The Only 2 Options for Dealing with Unwanted Roosters and Cockerels

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 22 July 2020

backyard chicken keepers often get rid of roosters because of the noise they make crowing

Despite their fowl reputations, roosters can actually be a wonderful addition to a backyard flock, keeping a watchful eye over the other chooks as they free-range peacefully. However, in some situations, roosters can be a problem. Maybe you’ve hatched a clutch of 12 eggs and ended up with 10 plucky little roos, or maybe you live in suburbia, where local council laws or cantankerous neighbours make keeping a backyard rooster difficult (but not impossible). Whatever the case, if you want them gone, you’ll need to take action - your roosters won’t be moving out on their own anytime soon! There are only two real options for the backyard keeper, but the decision is up to you.

  • Rehome

Like cats and dogs, roosters can be put up for adoption. You can go through a humanitarian organisation like the RSPCA if you wish, but note that adoption rates for chickens, and roosters especially, are actually fairly low. Alternatively, you can find a home for him yourself. Advertise on Facebook, Gumtree or other local listings for the best results. If you’re looking to give your boy to a good home where he is wanted, make that clear in your ad, and be prepared to scrutinise and ask questions of any interested persons: some people may be looking to take him in solely for the purpose of grandma’s chicken soup. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you should decide for yourself whether you’re okay with him ending up in a stockpot (even if it isn’t your own).

  • Cull

To be blunt, the only other option is to kill (and, if you like, eat) them yourself. The objections to this are usually ethical and/or personal, but ultimately, something needs to happen to these unwanted animals. If you cannot find a friendly home for them, then it is your responsibility to find a humane solution - the most common means is swift decapitation, or wringing the neck.

However, before you decide that you don’t want a rooster, consider your options for keeping them in urban areas, and find out what a roo can do for you.

Rooster or no rooster, there are lots of decisions to be made when becoming a chicken parent. From homes to healthcare, we all want to do an eggcellent job for our chooks. Many chicken keepers struggle to handle chicken health or behaviour issues, especially in the first few years of having a flock.

This is why I recommend Chickenpedia to all my readers. They have comprehensive online courses on everything you didn’t know you need to know and then some more! From healthcare to raising baby chicks to feeding and behavior, you’ll find beginner-friendly courses that’ll give you the knowledge and confidence to successfully look after your chickens.

As a member, you will get access to ALL their fantastic courses. No need to wing it, become the ultimate chicken eggspert! Check out Chickenpedia today!

Sources and further reading