster Beck (formerly Becky) has gone after the kids a few times, but he has never inflicted wounds. He s destined for dinner though because being the city we can't be raising new chicks and he crows all the time, he's going to blow our cover. I am just waiting for Chris to be ready to dress him. I have to kill him, that's the deal.

  2. I think I can handle the killing part, but I'm concerned about making a mess of him during the evisceration and not being able to eat him. It seems a waste to take his life and waste the meat.

  3. I have a feeling that the rock that keeps trying to escape is a cockerel. We'll see...I am thinking my prediction will be correct.

  4. I've been flogged more times than I can count. The last time I had to go to the doctor and get a tetnaus shot and my pants leg was bloody from the crotch to the ankle. I had a bruise covering the entire back of my thigh.

    The ONLY roosters I've ever had that weren't aggressive were roosters hatched out and brooded by the hen. They tend to be wild and will stay away from you. The last time that rooster got me he was hiding behind the corner of the barn waiting for me to come out.

    I've had chickens for over 20 years, trust me.......get rid of the rooster. If you aren't comfortable butchering him, then put him on Craigslist for free.

  5. Been there! No fun to have a rooster getting you from behind!