Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The male gene is strong....

Since being here we have had several batches of chicks born, which is great and will provide us with the next set of laying chickens, or so we hope. However, we have one issue that needs to be dealt with and sooner rather than later. The male gene throughout our chickens is strong, and we keep getting far too many roosters being born!

As the chicks are born, you have no way of identifying what sex they are, which often results in names being chosen wrong, and the roosters growing up being called sue, and the chickens Gareth! (G) Thankfully we have a 50/50 chance so, some roosters do have their strong male identity (mark) and chickens are happily called Ruth.....

Other than the wrong names when growing up, the roosters cause problems, maybe they are rebelling against the bad choice of name. However, they need to be dealt with, and removed before they caused huge social issues amongst the flocks. It is advised to have no more than two roosters in any flock, however, we have 4 mature roosters, 6 adolescent ones, and at least 9 smaller ones coming up through the growing process.

As they are growing, the orchards are beginning to resemble a school playground with fights breaking out regularly, as male hormones rampage. When the rooster fight it sounds as if someone is screaming, and I find myself in their trying to break up the fighting. I now know how my friend feels with her three boisterous boys!

Unfortunately, the only solution to the ever growing problem, is for the chicken man to come and remove some of the difficult roosters. This has to be done, and is our own fault for letting it go on for so long, however, he is now booked and primed to come and do the deed. I have no issue with this process being done as the chicken guy is experienced, quick and ensures that everything is done correctly. However, it does make every animal very subdued for a few hours afterwards, as they can sense that death is in the air!

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