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. Debbie says:

    Dear Karen – I shared this post on my FB page in 2013. It just came up in my FB memories today and made me smile/chuckle all over again! You are a very talented blogger! Thank you for brightening my day.

  2. Franceska says:

    We ended up with a beautiful, most wonderful protector in our surprise Roo! We weren’t allowing the kiddos or us to name A NY of the chickadees (other than breakfast, lunch and supper). Once we found out our gorgeous Black Copper Marans was a roo, I had to figure something to do…cull him, keep him or find someone who wants him. Hubby said we can always keep him he is a good bird. HE named him King Titan (the king looks over his girls lol). From 9to20 weeks thing were great. King Titan started getting aggressive with the girls and started showing dominance over my hubby, nearly killing our 2 BO by attacking their heads/ eyes!
    We pulled him from the coop and around the girls-he was a great protector and that’s what we needed. But I needed to do something with him BEFORE our freeze set in. I put an ad up (rooster free to a home) and within days I found someone. The man says I have a forever home for him if he’s still available!! We made a big deal of King Titan leaving, pulled him out of his outside mini coop, gave him a bath, many treats and loving. He even fell asleep in my arms. The new owners family needed another roo as their 10yr old guy just passed. Their kiddos requested him to be replaced. He still messages me every now and again, letting me know how he’s doing. It kind of is bittersweet as we raised him for 32wks or so and knew all his hilarious perks (he purred when he knew you were coming around, loves bananas, string cheese and apple peels); not to mention but that crow can be contagious too.
    What a great post and thx for letting me share my King Titan story.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for sharing your story about King Titan Franceska! I actually ended up selling some Olive Egger roos I hatched out this summer to the same guy! He showed me pictures of the Copper Marans roosters (all 3) he got from me and they’ve grown up to be absolutely stunning! I’m glad you’re getting the odd update on yours too. :) ~ karen!

  3. Melissa says:

    I process my own roosters, and hens when they stop laying. Your description seems much more eloquent then the actual process.

    • Karen says:

      LOL, yes I know. I was trying to keep it as antiseptic as possible for the queazy. Slip, dip, pluck. That’s all I was saying, lol. ~ karen!

  4. JDM says:

    I’m a bit worried about the boy on the far left… he seems to be giving him an extra firm hug! :)

    I’ve always said I could never eat anything I’ve named. Husband told me to name the chickens Stew and Dumplin’. We still don’t have chickens.

  5. Jasmine says:

    That was a perfect ending! Three roosters, three little boys needing rooster as pets. It might have been more perfect if Dad had been single, but we will take what we can get. Waiting for your kitchen post with baited breath because every time I went to find the October Canadian Living, it had been sold out. There must be a lot of Art of Doing Stuff readers on Vancouver Island!

  6. Allison says:

    What a great picture of those 6 boys! It makes all the difference knowing they’re in a good home. I had to give away my first rooster last year (and actually both of my girls this summer) and know exactly how you feel. Good for you doing the leg work for them.

  7. Tracy Nanette says:

    That’s awesome!
    I guess I feel pretty lucky that when I bought my two black Chinese Silkies I ended up with one of each! I kept ’em both. Ike and Tina. :)

  8. Stephanie says:

    I am on holidays next week and won’t be tuning in. Happy Early Thanksgiving Karen. This is dedicated to Cuddles: http://images.businessweek.com/ss/05/11/egreetings/image/01.swf (Not spam, and oh so appropriate where Cuddles in concerned!)

  9. Joyce I Armstrong says:

    I went through my story about Peanut the rooster and when I hit your send, my response was that my email was not valid and I lost the story. So, being disappointed after trying to make you laugh, I figured I would try again to be sure my email address worked. You answered me so it works. Now I will try again to send you my story of Peanut the rooster. OK? You will relate to it as I see you loved your roosters as I loved Peanut.

  10. Joyce I Armstrong says:

    Your sight just bombed my message to you. I will check this out before I go through my story writing again about my chick named Peanut.

  11. kate-v says:

    Oh, that picture says it all; those kids and those roo’s are gonna’ have a great time.

  12. Anita says:

    I love a happy ending.

  13. forex says:

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all folks you really recognize what you are speaking about! Bookmarked. Please also talk over with my site =). We could have a link change arrangement among us

  14. Barbie says:

    PS: …..when does your kitchen reveal happen? Did I miss it? I hope not!! Dying to see it!

  15. Barbie says:

    What a sweet story Karen! I kept this window open for a couple days because I kept getting interrupted when trying to read this blog post, so I waited until I had uninterrupted time and I’m glad I did! I love it when things work out like that! As if God had 3 little boys all picked out for your three lovely and “beautiful” roosters!

  16. Ev Wilcox says:

    Nice of him to send you the photo. Alls well that ends well I guess.

  17. beauty says:

    Thanks for the comments. You may be interested in this as well beauty

  18. Jen says:

    What a great photo! You’re an inspiration. Someday I’ll have chickens. First I need a house…

  19. jennie says:

    I HAVE to paint a picture of the sleeping rooster, so beautiful. The colors, the textures, the serenity. You certainly raise happy boys. You’re the best chicken Mom… :)

  20. Carol says:

    Perfect! And for that man to send you that picture to ease your mind and show how thrilled his boys were, just reintegrates that they are at a good home, and you made the right choice. Print the picture and hang it on your fridge, then it will be like they are still with you whenever you want to see them!

  21. Mindy says:

    Awww, that last photo is awesome. I kinda wanted to cry….until I saw it. Even if they eat them, at least they love them.

  22. marilyn says:

    what a great dad

  23. Tracey says:

    Nothing different to add……it’s been said. But I have to agree, the picture of those boys hugging their new pets is absolutely darling!! Thank you!!

  24. Laura Bee says:

    Are you kidding me? That’s three awesome things today. I am all teary.

  25. Toronto Boy says:

    That last picture is awesome!

  26. Maureen says:

    Great story! And the adorable photos make up for those gross “lash eggs” photos.

  27. Laurinda says:


  28. Liz says:

    umm why do I have tears in my eyes. That last photo is just way too sweet :)

  29. Susan Robinson says:

    Awesome, you did good. Those boys are so cute!

  30. Janet says:

    That was a tear-jerkin’ happy ending!
    Darling pic of those boys and their new buddies.

  31. Vanessa says:

    I hope you printed out that picture and framed it! It is so cute, maybe you could hang it in the coop?

    And I am surprised by how many people I have shared your blog with!!

  32. oh my goodness…the pic of the boys and the roosters…so sweet.

  33. Jodi T. says:

    Awww. They look so sweet!! The boys are cute too ;)

    Is it a coincidence that there’s a Popeye’s chicken add right under the picture?

  34. cbblue says:

    Hey Karen, is Dad single? He seems to be your type. I’m a terrible matchmaker, but you never know.

  35. Rebecca says:

    I cried. It’s so sad to say goodbye and happy-sad to see that they will be loved and cared for.

  36. Elen Grey says:

    Hilarious! The boys look like they signed on for the Big Brother Little Rooster program.

  37. Erin says:

    Great ending to the story.

  38. Tammy says:

    That last picture is adorable! I hope they have long happy lives on the farm :)

  39. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Thanks for putting 100% into content…that’s why this blog is such a great read each and everyday.
    Such a sweet story with the picture perfect ending. Did I miss what you named your new hen?

  40. Robin says:

    Ok, this post made me chuckle….quite a few times. As I sit behind a desk at work, people see the smile on my face as I read it and wondered what I was up to. In fact this post was so enjoyable that I am still smiling. I am a sucker for a happy ending, esp. when it comes animals! Thanks for the enlightenment and the happy feeling I got from this read! Hope Chuckles is doing well with her 3 boys now gone. Have a nice weekend!

  41. Sherri says:

    As usual, you make me proud, Karen! Good for you (and those roosters) that you’re bright, resourceful and compassionate. It looks like they’ll have a good life and be loved by three adorable guys. We live in a rural area so by default we collect stray animals. We’re able to return them to their homes in some cases or place some of them with another family if we can’t find out where they belong, but if those two options don’t work, we just let them stay on. We make sure their medical needs are met, they are fed and they are loved. I’ve only regretted that decision once and her name was Maggie the Bitch. I love kitties, but Maggie was the most disagreeable and aggressive feline I’ve ever encountered. Fortunately, after about 3 months of Maggie terrorizing every animal in the area on 2 or 4 legs, our son sweet-talked a young lass into taking Maggie and her 6 kittens (yep, she was preggers when she wandered on to our land)! She created all kind of chaos at her new home and the young lady’s parents have never fully forgiven our family. It was worth their scorn to be rid of Maggie and her devil-children. In spite of that, I will continue offering medical care, shelter, food, and (hopefully) an adoptive home to homeless critters. Too bad I don’t live closer to you….I would have taken all three of those black hunks!

  42. Dagmar says:

    That turned out very well for you Karen. Thank you to the kind stranger for sharing the picture too….Besides, as the saying goes,” If you love something set it free!” And whom-ever said that wasn’t kidding. When my grand-mother was just three-years old, her parents asked her to tend the ducks who had just produced ducklings-as the elders were hoarding the cows or something out another gate-and wanted her out of the way. Well she truly make sure note of the ducks escaped or went anywhere. She hugged them so tight and tended to their every step, that she smothered the poor things to death. They never ran away , though, did they?

  43. What a great ending! Cheers

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