When faced with surplus roosters, many people panic, unsure what to do. They know of several options from days of old freezer camp (butchering surplus roosters), rehoming, or just hoping for the best. Might I suggest another approach. A bachelor pen.
The Coop De Ville is the bachelor pen on The Kuntry Klucker Farm. I have a passion for roosters and keep all roosters that I acquire. It is a mistake to assume that roosters cannot live together peacefully. Roosters are more than capable to cohabitate, but there are few gridlines to adhere to in order to achieve success.
In this post, I will detail how to successfully implement the use of a bachelor pen for excess roosters.
A rooster is a selfless creature, often sacrificing himself to save the lives of his girls. A fearless warrior with a heart of gold. Majestic and beautiful, a natural born singer who writes his own songs. A dancer, who loves to waltz for those he cares about. A true gentleman. And sadly, the most abused, unwanted, and forgotten of all the creatures.
I love roosters, I value their role in a backyard flock as protectors and caretakers of my hens. I have found myself in the past without roosters, needing them desperately.
When I first started keeping chickens, I was terrified of roosters. I did not want one at any cost. I prayed and hoped that my batch of chicks were all females. As fate would have it, I had three roosters, I panicked! What was I going to do with all these roosters? I could maybe stomach keeping just one, but the rest had to go. After some time and hard work, I found homes for the other two, keeping just one, Roy.
Roy showed me another side of rooster I did not expect, my rooster teacher. I owe him a debt of gratitude. He was a gentleman with feathers, through him, I realized how wrong I was to fear roosters.
We often associate roosters as being aggressive, blood thirsty, nasty birds. We encountered these nightmare birds on our grandparents’ farm. In our grandparent’s day, chickens were kept a food, be it eggs or meat, an aggressive rooster was needed. These killer birds are categorized as game cocks by today’s breeding standards.
As the backyard chicken movement has exploded, breeders have responded, selecting for traits much for suited for the backyard or hobby farm setting. Behavioral traits such as calm, friendly, laid back and approachable. Gone are the days of the fearsom bird that roamed our grandparents farm, meet the roosters of today.
To my detriment, Roy passed on several year later due to illness. I was without a rooster for 5 years. Throughout the years, my girls over time to passed away. Till finally, I acquired more chicks. This time I was excited, as my chicks matured, some began to crow. I finally had roosters!! Now I have 13 roosters, a little more than what I was hoping for, but a surplus at last. I decided to keep all the boys, my solution, a Bachelor Pen.
Step to achieve a successful Bachelor Pen.
No access hens:
Roosters, when raised together are more cordial than you might expect. If raised together from chickhood, they can and do cohabitant together very well. A bachelor pen works if and only if, the residents have no access to the hens. This is pivotal to the success of housing roosters together. Roosters fight when presented with the need to achieve status, specifically in the presence of hens. Without access to hens, there is nothing to compete over. They can see the hens and the rest of the flock, but no contact can be permitted. This is the fundamental aspect of a bachelor pen. If the bachelor boys gain access to the hens, fighting and competition will ensue. Once bachelor residents engage in conflict, it is hard to reestablish peace.
Besides no access to hen, the second key to a successful bachelor pen is ample room. The Coop De Ville has a covered pen and a large outdoor recreation access area. Allowing the boys to spread out, providing room for healthy natural activity such as dust bathing. The bachelor boys have access to fresh air, sunshine, worms and bugs, much like the free ranging flock. While in the outdoor run area, the bachelor residents can interact and engage with the flock but denied all contact.
Care for a Bachelor Pen:
The care for a bachelor pen is the same as a coop with hens. The bachelor pen gets cleaned daily, supplied with fresh water, and feed. The only difference is that a bachelor coop/pen does not need laying boxes or nesting material. All other maintenance is the same. I service my bachelor pen residents as I do the primary flock. All bachelor boys get health checks and other regiments to maintain good health.
If you find yourself panicking because you have more roosters than you counted on, don’t freak out. It is not always possible to rehome extra roosters. In the early summer, the internet is flooded with unexpected spring roosters needing homes. Prepare a bachelor pen for them to live in. You don’t need to go to all the work of trying to franticly find a home or someone else to take him off your hands. Keep your boys, just put them in a separate coop/pen and enjoy the songs they sing for you.
Roosters are wonderful creatures, deserving much more than they are often dealt. You don’t have to get rid of your boys, the time may come when you will need a rooster. Whether for protection, predators or the need to populate your flock.
I hope that this post was helpful in offering another suggestion for excess roosters.
To see a video of my bachelor pens, visit my YouTube channel by clicking on the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxwn5Y7fo7E
It is also possible to keep more than one rooster in your flock. To see how I manage more than one rooster in my flock with the hens please click here.
If you have any questions, feel free to post in the comment section. You can also drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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As always, thanks for reading. Till next time, keep on crowing!
~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~