Friday, May 24, 2013

Meet the Cockadoodleoodler!

It can take weeks before you realize you have a rooster. You go through the stages of grief in losing a potential egg layer...

Denial - No... It can't be a cockerel. It's just a dominant hen... They wouldn't have sent me a rooster...

Anger - You gotta be kidding me! The $&%^ rooster is crowing at 5 in the *&$^ morning!! McMurray's is going to get a earful from me!

Bargaining - C'mon. You can be a quiet rooster... I'll give you extra feed if you don't start crowing until 7AM.

Depression - What the heck am I gonna do with a rooster? That is potentially 7 less eggs a week... Why even go on...?

Acceptance - Well... Maybe I will get a few chicks out of the deal and if not I can make a nice stew with him.

So the boyfriend named him Herb. Herb Cockadoodleoodler. But the neighbor named him Jasper and so that is what stuck.

Jasper Cockadoodleoodler
So, meet Jasper. Jasper Cockadoodleoodler.

Yes, I live in a neighborhood in Seattle. No, roosters are not allowed. No, I will not tell you where in Seattle I live.

Now, keep in mind I talk with my neighbors and I ask them to tell me if there is a problem with my birds and their sleep cycles. If there is an issue, Jasper will sleep in my stew pot.

But otherwise, he is sweet. And he is a good looking bird. I believe that he is an Ameraucauna, he's got the blue grey feet and, hopefully, he will be a good sire of many baby chicks. And again if not, he will be delicious.

I have come across many people who have tried to give away their roosters in the romantic and naive hope that they will live out their life on some farm somewhere and never even have an inkling that there is a pot out there that, potentially, cooks chickens.

I admit I tend to look on those people with a slight bit of disdain. Do not get me wrong, to each their own, but I believe that if you are going to raise farm animals you should know how to dispatch a unwanted rooster or an injured hen, quickly and efficiently. I would say the same about goats, pigs, rabbits and other small farm animals allowed within the city limits.

I don't mind having a rooster, even one who crows at 6AM, but if it becomes a problem with my neighbors, I will not try to push my responsibilities off onto someone else and will take Jasper... Out, so to speak.


  1. Hi Angelina! Just found your blog! This is an interesting subject and one that has been on my mind a lot. I have had my four chickens for 6 years now (I took a chicken class back then that you helped teach) and while none of them ended up being roosters, I have known all along that at some point they will stop laying and I will want more eggs, so I will have to figure out what to do. I have to be honest, I couldn't even deal with having to set rat traps (and find dead rats in them), so hired a pest control company to come set bait stations (plus there were too many rats to trap). The point is, I am one of those people who probably wouldn't want to cull my own chickens. I would probably try to hire someone to do it for me or ask my boyfriend to do it or even turn to someone like you for help/advice. I respect and kind of envy that you can do it. It seems like a good thing to know how to do. I even get why it's important, the connection to where our food comes from and all that. I just don't think I could do it. I read a post by a local blogger recently that basically said that people like me shouldn't own chickens. One commenter went so far as to say that someone who isn't willing to cull their own chickens shouldn't even eat eggs. This kind of bummed me out and has been on my mind a lot since. I think I could do it if I had to, if it was really a matter of survival, but I do live in the city with modern day conveniences. Do I really need to do it just to prove to myself I can? Does it really mean I shouldn't own chickens if I can't? Let me know what you think. I am honestly asking because this is apparently a hot topic!

  2. Hi Lilly! I do believe that it is kinder to be able to dispatch your chickens in cases where one might be in pain or sick. It doesn't mean that you have to cull all your chickens, but if one should get sick or hurt by a dog, I feel you should be able to put it out of it's misery quickly, efficiently and humanely. Does this mean that I don't believe people should have chickens if they are not able to do this? No, I don't believe that at all. I wouldn't have put my cat down. I don't have the skills, the resources or the stomach. I took her to a vet and cried for days after.

    If you do not have the resources or the stomach to cull a chicken then YOU DO NOT HAVE TO.

    My boyfriend can't handle it, that is why I do it. If you want chickens then have chickens, screw what other people think. It is a good skill to have, just in case. But if you do not feel comfortable then find a friend who would be able to do this for you, in trade for a nice chicken dinner, or have your boyfriend do it.

    I do take issue when people try to give away their old chickens when they stop laying though. I find it rude to push the responsibility of paying for feeding and housing a non-laying hen to a kind-hearted person. I do believe in those cases, you should keep the chickens. If you are trying to find someone to take the birds I find it rude to stipulate that they are "not for eating". If you have given the bird away you no longer have the right to decide it's fate.

    But other than that, I believe it takes all kinds of people to keep chickens. Have at it! Enjoy and if you ever need a hand, just gimme a holler. I am always here. I have no life.