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Re-homing An Unwanted Rooster

10 tips for dealing with an unwanted rooster. How we rehomed our cockerel. #chickens #rooster

Despite our best efforts and attempts at denial we had to admit that we had a rooster among our hens.  We had wondered about the growing comb on his head and larger tail, but the crowing that began right around 11 weeks of age was the final straw.  We had to re-home the unwanted rooster pronto or find out if we really were capable of culling the flock.  If you are trying to deal with an unwanted rooster you can scroll to the bottom for 10 tips on how to deal with your unexpected cockerel.

Being responsible people we tried the absolute best we could to not have a rooster.  We knew it was illegal to have a rooster in town so we bought from a company that guaranteed 98% accuracy on sexing of small batches of chickens…  Clearly we should have bought lotto tickets the day we ordered our chicks since we fell in that lovely 2%.  We were obviously concerned that we would be unable to find a home for Ginsburg (yes we had a rooster named after Ruth Ginsburg, the irony…).  After asking around our facebook friends and getting no where we put a post up on our local freecycle boards.   With in an hour we had a bite and we were sooooo lucky.

10 tips for dealing with an unwanted rooster.  How we rehomed our cockerel. #chickens #rooster
Around 8 weeks we started to get nervous… See the tail feathers? None of the other hens had those.

A gentleman with a 15 free range hens wrote that he had been considering a rooster; could meet us after work that very day and take the rooster off our hands.  Personally, I did not care if he came in a van marked “Chicken Meat for Sale”. We needed rid of the unwanted rooster before we became the neighborhood pariah.  He had already been crowing all weekend long.  When our rooster savior and his family appeared we spent a bit chatting and I really thought our rooster was going to go to a good family.  His name was Adam too so that alone seemed like good luck.  They were so thrilled to have him and told us all about their flock.

10 tips for dealing with an unwanted rooster.  How we rehomed our cockerel. #chickens #rooster
Oh yeah. That is clearly a rooster. No doubt about it.

Little did we know that Ginsburg was going to the proverbial motherland of hens with awesome chicken owners. Chicken-Adam has been excellent.  It has been like the open adoption of roosters.  He has awesomely let us know how he fared his first night, how he was learning to integrate with the flock, asked us some questions about his breed, and sent us some amazing photos!  If I had to end up with a rooster I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

10 tips for dealing with an unwanted rooster.  How we rehomed our cockerel. #chickens #rooster
Now this is a happy rooster. You can see his flock and free range home in the background. So lucky to have found such a great owner for him.  Thanks Adam for keeping us up to date!

If you do not end up as lucky as us here are some ideas on how to take care of your unwanted rooster!

10 Tips on Re-Homing Your Unexpected Rooster

  1. Craigslist – You might be able to get $5-$15 for an unwanted rooster, but your best bet for quick placement is FREE.  Make sure to hit the free section and the farm + garden.
  2. Freecycle – Obviously you will need to offer the rooster for free on this site.  It is not quite as ubiquitious as Craigslist, but our Asheville, NC group seems pretty active
  3. Facebook groups – We have a local and very active group (+16K members) who buy, sell, trade and generally chat.  They help rehome all types of animals on the West Asheville Exchange.  If you search the name of your town or a close city you can usually find a number of groups to join.
  4. Local Feed Stores – They probably will not take your rooster BUT they know every poultry keeper in the surrounding area.  Ask them if they know anyone looking for a rooster.  If you are willing to let the bird be culled they will often know a farm or two that take free roosters for the eating
  5. Do the Deed – Oh yes, the traditional way to get rid of unwanted roosters!  Frankly, as a chicken owner I feel like you may need to know this technique even if you never plan on killing your chickens.  If one of them gets incredibly hurt or sick you may need to complete a mercy killing.  I thought this video was not terribly graphic but gave a good idea of how to complete the deed.
  6. Call your local animal control – They may take the bird (which will likely end with its death) or know local organizations that will help.
  7. Contact local 4-H groups –  Please do not do this is you have an aggressive rooster, but if you have a nice one then their may be kids looking for a rooster for their flock.
  8. Photos – With any of the above posting places you need photos.  Let me repeat add a photo.  People want to see what they might be getting.  A nice, healthy, plump rooster is much more appealing than a text ad.
  9. Words – Although I think a photo is a key ingredient in re-homing a rooster,  the text you type is also really important.  You also need to tailor it for your audience.  The local facebook group will band together if you have a good reason to need help.  I would have made certain to discuss how gentle he was, how good with the hens, the attempts we had gone to to NOT have a rooster etc.  Craigslist I would have made sure to discuss statistics like size, breed, feed, general health.  Make sure to give the information each platform needs and wants
  10. Bundle your rooster – If you can stand to lose a hen, or feed, or a cage etc it can make the offer that much more attractive.  Especially if the rooster is a fancy breed.  You can sell a breeding pair or just require that if someone wants to buy a hen they have to take the rooster too.

Bonus tip:

American Poultry Association – I am adding this as a bonus option.  They deal with clubs all over the US, but they are really only going to be helpful if you have a very nice purebred rooster on your hands.  You can look through a list of contacts by state to contact.

10 tips for dealing with an unwanted rooster. How we rehomed our cockerel. #chickens #rooster



15 thoughts on “Re-homing An Unwanted Rooster

  1. Free to good home rooster if you are interested please contact me at area code 828-242-8664

  2. I enjoyed your chat about re-homing a rooster. My ISA Brown rooster arrived here in. The Raleigh,NC area in a batch of hens on 2/8/2020. He is beautiful –tall, white with brown speckled on his wings. My neighbor is being tolerant of his crowing, but I fear that she will eventually ask me to “deal” with the noise as she works and will not always enjoy being awakened by him. So, I appreciate you list of suggestions for finding him a home as it may come down to that.

    1. Hopefully it won’t come down to that. We are giving a rooster collar a go this year to see if we can keep a Svart Hona for breeding.

  3. I’m glad you found a home for your rooster, we have a dilemma in Rocklin Ca, we can have hens no roosters, (sound familiar?) we purchased some wyandotte chicks , one was real small and I thought banty, my 5 year grandaughter didn’t want to exchange the chick, at 7weeks peewee started crowing,we have to find him a home,

    1. It is a pain of chicken ownership if you start with chicks. Hope you were able to find a new home.

  4. Need a forever home for 3 beautiful full breed black copper marans very young still.

  5. Have 2 roosters that need reforming
    Live in suburbs (Edwardstown)

  6. Just curious, why are you not allowed to have a rooster? Do the powers that be want to control the chicken population?

    1. Our houses are fairly close together and being in Western North Carolina a lot of houses still do not have air conditioning. I think a lot of people do not enjoy being woken up at the crack of dawn with a rooster crowing right in their open window. I kind of feel the same about dogs that bark all the time, so, I really do not mind the ordinance. The surrounding area is quite rural so any time you need more chickens or fertilized eggs it is easy to get them.

  7. I love the story of your rooster – I really want chickens so this advice might come in handy one day.Thanks for linking up to Pin Worthy Wednesday, I have pinned your post to the Pin Worthy Wednesday Pinterest Board.

  8. This cracks me up! I have thought about getting chickens, the organic eggs would be awesome, but I’ve not put that much thought into it. Never thought about Roosters, I’m sure that we can’t have them in the city either, I’m sure that’s why I haven’t heard the crowing! LOL

    He certainly is a fine looking Rooster and I’m glad that you got a great home for him, looks like he’s in rooster heaven on earth!!

    Thanks for linking this to WAYWOW! I saw the picture and laughed, I love this post!!! Have a great week.

  9. It’s amazing how you could see his roostery qualities develop so young! I’m glad you found someone to take him so quickly & he looks quite happy in his new home :) Visiting from #waywow

    1. Yeah. Because he was so young and a hybrid we kept trying to convince ourselves that he was not going to be a rooster!

  10. Wow, what a story! So glad though that he found his forever home!!

    1. I am very glad too! It was the absolute best outcome one could hope for.

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