Seventeen Rowdy Boys

11115749_10205589598873819_847017714110477628_n For those of you who haven’t been following my blog (when I actually have time to sit down and write a post, that is!), I stumbled into the world of raising chickens with little to no prior experience and twenty little gold chicks. Little Dude picked most of them out, based on the ‘they look cute’ method of deciding which chick to get. Honestly, at that ‘couple days old’ stage, they ALL look cute.

They came home with us from Tractor Supply in the box to your left and we all ooo-ed and awwed over them while DH got the coop ready for them.

In the days that followed, they grew and so did my second-hand knowledge of the little chicks, Gold Sexlinks , we’d brought home.  In bought a book about raising chickens, browsed websites, and Googled sexlinks for days… and came to the realization that a good number the cute little gold chicks my son had picked out were going to wind up being roosters.

Seventeen of them, to be exact.

DH and I argued )amicably over it for days, but in the end, the last twelve weeks have proven me right.  We have 17 roosters, whom we call The Boys.

When the shock wore off, we decided to make the best of it, and planned to use them for meat, because what else do you 17 roosters?

I’ll tell you… you laugh at them, at lot.  A LOT.

My Boys, they have personality.  From the very first time they freaked out at the bird toys I hung in the brooder box for them to amuse themselves to their first times outdoors, these crazy white roosters and them three red/brown sisters have been highly entertaining.

We’ve been busy around the farm in these weeks since the milk house fell.  We’ve been cleaning up the debris, moving the bulk milk tank out, and we rented a huge dumpster to clean out the years of old crap and dirt inside the barn.

This is a main reason why there’s been so fewer posts, because my days are filled with a LOT of physical exertion, and not enough time to sit down and write a post.

During that time, we’ve also split the coop, moved the little Reds into the one half, and eventually, introduced them to the run.  While the Reds are in the run, the Boys and their sisters get to be out in the barnyard and the pasture beyond.  We’ve watched them explore, wading into the tall grass to hunt bugs and eat off the tassles of the pasture grass, wander into the top of the barn to sleep under DH’s truck and generally enjoy themselves.

During the barn cleaning process, they discovered a love of “Grandpa’s tractor.”  They like to sit on it, and ride in the bucket up front or on the brush hog attached to the back. Not afraid, and not jumping off.  They like it.  It’s crazy and I wish I had taken pictures.

They also like having grandpa spray water from the hose into the air and run around under the fine mist it produces, like sprinklers.

My 17 Rowdy Boys.

The good side is tempered with the fact that they are 1) getting HUGE and 2) also some of them are becoming aggressive.   There’s several who well peck without provocation, and one especially, (I call him Gold Boy because he has an over abundance of gold feathers everywhere) is very mean.  He attacks both the Reds, his Gold brothers and us.  The decision has been made to start the butchering process… tomorrow.  Making this my last day with all 17 of the Rowdy Boys.

IMG_4013 We’ll be keeping one… this one.  It’s Little Dude’s favorite of the Golds.  His name is Double Dot, because he looks like he had brown “dots” on each wing, from the back.  He’s a good bird, let’s almost anyone pet and hold him, and isn’t one of the ones hell bent on pecking someone.  He’s even nice to the little Reds.  Well.. as nice as a chicken can be, anyway.

In the next couple of weekends, we’ll be butchering a few at a time, mostly because DH only has weekends to do it in and Dad is going to help him.  By the time we’re done, it will probably be time to start in on the RIR roosters.  We figure there are about 11 of them.

Little Dude is adamant that he is NOT going to help his father and grandfather kill his birds.  He’s sad about it, and as much as I will be glad for a LOT less chaos in the barnyard, I will also openly admit that I will miss my Rowdy Boys.  Very much.

In the meantime, Little Dude and I have begun the process of letting the Golds and Reds intermingle.  They’re still sleeping on separate sides of the coop, with a locked door between them, but the last couple of mornings, we’ve let the Reds out with the Boys when we feed and clean the coop.  It’s been a chaotic struggle.  Gold Boy and his pose of minions like to chase the Reds into the coop and terrorize them.  The Reds hide behind me and pretend they are not afraid.

Gold Boy is NOT fooled by this, at all.

This morning’s attempt it still on-going, despite it being late afternoon now.   Yes, we left them out and cohabiting.  I’m going to separate them again when I do the evening feeding in 2 hours (I change water 2x daily and fill feeders as needed), but they’ve been out an about all day with the Rowdy Boys and the hens and no real issues have arisen.  A few squabbles and I had to tell Gold Boy a thing or two earlier.  But no one is hurt or maimed.

As a treat, I brought everyone chunks of apples (no seeds) and also put out plastic cat litter boxes filled with water for them to cool down in.  I’ve seen pictures of chickens standing in water dishes to cool their feet.  It looks neat.

My Golds are using them for drinking water instead.  Again, this is why they amuse me.  I can only hope the RIRs grow up to be half an entertaining.

I’ll end up the post with pictures from the last few days.  Since the 4th, I think, maybe a little before.  You can see how big the RIRs are getting… our blue cat little boxes/water baths and various shots of the chickens doing what they do best.

 

8 thoughts on “Seventeen Rowdy Boys

    1. I’m certain they will! They’ve been well-cared for and were fairly happy chickens. What I’m finding interesting is that the RIRs are, while smaller in height, every bit as heavy now. The little Red roosters are as big as the Gold hens, and so are some of the Red hens. They weigh about as much, too, at least from an amateur ‘weighing’ where I compare how they feel in my arms. *g*

      Yesterday was difficult for Little Dude, though. He helped with the process as much as he could, but was sad afterwards. I hugged him a lot and talked about life on the farm, and losing animals I loved, too. I think it helped him.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. i’m sure you have started something that will only grow, and yes they have been well looked after – say hallo to your son for me and tell him from me that he’s been very brave!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi, I have a secret yearning to raise baby chicks but I live in the suburbs where you are not allowed to have roosters. A friend who grew up on a farm said he would kill and eat them if I wanted. This sounds like a solution but I am unsure at what age the roosters would start crowing (I assume this is the reason the council says No Roosters) What age did yours start crowing? and was that way too early to be butchering them? Thanks!

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    1. Being new to raising chickens myself, I can only speak for the ones we had. My sexlinks (the 17 rowdy boys) were 10 weeks when the first one uttered a hoarse croaking sound that soon became a boisterous Rr-Rr-Rr. We started the butchering process at 13 weeks. Sexlinks are genetically bred to grow faster, so at 13 weeks, they were a good 2-2.5 pound birds. In other words, HUGE.

      The Rhode Islands Red roosters, however, are at 13 1/2 weeks right now, and so far, only one of them has attempted to crow. I don’t really know why. We butchers 4 of them at 10 weeks, but they were, in everyone’s opinion, too small compared to the sexlinks. More like ‘Cornish game hen’ size than anything else. The remaining 8 RiR roosters are waiting another 2-3 (possibly next week, or even the week after) to get butchered. They’re just not as big as I’d like them to be.

      As for it being too early? My sister in law says 10 weeks is the perfect age to butcher. I don’t know what kind o chickens she has, though.

      Good luck!

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