I have roosters. A bunch of roosters.
Near the end of winter, I started up a teeny, tiny micro hatchery (me, 2 styrofoam incubators and about 90 eggs at a time; MICRO). I have some really nice laying hens and a beautiful French Blue Marans rooster.
I was especially interested in turning out some Olive Eggers
by mixing Sir (the rooster) with my Ameraucanas.
Sooo cool! The eggs are beautiful!
On average half of what I hatch will be roosters. I am not a fan of the cruel and wasteful grind and dump method used by commercial hatcheries, but one can only have so many roosters! And, since I sell my chicks straight run, people who support my small farm will end up with roosters, which I feel kinda bad about. So I hatched (pardon the pun) the plan that buyers should take 1 or 2 more that they want, then when the roosters begin to show themselves. I will take them back. It’s working out well. Except for all these roosters!
Part of my homesteading plan is to stop buying commercial meat (and anything else that I can grow myself). I don’t really eat much meat, mostly chicken and I know how bad it is (thanks, Food Inc. For real) but I keep buying it because the good, local and humanely raised birds are out of my budget. Lame.
But wait…what about all those beautiful roosters I have? My feed bill is INSANE. They move too fast to be counted, but I probably have 20 roos. Some I hatched, some were unusual breeds bought straight run (Dorkings and Black Copper Marans), all are wolfing down the feed and taking up coop space that I need for hens. So I should eat them. I will eat them. I don’t doubt that I can do the deed and know they will be delish. As Joel Salatin says, “They have had a great life on my farm and just one bad day…”
My bigger problem is that…well…they’re so pretty! And not aggressive (yet). I hate to “waste” them. So I keep placing ads to see if someone wants them for their beauty and mating potential, but no takers. So, having exhausted that possibility, and since the first batch has started crowing, I think it’s time to make use of them.
In the 4+ years I ran my organizing business, I stressed to clients that if they didn’t use something, no matter how pretty or valuable it was, it was really worthless, filling up precious space and often costing them money (by paying for storage). And now, look at me. Over roosters for crying out loud!
I realized that it’s like my favorite shoes…
I LOVE these shoes! I have danced my ass off in them, strutted into a room with them, feeling like Cat Woman. They’re cute and not torturously uncomfortable and….ahhhhhh. But they have been sitting in a box in my too small closet for the past 2 years. I barely even go out anymore, much less get dressed up like a hooker to do so! So I put them in the get-rid-of box with all the other shoes that don’t fit into my farm life. It’s a big pile. It leaves me with Converse, Crocs and Sloggers. Not sexy. I keep taking them out of the box! I just like to look at them. Try them on once in a while and feel sexy! I bet Fred would like me in them.
Like the roosters, they are so pretty that I hate to waste them, just sitting in a box, hidden away, when someone should be using them. I have pulled the shoes out of the Goodwill box one last time. I know I won’t wear them, but They don’t live in the closet anymore.
The roosters time is near. Like my shoes, they will be much appreciated and admired.
William Morris said it best,