Rooster Culling

Rooster Culling

After much debate, we culled our rooster on Wednesday.  This culling found us both (Tool Lady and I) in a very introspective place.  Not to say this is a bad thing.  I think that if you’re getting ready to take a life, you should think about it, and have some real feelings about it.  It is a serious thing.

The culling of our first rooster a year ago seemed much easier emotionally…neither of us had never done anything like it, we had friends over to show us what to do and how to it, and it was as though we were just getting the job done.  I think it also helped that our first rooster was kind of an asshole…er…very Rooster-ish.

But this year, our Little Man was very sweet.  Very loud, but very sweet.  He fed his flock of chickens and worked to protect them without being aggressive towards us at all.  We pretty much figured that he was the perfect rooster and spent quite a while just wishing we had the space to keep him in and that our neighbors wouldn’t hate us for having him.

Then, about a week ago, we had a conversation with one of the few neighbors we actually talk to.  See, we live in a neighborhood where people are friendly enough to wave from time to time, but they don’t really engage in conversations.  We’re equally as guilty, but try our best to be friendly, offer tomatoes, etc.  Anyhow, in this conversation our neighbor mentioned some drama between a few of our other neighbors…apparently the drama involved the poisoning of a barking dog and the subsequent slashing of car tires.

First off…that’s just crappy (and terrifying) behavior in general.  Secondly though, it really got me thinking about our dogs (who don’t spend much time outside anyway because they like to bark and animal control has been called on them for said barking) and our chickens.  While clucking and cooing has been deemed acceptable by the neighborhood so far, I began to get very nervous about the Cockle-Doodle-Doos coming out of our boy at all hours of the day.

So Wednesday, being a day off, seemed like a good day to ensure that our Rooster would meet the least painful death possible.  So, we separated him from the flock on Tuesday (to control his eating) and started watching videos again.  Then, on Wednesday morning, we said our Thank You’s and culled him.

He gave us lots of smiles and laughs and will provide us with a delicious meal (a 3 1/2 pound chicken is nothing to sneeze at).  And, honestly, he will be missed.

The below video proved very helpful and matched our emotions around this culling quite nicely.  This woman seems like a very gentle soul.  Though I’m not quite sure about the whole *pink* thing 😉

Written by Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm


  1. Pingback: The Keeping & Care of Backyard Chickens - Ever Growing Farm | Ever Growing Farm

  2. Ngo Family Farm

    I think mindfulness is so important, but also so hard emotionally! Thank you for sharing this video – I really like that she did everything by her own hand and there was a surprising peacefulness about it….

    1. Bee Girl

      Thank you! Sometimes I wonder if it is something i could do on a regular basis…I wonder if it’ll get easier or harder? Right now it feels like it will just get harder, but who knows?

  3. Anonymous

    I am so glad you shared this. Is there any benefit to breaking the neck off as oppossed to using poultry shears? I hope to start raising chickens in the future and being able to cull or not has been part of the hesitation.

    1. Bee Girl

      I am not certain about shears vs. breaking the head off. We did not do that part…it felt way to intense to even think about tearing it’s little head off so we used a sharp knife instead.

      We have had our chickens for a couple of years now and have been very happy with them in so many ways! We agreed in the beginning that we would cull them when they stopped producing eggs and/or became an issue (sick, rooster, etc). It is most definitely the hardest part but we are learning some valuable lessons by having chickens in our lives! I highly recommend it!

  4. Jocelyn

    I’ve seen the video. I didn’t like the part when she pulled off the chicken’s head, but otherwise, I understood what she felt.

    It’s not easy to cull, and it’s not easy to kill on purpose, either. And I don’t think it should be. Congrats on getting through it and being mindful of it too.

    1. Bee Girl

      Ooohhh yes…we didn’t like that part either. Way too intense. We used a cone instead of holding him, too. She has an interesting technique and we took some of her wisdom, but not all of her process 🙂

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