Where do Roosters go?




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.





  1. Ruth says:

    Beautiful…. ’nuff said. :-D

  2. Wilma says:

    My computer screen got really blurry when I got to the picture of the 3 boys holding their new pets! I’m happy your beautiful roosters found a good home.

  3. Barbara says:

    Its always hard to let go. But that’s a cute photo of the roosters’ new owners. Looks like they went to a good home =) BTW, the advertisement at the bottom of your post is for Popeye’s chicken nuggets :\ (Kind of sick sense of humor…that’s why I love your blog!)

  4. Beks says:

    *sigh* It looks like the story has a good ending. Three little boys hugging three beautiful birds.

    I feel your pain, though. We had to re-home our dog last year (He was WAY to strong for us, wasn’t taking to his training, no matter how much we worked with him, and was told lies about his behavior). I just saw a picture on a list of dogs who got ultimate revenge on their owners that looks JUST like him. it was surreal.

    He went to a Bulldog rescue in Missouri (thank God they didn’t keep him at the Humane Society!), so I know he’s found a good home. And your birds will have an awesome life on a farm.

  5. Kim says:

    I looked at the pic of the Dad and thought, “Yeah, he looks trustworthy.” The text with the pic of his boys holding the rooster nailed it! Wonderful story.

  6. Jody says:

    Well those are certainly 6 happy boys!

  7. Connie S. says:

    Awww , that’s a nice ending or should i say a nice new beginning for your roosters. They were certainly fortunate to have you looking out for them:) How sweet and considerate of him to share the picture with you !
    LUV your blog Karen!!! Have been a follower ever since i read about you in Canadian Gardening years ago . I’m never sure what you’re going to write about next ( thats what keeps me tuned in) but one thing for sure it’s ALWAYS interesting and entertaining- you’re such a hoot! ( and i mean that in the nicest way)
    Kudos to you and i will do my part to spread the word on FB and such.

  8. Stephanie says:

    Hi Karen,

    It’s your reader, Stephanie, in Colorado again. First of all, on the nail polish post….I totally hear ya. Over the summer I got this nail polish at Walgreens and was so excited for the home version of “gelish nails”. It was so expensive and I was sorely let down! My dreams of midnight dark purple nails done at home was shot!

    Okay, mainly wanted to comment on the roosters post. Two out of 5 of my chickens turned out to be roosters. The first one that I had to get rid of, “Christy”, was a snot of a chicken anyways and picked on my others, so getting rid of her was more of a pain because of the logistics. And that first time, I had to do it fast! I had already gotten a complaint from an anonymous neighbor and from the county. Woops! Apparently, he had been crowing at 4:30am. But because I am three floors up from my backyard and the windows were closed, I didn’t here him. I refused to believe this neighbor until I went down at 4:15am right before the summer sun rose, and sure enough out pops Christy and “cockle-doodle doooooo”!

    Next was Betty. Oh my sweet beautiful Betty. He/she was a different story. She was a sweet, gorgeous Jersey Giant who came up to me and sweetly look into my eyes and she used to hop up on my 4 yr olds lap and sit there until she was made to leave. Well, after a long period of DENIAL, I had to finally accept that the fact that Betty was a “he”.

    Anyways, I went through all the options that you did in your post. I ended up giving them away on Craigslist. I went through the candidates as if I was giving my own child up and both times I found people with farms that needed roosters. Well, supposedly anyway. Again, I will never know but will always choose to believe that they are struttin’ around a pretty little farm somewhere in Boulder. Even Christy, the B*T>H chicken. I’ve considered asking for pictures of Betty so I can see that she is happy. Oh good Lord! What has happened to me?!?


  9. SuzyMcQ says:

    Aw, those kids are so cute with your roosters, EXCEPT the one wearing the Crocs. I don’t trust kids wearing Crocs, especially the ones with the holes in them, the shoes not the kid.

  10. Kelly says:

    What an awesome outcome to your rooster dilemma. It’s amazing how things all come together if you try hard enough. Karen, you are one determined, resourceful, smart, clever and wise lady. I just love a happy ending :)

  11. That dude is a keeper (and those boys look thrilled with their pets) :) Glad things turned out so awesome, Karen!

    Shared all over :)

  12. Korrine Johnson says:

    Wow! They are beauties!

  13. Jane P says:

    Pretty much a vegetarian…don’t like to label myself…thought I was going to start eating a little chicken the day you posted the black birds…I was afraid to click on the post…and then…they were beautiful!!

    Fast forward to this post and the killing!!

    I went from yuck…too Grossed Out…to tears as you said good-bye…and then a big smile with the pic’s of the boys. How awesome is that…thanks for all the emotions…ending with a smile

  14. Nicole2 says:

    Wow, I’m amazed at how perfectly well this worked out!! The stars were aligned.

  15. Karol says:

    Yay! A happy chicken story. Thanks for the sweet ending photo. In my head I read this part: 3 acre farm and 3 boys who wanted pet roosters, in quotation marks. In that wink-wink, nod-nod kinda way. But it turned out there were really 3 boys!
    And Oh-The-Irony of a Popeyes Chicken ad at the top of your page. LOL

  16. Jean says:

    Very touching.

  17. Jamie H says:

    Love that you found a home for your roosters. LOVE the picture of you in the kitchen with your chicken – especially your dress – you look so cute!

  18. Su says:

    ohhhh how sweet! pet roosters! love the picture….
    hey did I miss the post where you actually shared pictures of the WHOLE kitchen? those of here in the good ole’ U.S. of A. don’t get Canadian Living… I even looked at B&N… just wondering

    • Su, you can subscribe or buy back issues here: https://secure.canadianliving.com/online-store/?cat=I

      I believe the kitchen story is in October 2014. It’s weird to read that we have something in Canada that can’t be had in the U.S. Usually it’s the other way ’round :(

      • Su says:

        thanks Monique!
        I just downloaded the issue and OH.MY.GOODNESS…
        2 things – Karen that is a super kitchen! LOVE 99.9% of it – not that my opinion counts for squat, it’s your space….
        and I may seriously have to subscribe to Canadian Living…. this magazine is so nice. I’m a sucker for the holding in my hands, drinking coffee, flipping pages magazine read…. AND they actually have recipes that I have most of the ingredients for and would actually try :)…. I love Martha Stewart Living, I truly do, and usually I find at least one thing in the rag I would/could do, but most of the recipes???? not so much….

        • Karen says:

          Hi Sue – Canadian Living is known for their recipes. They don’t just throw up any old recipe. They test, restest and test again. They are tried and true recipes that work and taste great. ~ karen!

        • Jeanette says:

          Su, I have been getting Canadian Living on and off – mostly on – every month since I came to Canada in 1985, and have used lots of their recipes, and have not yet found a bad one! I have people that kill to get invited to my Christmas parties because their gingerbread recipe is the best ever.

        • Su says:

          that’s awesome :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Su! Nope you didn’t miss it. I’ll be posting those pictures in a week and a half. :) ~ karen!

      • Su says:

        ok so I was impatient..patience is not my virtue or my middle name….
        … the spread in the magazine was so nice and I loved your article…. :)

        I seriously have to get back to work

  19. Ann says:

    Good for you finding such a perfect home for your extra roosters. And I know what you mean when you find a great gentle rooster it is hard to send them on away. My sweet gentle giant is a full 4 years old and he along with his hen are getting a bit slower and sometimes don’t get up and down their ramp very well. I would love to keep them forever but honestly, you get to a point where you have to make decisions. The biggest stumbling block I have with it, is not knowing if I can ever find another really gentle guy to take his place. Hens I can always find and they are rarely all that mean to begin with. Except for Charlotte. That girl almost bought the farm a few weeks ago when she pecked at me every time I walked in the run. But she must have gotten the message and has settled down for now. But she better quit the moulting and get to laying or she may still be at risk.

  20. cary says:

    oh you made me cry. well done.

  21. Tigersmom says:

    Well, that worked out well but, I’m starting to feel hollow inside because I didn’t tear up.

  22. Phyllis Kraemer says:

    What a great Dad!!….Looks to me like this guy is a stellar fellow!…how nice it was of him to send you a that photo…so that we could all tear up with our morning coffee!!!

  23. Barb says:

    What a great real-life story! The man who took them home apparently knew how much they meant to you so I’m thinking they’ll be leading a good life with 3 darling boys who look like they love them already. I wonder if they might be 3 new “Cuddles”?

  24. Sally A says:

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to get teary! Those boys looked so happy! Awesome that they each got one. Meant to be!

  25. Ru says:

    Oh no, you need to warn people if it’s a tear jerker!First, I was sad you were losing your beautiful boys and then those boys had your boys…what are you doing to me, Karen?! It’s worse than Lassie. :-)

    • Karen says:

      LOL! I didn’t actually realize it was a tear jerker until people started to mention it in the comments! ~ karen

  26. Sara says:

    The picture at the end actually made me tear up enough that I had to go back to read the part about tearing out entrails. Well done.

  27. TucsonPatty says:

    The photo made me grin from ear to ear! Like some one else said – it was as though you raised those three boys for those other three boys. What a wonderful ending to this story!

  28. Jane says:

    Best story ever! Those boys, all 6 of them, are adorable!!!

  29. Giovanna says:

    You sure can tell a story! And such a cute ending…

  30. Catherine says:

    Totally feel for you. Love my menagerie to bits and would feel such a wrench at having to let any of them go. I would love to have a pig but that pig would be the fattest most spoiled pig ever to die at a grand old age of natural causes, as there’s no way I would be able to eat that pig. So probably best not to get one!

    Looks like you found the ideal home for your roosters and I have to say I love the idea of a pack of kids and their roosters! Very Hogwarts somehow!

  31. Susan Preston says:

    Sad to see the boys go. Sad to see they turned out to be boys . Sad that I didn’t get a hen. Sad my other friend who just had a passel of Marans ended up with a bunch of boys! …happy the boys ended up with the boys.

  32. Auntiepatch says:

    Oh, how cute! Little boys and their roosters!

  33. Stephbo says:

    When my dad was a youngster growing up on a farm, they had a pet cow. And them one day they butchered and served up said cow. I really hope your roosters will be pets for the rest of their days.

  34. tajicat says:

    Love the photo, sad you had to give them up, but it looks like the will have a good home. I’ve shared your blog with family and friends too. :)

  35. Grammy says:

    So, so happy that you found the right man — one who knows you need to see how happy his three boys and their roosters will be. What a perfect ending.

  36. Jennifer says:

    Such a sweet ending!

  37. Debbie says:

    Having three boys of my own, I can’t stop smiling at the photo. What a wonderful smile you’ve given us today! Thank you.

  38. Wisconsingal says:

    I know what you mean when you say you still think about the first rooster you had to get rid of. I still think about my sweet, beautiful palomino horse. I had to sell him when I went off to college – and that was in 1976! It’s like parting with a member of your family, no way around it. Looks like a wonder new life awaits those guys. Good work!

  39. Andrea says:

    It’s like you raised those roosters just for those little boys. Talk about fate. Sweet story.

  40. chris aka monkey says:

    awww the story was making me get a lump in my throat and the pic made me burst into tears and i didn’t even know the dang roosters… i am such a wuss i will cry when i have to release wilbur and i still don’t know what that cat is gonna be xx

  41. Cred says:

    I just love that he sent the photo in a text for you. Those boys look pretty pleased with their new pets- 3 roosters need homes and you find 3 boys that need roosters- rather serendipitous!

  42. Rondina says:

    The best part was seeing those boys holding their new friends.

    You done good. : )

  43. Ella says:

    Everybody wins!

  44. Deb says:

    This is my favorite blog in the world wide web. Why are you not a household name! Thank you for sharing your rooster tale with us, and may they live a long and happy adventure with their new family.

    So are you gonna try and get more hens or what?

    • Karen says:

      I’ll tell you why Deb. Because I don’t promote my blog enough and get the word out. Technically I should be spending 20% of my time creating content and 80% promoting it. I spend 100% of my time creating content and 0% promoting it. There you have it. Your answer. :) ~ karen!

      • Deb says:

        hmmmmm. Well I just promoted you to my 472 Facebook friends. We should ALL spread the word. Readers of the best blog in the world, UNITE!

        • Karen says:

          LOL. THANK you. I don’t think people realize how big of an impact regularly sharing to Facebook and Pinterest has on the success of a blog. It’s hugely important! Thanks again. :) ~ karen!

  45. Lisa says:

    I think I lost my comment – short version – they look like pets! YAY for the roosters!!!

    But – When I was (very) young, we soaked the chicken in a 5-gal bucket of cold water for XX hours (1 hour? 2 hours?) Also, it could have been 20 minutes, because I was so young….

    What’s this scalding business – aka boiled chicken, and ripping out entrails? How come I don’t remember this being so traumatic? My grandparents only had 5-10 chickens at any given time, so this was definitely a backyard operation 35+ years ago.

    • Lisa says:

      oh, that was supposed to be – we soaked the chicken carcass in the bucket so the feathers came right off. Little 5-year-old me was not drowning live chickens…

      sorry for the scary imagery.

  46. Lora says:

    Aww sad sad but happy at the same point. I questioned to death what I would do if we came up with a rooster in our first batch, I still not 100% sure with the silkies because it takes long to tell with them but I am 90 95% certain with the rest. I am zoned to have them I would only allow 1 for my small flock. But hearts and tears to you for fining a good home. You truly are one of the fine souls left in this world, I think with chickens we are more gentle, understanding and kind people. We realize they are not just meat they are tiny beings. Mine will never be eaten they can live their days in retirement with me. Thanks for the eggs and the Roos gotta find a home…

  47. Bobbi says:

    Happy, happy, joy, joy !! That is the BEST !!!!

  48. Devon says:

    Aw, I love this! Those are the luckiest roosters on the planet, first to grow up with you and now to be adopted by those boys. Just awesome. Thank you for sharing this.

  49. Teresa J says:

    Awwww, those little guys are so cute. Ok now no one has to feel sad anymore!!

  50. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    OMG..That is the cutest picture..It should make you feel less guilty now..looks like they are going to be some spoiled roosters..

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