There are no photos associated with this post because, frankly, they would be to gruesome. I don't want to give anybody nightmares.
I knew the moment we got the adorable little chick fluffballs that some of them would turn out to be roosters and we would be challenged with a difficult task: choose the one we would keep and rehome them or kill the rest. Secretly I was hoping that we would end up with mostly hens and one rooster so we wouldn't have to deal with any unpleasantries. Boy, was I ever wrong.
The statistics say that we have a 50/50 chance of ending up with a rooster or a hen, and that's about what we got: 6 roosters and 7 hens. It became very clear which ones were really roosters when 3 of them started crowing a few weeks ago and all of their beautiful and flashy plumage started to show. I knew it was time to make the difficult decision of which one to keep. But how should I choose? The most handsome? The most protective? The most docile and easy to control? One that carried the blue egg gene?
Every day I changed my mind about which one to keep. I even toyed with the idea of building a rooster house in the back field and just keeping them all. I'd never been in a situation when I was God and able choose one thing to save from death. Clearly I'm not cut out for this kind of power. Killing animals just because they're boys? Why couldn't it be like sheep where I could just cut off their balls and keep them all?
Luckily I have a husband who understands the way things work and can handle doing what needs to be done. I was able to narrow it down to my top 2 Roosters, Jinx and Oliver, the two Easter Eggers. They are alert, protective of the flock when my puppy jumps the fence and chases them around, and both seemed to be at the bottom of the pecking order of roosters, making them the hens favorites. They are also beautiful and will carry the blue egg gene in case we want to hatch our own chicks.
Since I didn't want to think about it anymore and wanted the 4 other roosters to "Go Away" I tried to find them new homes. Nobody wanted them so Brian had a job to do. He always gets up before I do in the morning so I requested that I wake up one morning to only 2 roosters. That's exactly what I got.
We went outside to see the chickens and sat down on the grass. I threw some scratch and our now 9 chickens came over to say hello. We sat there for a little while talking about the chickens, what color eggs I thought they would lay, and the possibility of getting a few hens that are already laying because we have family coming into town in two weeks and it would be nice to have some fresh eggs while they're here.
I looked down at the grass beside me and that's when I saw it- BLOOD. Lots and lots of blood. I looked a little closer- it was EVERYWHERE.
"You killed them HERE!!!!", I exclaimed.
"Well, yeah", Brian replied.
"YOU LET ME SIT IN THEIR BLOOD!!!"
"No, it's over there", he pointed around to the area of grass next to me.
I looked a little closer and I saw something golden brown.
"THERE'S A HEAD!!!!!"
"Oh, whoops. I thought I had gotten them all", he grabbed the head and threw it over the fence.
"You killed the roosters where the hens could watch? And now you're making them play in their brother's blood? This is like a horror movie."
Brian found this all very amusing. I, most certainly, did not.