Thursday, March 22, 2012

Homestead Fail: Pulling a Dexter on the Rooster

Last year I had a rooster and around 12 hens.  I had them protected in cages until they were around 9-12 months old.  I got the chickens through mail order and to get the chicks you had to have no less then 15 of them.  This was way more chickens than I wanted and when they were full grown I was getting tired of paying to feed them.  I decided to let them roam free in the field behind our house to see if it would work and if I lost a couple of chickens then it wouldn't be a big loss because I had more than I wanted anyway.  To my surprise the chickens didn't have any problems and after around 2-3 months none of them died.

My two oldest daughters were helping me feed the chickens and they would look for the eggs. The problems was that the rooster was very aggressive and would go after my daughters.  I tried to explain that they needed to be aggressive towards the rooster for him to leave them alone.  The more they acted afraid though the more the rooster would go after them.  I even tried to have them use a broom to keep the rooster at bay and told them to hit it but it was no use and the rooster pecked at my daughters.  

Seeing the rooster go after my daughters got me a little upset to say the least and in the back of my mind the rooster was just a waste anyway.  It didn't do anything but eat and bully the hens and my daughter.  So with having so many chickens and not interested in trying to have chicks, I decided to pull a Dexter on the rooster.  After the ritual killing of the rooster all was good with the world.  He tasted good and it was going to be cheaper to to feed the chickens in the future or though I thought.  
Literally the next day I went outside to see that there were feathers all over and it wasn't from me.  Something had killed 3 of the hens.  I had a good thing going and I messed up the balance.  Without the aggressive rooster there something must have been emboldened to eat my hens.  After this I had to keep the chickens caged all the time to protect them and it probably took more feed because I didn't move the cage around often enough to let the chickens find food for themselves.

Anyway that is my rooster story.  The moral of the story?  If your a radical feminist, be careful what you wish for, you never know when that useless male is actually providing a function.  

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