When I was in 4th grade, we did the old traditional 'science' experiment of putting an incubator in the classroom, and wtching several eggs turn into little baby chickens after a few weeks. We got nothing done one day in class, because we pretty much watched all the chicks hatch. At the time, it was a great way to waste an entire school day.

When they all hatched, the teacher said we could take the chickens home. I begged my mom with every trick I had in my bag to convince her we needed a chicken. Somehow it worked. I named it Chicken Little, and used to walk it around the yard with a little leach made of yarn. After sever weeks though, my little chick started acting a bit strange.

It got really big, and would not stop crowing, and it was about that time we began to notice there were no fresh eggs in our future, because Chicken Little was actually more like Rooster Huge. My family lucked out because my mom had a friend with a farm that would take the rooster. But recently more and more, it's not the case.

For instance, during the pandemic, with all the panic buying going on in stores, people starting raising chickens for their eggs. But often, out of the dozen chicks they purchased, 1 or two would grow into a rooster. Now, they can be loud, boisterous, and downright mean to other birds. This has been causing some pretty unacceptable behavior in return.

According to the BDN, some people have put a lot of effort into re-homing or finding a refuge that will take them. Both those things are becoming harder with the amount of unwanted roosters there are. So what do people do? Some have take to just abandoning them. On the side of the road, in the woods, wherever. And that's just cruel.

And, it's also illegal. If you dump a rooster roadside, you can be charged with abandonment. If the rooster dies, you could actually be charged with animal cruelty. To be fair, sometimes they wander away, and the problem seems to have taken care of itself. But it still means it might meet a horrible end from starving or a predator.

Legally, you are absolutely entitled to slaughter the birds and process them for yourself, if you have the stomach for it. Some local butchers might do it, but they're pretty busy with deer, I imagine. But otherwise do your research and find the best way for you and the bird to part company. Better yet, make a plan before you even buy chicks.

You know you'll end up with a handful of roosters potentially, so make arrangements before you even buy the chicks. That way you won't be left wondering what to do about the bullies in the hen house. But that's a heck of a lot better than fines and guilt. Maybe sometimes it is a good idea to 'account' for your chickens before they hatch. Just sayin'...

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