The roosters are gone. Last Friday night was the roosters’ last night roosting with the ladies. That’s Cuddles on the far right giving what may be the stink eye or a love gaze to one of the roosters.
To refresh the memory of those who are heavy drinkers, in the spring I picked up 4 Black Copper Marans chicks. My hope was I’d get 4 hens. Realistically I knew I’d be lucky to get 3. Then it became obvious I was only going to get 2 hens. Until it became obvious that I was only getting one.
Yup. Out of the 4 chicks, 3 turned out to be roosters. Which wouldn’t be all that bad if I were the sort to hack the heads off of my roosters and eat them for dinner, but I’m not all that into hacking heads off of most things.
I eat chicken. It’s not like I’m a vegetarian. I just don’t eat my own chickens that have names. The only time my chickens will see the inside of my kitchen is when I’m making them a smoothie.
So when you end up being in charge of a bunch of roosters you don’t want because they’re illegal in your particular area, you have to start thinking of ways to get rid of your roosters.
As a chicken owner, you have a few options. People really do process their roosters themselves and pop them in the freezer. Which makes the process sound kindda simple doesn’t it? Like picking an apple. Only it’s nothing like picking an apple because apples don’t squirt blood everywhere, have feathers, or personalities. Unless it’s a Pink Lady apple, which we all know are kind of uppity.
Once you bleed out your chicken, the feathers have to be ripped out. And they don’t want to be ripped out. So you have to dip the dead chicken in boiling water several times and pull with all your might. Then of course, you have to jam your hand up their bum and rip out their entrails.
So. That’s your one option.
You can also send your roosters off to a processing plant to get processed for a fee. But unless you’re standing there watching them process your rooster you have no idea if the rooster you’re getting back is the one you hand fed corn, arugula and heirloom tomatoes while it romped in the grass, or the one your neighbour raised on pesticides and gummy bears in their bathtub.
Your third option is selling them to someone else. That’s where Kijiji come in handy. I went both routes. I got a couple of sketchy replies to my advertisement declaring I had the most fantastic roosters in the world available for the right buyer, but nothing I was completely comfortable with. For my particular roosters, I wanted them to have a home where they wouldn’t be living beside a half eaten container of ice cream.
If it came down to it, I would have sold them for meat birds, but because they really were the world’s nicest roosters (especially the one I thought was a hen) I wanted them to go to a home. It’s pretty hard for a family to find a Rooster that doesn’t regularly attack them, so for me to have 3 of them was kind of a rooster miracle.
When I wasn’t liking the replies I was getting to my Kijiji ad, I did the opposite of placing an ad. I looked up ads. “Rooster wanted”, specifically. And an ad came up right away that looked promising. A man was looking for heritage breeds that were black or blue in colour. HEY! That’s what MY roosters were! I left him a message, sent him some photos and before I knew it we were setting up a day to meet and do the exchange. I got money, he got roosters for his 3 acre farm and 3 boys who wanted pet roosters.
I was pretty sure it was going to be a good home for the roosters but still, it was sad when I peeked in on them their last night here.
They were beautiful roosters that were gonna get more beautiful as they got older. Unlike my thighs.
On Saturday morning I got all three roosters into one very large box.
Then I buckled them up and started on the 45 minute trek to their new home. A Tim Horton’s parking lot.
O.K. the parking lot wasn’t their home, but it’s where I was going to meet their new owner halfway between his farm and my house.
And there he is. My rooster’s new owner. If you ever see this man going door to door selling chicken nuggets, contact me immediately.
I didn’t name the roosters to help stop me from becoming attached to them but it didn’t really work. I became attached. They were cute and friendly and came running whenever they saw me Mainly because I usually had a handful of worms, but still.
I still think of Tuco, the first rooster I had to get rid of so I’m sure I’ll think of these 3 for a while and worry about their well being.
On my way home I got a text from the man who bought my roosters that made me feel fairly certain they were now in good hands.