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How do I Re-Home an Unwanted Rooster?

I acquired Zeus from an ad for a free rooster on CraigsList.

I acquired Zeus from an ad for a free rooster on CraigsList.

Rooster are Very Protective

Zeus is intensely staring at something that has put him on alert.

Zeus is intensely staring at something that has put him on alert.

Pros and Cons of Keeping a Rooster

No matter where you acquire your chicks from, the reality is that sometimes sexing mistakes do happen and a cockerel slips through the cracks and is mistaken for a pullet. You may have taken a chance on buying straight run and are disappointed to discover that a couple of your new chickens aren't going to be supplying you with those eggs that you want so badly.

There are benefits to keeping a rooster in the hen house that you may not be aware of. Unless there is a city ordinance that prevents you from having a rooster, take these facts into consideration before making the final decision on what you want to do with him.

  • Roosters are very protective of their hens- They can be extremely territorial and will literally fight to the death against any animal that tries to take one of the hens.
  • Breeding- If you are interested in hatching out fertilized eggs either naturally by a hen sitting on them or inside of an incubator, you will need a rooster to do his part of fertilizing the eggs.
  • Companionship- Some roosters make great pets. Although they are hardwired to protect their flock, breed and eat, they can also be as entertaining as the hens.

Some of the bad points about keeping a rooster can be better viewed as opinion. What bothers your neighbor may not bother you at all.

  • Crowing- Roosters do not only crow early in the morning with the sunrise. They crow constantly throughout the day. Nonstop. Some people will find this noise disruptive.
  • Fighting- Roosters are hard wired to fight with each other in order to establish their hierarchy. Some roosters will not be satisfied unless they are the only male in the henhouse so they will kill other roosters.
  • Aggressive behavior toward humans- Unfortunately this does happen. A rooster may become aggressive towards humans. This behavior can be dangerous and is extremely hard to change. If you become afraid of the rooster, it's time for the rooster to go.

Zeus Crowing in the Middle of the Day

This adorable little chick turned out to be a rooster.

This adorable little chick turned out to be a rooster.

5 Ways to Find a New Home for an Unwanted Rooster

  • CraigsList- You can post an ad on your local CraigsList. If you need to find a new home for the rooster quickly, post him for free. If you want and are able to take the time to find a home for him as a pet you can charge a small fee. Sometimes the fee will distract people that are looking for a chicken dinner or a rooster for the illegal fighting ring.
  • Message Boards- Some of the most popular websites on chickens have a message board where people can sell or trade their birds.
  • Word of Mouth- Tell your friends and acquaintances that you have an unwanted rooster. With the popularity of chicken keeping, it could lead to an offer of a new home.
  • Social Media- Along the same lines as word of mouth but post photos of your rooster on your social media pages with the information that you are wanting to find a new home for the bird. You may be surprised what a few shared posts from your friends can accomplish.
  • Shelters and Sanctuaries- With the popularity of homesteading and raising chickens, there has been an uptick in the number of shelters and sanctuaries dedicated to chickens, goats, rabbits and other animals. You can Google the information for the ones that are located close to you.
Zeus inside the chicken coop.

Zeus inside the chicken coop.

You Have Made the Decision, Now What?

You have made the decision that the cockerel or rooster has got to go so now what do you do? There are a few things to take into consideration before taking the next step. Ask yourself this question: Do I want to specify that the rooster be a pet or am I OK with the chance that he may be culled for the freezer or used in a fighting ring?

Honestly, you will probably never know the outcome of what happens to the rooster once he leaves your property but it is possible that he will be culled to be turned into chicken soup or that he will, unfortunately, be used in illegal cockfighting.

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Nugget the rooster found a new home with my sister-in-law's uncle.

Nugget the rooster found a new home with my sister-in-law's uncle.

Caponizing a Rooster

Caponizing and Culling as the Last Resort

Caponizing a rooster is essentially removing the testicles from the rooster's body. It is an actual surgery that can be performed on the bird. It is not suggested to try to do this surgery yourself because the testicles lay in the body next to a major artery and if that artery is damaged, the bird could bleed to death in minutes.

The advantages of caponizing over culling are that the bird remains alive and you can keep the rooster. The removal of the testicles will result in a very docile rooster that does not crow, is not interested in sex, is not aggressive and acts more like a hen than a rooster.

This used to be quite common as capon meat is considered some of the most tender and flavorful meat available. Unfortunately as we moved toward an industrialized food system, the number of people with the knowledge on how to caponize a rooster has dwindled dramatically so finding someone with the knowledge of caponization may prove to be a challenge.

If you have been unsuccessful at finding a home for your rooster, the last resort that you may want to consider is culling. This is not easy for some people, especially if the rooster has been treated as a pet. Depending on the age of the bird and how you feel about the idea, you can freeze the carcass for future use in the kitchen.

Culling a rooster is quick and if done correctly can be painless for the bird if you know what you are doing. Maybe you will have success with the other suggestions listed here and won't have to go this route. Hopefully lady luck will be on your side and your rooster will find a new home with everything that his little bird heart desires.

© 2015 Helena Ricketts


Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on October 01, 2015:

Hi Helena, My grandmother used to have chickens and a rooster in he hard when I was a young girl. I used to love to watch them and watch her feed them. I enjoyed your hub.

Blessings to you.

Uzair Mehmood from USA, TX on March 24, 2015:

Roosters are great. Every one should own a rooster and few chicks. Its good to see them roaming around.

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