How to Manage Extra Roosters in Your Flock.

Roosters, you either love them or hate them, there really is no in-between. What to do with the male chicken? In some city areas the choice is pretty clear, roosters are banned. But for those who live in the country, we have a few more options than our city dwelling counterparts.

I am on the lover side of the rooster debate. I marvel at them as a creature and value them as an asset for my large free ranging flock. What are the best ways to manage roosters in your flock? In this post, I will list my top three rooster management techniques.

1. Establish a bachelor pen:

After this past springs chick pick up at a local feed stores, I ended up with 7 roosters. This is the most that I have ever had in one season. I already had 6 roosters in my established flock, bringing my total rooster count to 13! But I did not freak out, why you may ask. I had a plan – A bachelor pen. Picking chicks out of the straight run bin has its associated risks. 😊

You may be surprised to know that roosters, when living together, can and do exist peacefully. Most people associate roosters with fighting when in close proximity to one another. This is true if and only if hens are present. Roosters will fight to establish dominance in the presence of hens. The couveted position is that of the alpha rooster 🐓, or top dog. However, if there are no hens present, there is not much to fight over. Roosters in a bachelor pen will still maintian a pecking order, but fighting as you may know it will not be an issue. No hens to fight over, no problem.

I have 13 roosters, 7 free range with the hens, as for the rest, the bachelor life it is. The 6 residents in the Coop De Ville (bachelor pen) can see the hens, but they have no contact with the girls. Because there is no contact with the hens, there is no fighting for position. I plan to leave them in the bachelor pen. If I need an individual to perform a task such as breeding or protection, I can select from the bachelor pool. 

My flock free ranging. Picutred in this image are 5 out of 7 roosters that free range with my hens daily.

Having a few roosters on stand by is an asset. If you free range your flock, it is possible to loose a few roosters. A good rooster will often give his life for the flock. They are biologically wired with this protective behavior. It is for this reason that many keepers who free range thier flocks will have multiple roosters on guard. For example, I free range my flock daily. On a daily basis I have 7 to 8 rooster in the yard with the girls. To date, I have never lost a rooster to a predator. I have had to nurse a few back from the brink due to injuies from an aerial attacky by a raptor, but that is the extent.

2. Re-home extra roosters:

hiding behind the water
Roy (Buff Orpington Rooster). Roy was my first rooster. He taught me that roosters are amazing sentient creatures worthy of our admiration and respect.

In the past when I only had once coop, I re-homed roosters that I could not keep. This is pretty much what it sounds like, finding a new home for your surplus roosters. In my experience it’s pretty easy to find a new home for your extra roosters. However, when doing this, you have to understand that the new owner may see him as dinner or a fighting contender rather than a pet.

I was not aware of this when I first re-homed some of my boys. If you list your rooster on a site like Craigslist, it is possible that he will be used for illegal cock fighting. So its best to take care to find a good owner for your extra boys. If you know a friend who has a large farm, they make take him for protecting their flock. Or if you know someone who is looking to breed, this is also a good re-homing choice. If you live in an area of the country where keeping chickens is very common, its pretty easy to find home for your boys. If you are a city dweller, this may be harder to come by. You may be forced to cull him or call your state veterinarian for the best option given your area.

Another option to connect with other chicken keepers. Join a poultry club if your area has one. The backyard chicken keeping movement is exploding all over the country. In response, many poultry clubs are popping up in every conrner of the United States. A simple google search or facebook group search will yield plenty of options. Many of these clubs offer traiding/swapping/rehoming services. By connecting with other keepers in your area, you will be able to easily find a good home for you extra boys.

3.  Sell them.

🐓 Roosters-(Link, Smaug, Pantaphobia, Sec, and Supreme) keeping an eye on the activity in the backyard.

On my farm, I tend to raise some more rare breeds. I have the standard Orpingtons, Easter Eggers and Australorps that you find in most feed stores. I also have other breeds that can only be purchased from specialized hatcheries. For the rare breed boys that I end up with, I find that I can sell them to others who want to breed. It is these circumstances that allows me to sell one or more of my surplus boys. The same goes for my White Crested Polish, Silver Lace Polishe, Silver Lace Wyandotte and Buff Laced Polish roosters. They can at times go for as much as $100, especially if I throw in a few hens to seed a good starting flock.

Buying from specialized hatcheries is expensive, on top of that, you have to order a mandatory minimum then pay shipping. So for those who want to expand their flock themselves, this saves them a lot of money. So really its a win-win-win situation. They win, I win, and the roosters wins by going to a good home.

You may have noticed that none of my techniques include killing my roosters. Those are viable choices as well, for me though, I love roosters and choose to allow them to live out thier natural lives. For those who have the ability to process extra roosters, freezer camp is an option. Many people use this method to manage rooster populations in their flocks. I have nothing against this, however, since I don’t butcher my boys, I cannot speak by experience on this matter. There are many videos on YouTube no how to successfully butcher and process a rooster. For those who need tutorials this is a great resource.

I hope that you found this post helpful. If you have any questions that I did not cover, please leave them in the comments. You can also drop me a line at kuntryklucker@gmail.com.

In addition to The Kuntry Klucker, I maintain a sister blog Knowledge of the Spheres, dedicated to my other passion in life and academic degree, Astrophysics. If the subject matter of Astronomy, Astrophysics, or anything space interests you, please drop by.

As always, thanks for reading!! Till next time, keep on crowing!

~  The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~

Smaug (Silver Lace Wyandotte Rooster)

5 Reasons to LOVE Silver Lace Polishes


Fi (Silver Lace Polish Hen)

If there is one breed that will always steal the show, it’s the Polish. If there is one variation of Polish that will take your breath away, its the Silver Lace Polish. The Polish breed of chickens has taken over the backyard chicken enthusiasts movement by storm. This year, the number one selling chicken breed, was you guessed it, the Polish. What is it about the Polish breed that has backyard chicken keepers so smitten?

Fi (Silver Lace Polish Hen)

Polishes are characteristically very quirky, entertaining, and affectinate. Due to the ample feathered crests that crown their heads obstructing their vision, Polishes can be a bit flighty and jumpy. Just about everything in their environment startles them, for this reason they are often the comedians of the backyard chicken world. In addition, they are very curious, often following their curiosities into humerous predicimates. Unable to see well enough to get themselves out, they call for other members of the flock to come to their rescue. For this reason, the Polish breed can be a bit more vocal than other breeds. It is this combination of attributes that makes Polishes one of the most beloved breeds within the backyard chicken movement. Now that the Polish breed has our attention, many new variations are becoming more readily available. One of the most loved variation is the Silver Lace Polish. Here are my top 5 reasons why Silver Lace Polishes are topping the charts.

(1). Stunning Appearance:

Fi and Agatha (Silver Lace Polish Hens)

Let’s start with the obvious. These ladies and gents are absolutely beautiful!! They look like something right out of a Van Gogh painting. The command of color and contrast in their plumage leaves the observer breathless. The densly feathered creasts topping thier head completes the look. These fancy gals and gens appear as though they are dressed up for a chicken Gala. All of these attributes combined comprise their unique appearnce that commands attention of anyone who happens upon them. Make no mistake, Silver Lace Polishes will quickly become the gems of the flock. Many keepers including myself, keep these beauties to enter into poultry shows. When not winning ribbons, Silver Lace Polishes add a bit of refinment to a backyard flock.

Often the first comment I get from visitors addresses my Silver Lace Polishes. They inquire about their unique appearance, some disbelieve that they are in fact chickens. The unique apperance of the Silver Lace Polish leaves onlookers and keepers captivated by their beauty.

Link (Silver Lace Polish Rooster)

The roosters of the Silver Lace variety are even more spectacular. The additional tail and crest feathers take their ravishing look a step further. Roosters command attention, but Silver Lace Polish roosters leave the observer breathless. These ladies and gents are by the far the most loved individuals of the backyard chicken Polish enthusiast. I have several Polish color varities, the Silver Lace is hands down my favorite.

(2). Friendly, funny, feathered friends:

My son holding our Silver Lace Polish flock (Fi, Agatha, and Link)

The Polish is known to be a very friendly, affectionate, docile and curious breed. Silver Lace Polishes are much like their other Polish breed counterparts. The only difference between Silver Lace Polishes and other varieties is the feather plumage. They possess all of the challenges that other Polish varieties possess.

They are very curious, friendly and form a strong bond with their keepers. Due to their feathered crests that obstruct their vision, they can be very flighty and jumpy. To keep Polish chickens successfully, a keeper must make sure to provide a covered pen, confined free ranging space and ample coverage. The feathered crests limit their ability to see what is above them, making them easy prey for aerial predators. Additoinally, due to their crests featheres, they can be high strung. Because of this, a keeper must be aware when picking them up that they may startle. It is also these combination of attribtes that make them so entertaining to keep and watch.

(3) Great for an Urban setting:

Silver Lace Polish Flock

If you live in the city limits or in a neighborhood and want fancy chickens, you’re in luck, Silver Lace Polishes fit the bill. All Polishes, incliding Silver Lace Polishes tolerate confinment well, making them perfect for the urban setting. Due to their feathered crests, Polish chickens tend not to stray too far from the safety of their coop. If a threat is detected, they like to be close to a place of safety. Because of this, they tolerate confinment in a coop and pen very well. Other more adapt breeds for free ranging such as the Australorp, Rhode Island Red, and Orpington become restless when confined to a coop and pen.

Another plus for the urban chicken keeper is the body size of the Polish chicken. Silver Lace Polishes and all Polish chickens come in both a standard and bantam (miniture or orinmental) size. Even the standard size Silver Lace Polish chickens are a bit smaller than most standard size breeds. This is an added benifit to the urban keeper. Due to their size, Silver Lace Polishes are easier for a city keeper to accomidate on smaller plots of land.

(4) Egg Potential:

Egg basket of the girls work day. White eggs are from my Polish chickens.

Contrary to popoular belif, Polish chickens lay a fair amout of eggs. They are by no means record holders like the Australorp or Orpingon, but they do lay eggs. For those who want a small flock for an urban plot or hobby farm, Silver Lace Polishes are great. They will give you enough eggs for your family without overwhelming you with an egg surplus.

Polish eggs are typically a medium size and white to off-white in coloration. One hen will typically lay anywhere from 2-3 eggs per week. Some hens may lay more, other may lay less. On average, I can expect one of my Silver Lace Polishes to lay an egg every three days.

Another benefit closely related to egg production is broodiness. Polish chickens are not known for being broody, for the urban keeper this is a huge benefit. Not distracted by wanting to brood a clutch of chicks, they will give more attention to you, thier keeper. This sets the Polish apart making them truly “pet” chickens. Which brings me to my last point.

(5). The Ultimate Pet Chicken:

Silver Lace Polishes, Polishes and more Polishes.

If what you are in the market for is a “pet chicken”, Silver Lace Polishes are a breed to consider. They are a quirky, loveable, friendly, and approachable breed. Due to thier feather head crests, they are easy to catch and pick up, this makes them great for being around children. This means that Silver Lace Polishes are great for a family flock. Pet chickens are a great way to teach kids how to take care of animals, responsibility, and respect for other creatures. As they saying goes, “chickens are the gateway drug to farming” thus, a great way to teach lessons in sustainability. Being that Silver Lace Polishes and all Polishes are so friendly, they are great to have around a urban backyard hobby farm.

Fi and Link (Silver Lace Polishes); Smaug (Silver Lace Wyandotte Rooster)

I hope that you have found this post helpful. If I did not address any questions that you may have regarding Silver Lace Polishes, please leave a comment or drop me a line at kuntryklucker@gmail.com.

In addition to the Kuntry Klucker, I maintian a sister blog Knowledge Of The Spheres | Exploring the Celestial Spheres dedicated to my other passion in life and academic degree, Astrophysics. If the subject matter of Astronomy, Astrophysics, or anything space intersts you, please drop by.

As always, thanks for reading. Till next time, keep on crowing.

Polish chroes line (Deaky, Fi, and Freddie)

~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~

5 Reasons to LOVE Silver Lace Wyandottes

Sapphira (Silver Lace Wyandotte Hen)

When one thinks of fancy chickens, Silver Lace Wyandottes often come to mind. With the striking black and white plumage forming a lace pattern, its hard to not love these ladies. These lovely ladies and gents are uniquely American, dating back to the 1800’s with admission into the Poultry Standard of Perfection in the 1890’s. As an American breed, Wyandottes have become synomous with the backayrd chicken movement in the United States. Widely available at most farm and feed stores, Wyandottes are the poster chick for the American backyard flock. They say that beauty is only skin deep, not for these ladies. After keeping these fancy ladies (and gent) for several years, I have compiled 5 reasons to be head over heels for Silver Lace Wyandottes.

(1) Beauty :

Let’s start with the obvious, these girls are absolutly stunning. In a flock by themselves or in mixed flocks, these ladies steal the show. The black/white lace pattern of their plumage is striking against the backgroud of a freshly cut green lawn. If you want to add a bit of high class to you flock, you can’t go wrong with Silver Lace Wyandottes.

Visitors to my farm, often inquire about my Silver Lace Wyandottes. As a breed they are show stoppers and often the subject of discussion. Visitors cannot get over the beauty this breed brings to the backyard setting . I am often asked for fertile eggs so they too can have a flock of these stunning ladies.

(2) Gentile, Docile and Enduring Disposition:

Sapphira and Brisinger (Silver Lace Wyandotte hens)

If you are looking for a breed that is docile and friendly, Silver Lace Wyandottes are a great fit. When I step into the chicken yard, my Silver Lace ladies are often first to greet me. They are excited at my presence, whether I bring treats or come empty handed. They love attention and enjoy handeling and petting. If you are in the market for a lap chicken, Silver Lace Wyandottes are the breed for you.

My Silver Lace Wyandottes leading the flock to greet me as I step into the backyard.

Silver Lace Wyandottes as a breed characteristic are very curious. They always have to get into and investigate anything that I am doing, whether it be planting crops, cleaning coops or yard care. They are my supervisors, always wanting in on what I am doing. They are very sweet , offer plenty of “hen-help”, and want nothing more than the full attention of thier keeper.

Smaug (Silver Lace Wyandotte Rooster)

Silver Lace Wyandotte roosters are well behaved and friendly. Smaug, our resident Wyandotte rooster is a gentlemen. He takes good care of his ladies and is friendly toward his humans. He is as close to a cuddle bug as a rooster can get. I have 13 roosters of various breeds, all are very well behaved, but Smaug gets the prize. At 12 pounds, Smaug is a gentle giant, and the cornerstone of the Kuntry Klucker Farm.

(3) Dependabel Egg Layers

Wyandottes are excellent layers of X-large dark brown eggs. The Australorp, also known for being an excellent layer is only outclassed by the Wyandottes is terms of egg size. While the Australorp gets the prize for the most eggs laid in a year (364 is the world record), Wyandottes are larger, proving that quality is better than quantity. In the photos above, I have placed a Silver Lace Wyandotte egg next to an Australorp egg. While the Austalorp egg is a dark brown and large, the Wyandotte egg (sitting to the left) is slightly darker and noticably larger. When I first started getting eggs from my Wyandottes, judging by the size, I figured them to be double-yokers. However, this is not the case. Wyandotte eggs are very large and a beautiful dark brown. These are by far the largest eggs I have ever recieved from my backayrd flock. With eggs this size, I plan to keep Silver Lace Wyandottes in my flock for years to come.

(4) Made in America:

If you are looking to buy American, Silver Lace Wyandottes are it. While most beloved backyard chicken breeds have origins in other part of the world, Wyandottes are born and breed in America. Uniquely an American breed, Wyandottes were first developed in the 1800’s, properly named after the indigenious Wyandotte people of North America.

Silver Lace Wyandottes are a Heritage Breeds. One of my priniple passions wthin the backyard chicken movement is that of conservation of Heritage Breeds. In 2015, Silver Lace Wyandottes were listed as “endangered” by the Livestock Conservancy. As of 2020, they were listed as “recovering”. Today they are no longer endangered and removed from the list.

Smaug (Silver Lace Wyandotte Rooster)

It is through our efforts as backayrd chicken enthuiasists that these beautiful birds are thriving. Without backayrd chicken keepers, breeds like the Silver Lace Wyandottes and others would easily slip into extinction. While keeping backyard chickens is an exciting hobby, its roots run much deeper. As a backyard chicken keeper, you are also acting as a conservationist. All of us play this important role, whether we are aware of it or not.

(5) All Weather Breed:

Sapphira, Brisinger, Eldest and Smaug (Silver Lace Wyandotte flock)

Unlike other breeds such as the Silkie or Polish, Wyandottes are able to tolerate many different climates. They come factory installed with the this superpower which has made them one of the most enduirng breeds in the United States. Due to ther rose comb, Wyandottes are able to tolerate cold climates without suffering issues of frost bite as other larger comb breeds often enounter. Although heavily bodied, Wyandottes are able to withstand the hotter climates.

For Example, here in East Tennessee, mother nature throws in all at us. In the winter we experience ice and snow storms. In the spring we experince strong/severe storms, many with torrential rains and the threat of tornados. Then in the summer, is hot and humid, our summer highs easily top 90-100F. Through it all, my Silver Lace Wyandotte ladies don’t seems to mind what the wild weather here does, they just keep on keeping on. In an area that encounters many different kinds of weather, this is an atribute that a keeper should look for in the breeds they choose.

This ease of care breed has quicky risen to the top of my favorites list. If you are looking for a breed that is easy to care for, Silver Lace Wyandottes are a breed to consider. If you want a colorful flock, Wyandotte chicken come in a variety of colors (Golden Lace, Buff, Partridge, Silver Penciled, Columbian, and Blue/Red Lace).

I hope this post has been a helpful breed profile for those interested in keeping Wyandotte chickens. If you have any questions I did not cover, please post in the comment section, you can also find us on facebook, or drop me an e-mail at kuntryklucker@gmail.com.

In addition to The Kuntry Klucker, I maitain a sister blog “Knowledge of the Spheres” decdicated to my other passion and academic degree, Astrophysics. If the subject matter of astronomy, astrophysics and anything space inteestes you, plase drop by.

As always, thanks for reading. Until next time, keep on crowing?

~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~