Roosters

What To Do If a Roo Isn’t for You

White Plymouth Rock Rooster

Roosters aren’t right for every owner or every flock, but culling them isn’t the only option. If you’re looking for a humane way to get rid of a rooster and earn a few bucks, Craigslist is worth a try. Price your bird at around $10 to deter buyers who are simply looking for meat birds. If you don’t mind if you’re rooster may be slaughtered or need to get rid of a troublesome bird quickly, try offering him for sale at $5 or for free. If you are willing to part with one of your pullets, you may also have more success advertising the pair together. Craigslist may not have the best reputation, but it is free to list your rooster and has been successful for many former rooster owners, such as BackyardChickens.com user, jettgirl24:

I just re-homed mine using Craigslist last week. I had my post up for about a month, starting at $10 for purebred Marans. I ended up putting the ad in the community section under ‘Pets’ as well as under ‘Farm & Garden’ and gave them to a woman for free because she was super nice and just loved them. Don’t give up hope, just keep posting and eventually you’ll find a good home.

If you have a farm supply or garden store in your area, try asking if you can post a flier in their shop or see if they would be interested in taking the rooster off your hands. It is helpful to give the rooster a name and to include a character description along with a photo of your roo looking his very best! 

Other websites where you can list your rooster for adoption include: PetFinder.com and AdoptAPet.com. Depending on your area, you may have some luck contacting fellow chicken enthusiasts directly through local clubs or meet-up groups at MeetUp.com. If you don’t mind spending a bit of money to advertise your rooster, place an ad in your local paper or farm-related newsletter if one exists in your area. 

Fun Craigslist Rooster Ad Photo
Taking Notes? Cool photos like this earn big points with animal lovers looking for a new roo


Poultry swaps or shows in your local area are another avenue to investigate. The majority of these events take place in the summer, but occur at limited dates year-round. The American Poultry Association, Poultry Show Central, and the Greater California Society of Poultry Fanciers all post listings of upcoming shows. 

Rooster rescue organizations exist throughout the state of California for the sole purpose of re-homing unwanted roos. If you are unable to find a new home for your rooster on your own, consider giving him to a rooster rescue. If a placement fee is not required, consider giving a donation to help support the organization as many of these groups are independently run. Below is a list of rescue organizations by region: 


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Farm Sanctuary, Acton, CA
5200 Escondido Canyon Road
Web: www.farmsanctuary.org
E-mail: info@farmsanctuary.org

Blue Hill Farms, Ventura, CA
Web: www.bluehillfarms.com

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

Save the Cocks, Templeton, CA 
Web: www.savethecocks.com
Phone: 805-226-6567
E-mail: info@savethecocks.com

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Farm Sanctuary, Orland, CA 
19080 Newville Road
Web: www.farmsanctuary.org
Phone: 530-519-0183
E-mail: info@farmsanctuary.org

Horse Plus Humane Society, Oroville, CA
Web: www.horsehumane.org
Phone: 530-282-5565 (Sun-Thurs noon-5pm
E-mail: info@horsehumane.org 

Animal Place, Grass Valley, CA
17314 McCourtney Rd
Web: www.animalplace.org
Phone: 530-477-1757
E-mail: info@animalplace.org

Concord Feed, Concord, CA
5288 Clayton Rd.
Web: www.concordfeed.com
Phone: 925-887-9200

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Chicken Behaviors, Roosters

Is a Roo Right for You?

 

buff orpington rooster
A Buff Orpington rooster keeps a watchful eye over his hens

Nothing says “farm” quite like the quintessential crow of a rooster in the early morning. These stunning creatures are not only visually appealing with their gorgeous feathering, but also act as the first line of defense between predators and the rest of your flock. A rooster is essential if you’re planning on hatching chicks; but even if that is not the case, these birds provide a range of benefits to almost any flock:

Food Call: When a rooster happens upon a tasty morsel, such as a table scrap or something found while foraging, he will alert the rest of the flock with a repetitive call or even pick up the food and offer it to a nearby hen. This behavior, known as tid-bitting, is a manifestation of the rooster’s natural protective instinct to put his hen’s welfare before his own.

Protection: Roosters will alert the flock to airborne or land-based predators and fend them off if necessary. When the end of the day draws near, a rooster will also help corral the hens back towards the coop. Rooster owner, Matthew of Virginia posted the following testimony to his rooster’s usefulness on the forums at BackyardChickens.com

Without my roo I would be out several hens even with two border collies and two guard geese roaming. When a hawk swoops I hear him give his warning and the hens scatter. The geese and the dogs don’t look up! I haven’t lost any chickens to a hawk and I think it has a lot to do with the rooster.

Social Hierarchy: It is a natural behavior for social birds like chickens to establish a social hierarchy to help maintain order within the flock. This pecking order dictates many behaviors such as who mates with who and which hens get the best roosting spots and scraps of food. Because of his strength and masculine authority, it is natural for a rooster to take on the alpha role. This helps prevent disruption in the flock by establishing a firm pecking order. Without a rooster, hens will compete amongst themselves for the alpha spot which diminishes peace and stability within the flock. (The Field Guide to Chickens, Pam Percy)

Hatching Eggs: If you are looking to hatch chicks of your own, you will need a rooster to fertilize the eggs. Chicks will hatch after approximately 21 days of incubation. Conversely, you may also choose to sell your fertilized eggs which can fetch twice the price of regular eggs. Roosters are sexually mature at 25 weeks and will mate throughout the year anywhere from 10-30 times per day. To avoid excessive mating and stress on your hens, it is recommended that you have 8-10 hens per rooster.