When we decided to raise Meat Chickens, I purchased 25 "Heavy Breed Roosters". I wanted to raise Heritage chickens for meat instead of the heavily in-bred Cornish Cross which don't even act like chickens. We ended up raising a quantity of both. There are pros and cons to both types of meat chickens which I am not going to discuss today.
At the same time, we chose 10 pullets (young hens) to replensh some of our older laying hens. We also purchased 6 chickens of a specific breed for Jammin's 4-H project. Chicken sexing is not 100% guaranteed thus some of our pullets are actually cockerels and some of our roosters are actually hens.
So, we've ended up with 30 total roosters (including Iggy, our older rooster). Next year, I'd like to start a breeding program of "Heavy Breed" chickens so I can raise my own meat birds without having to purchase babies. Wouldnt' that be fun? So - the question remains....which roosters should we keep? (we'll keep 3 maximum - Jammin's rooster is staying so we have to decide on 2 more -)
VOTE and let me know YOUR CHOICE!!!
Butler- a Buff Cochin. (an "exotic" chicken added to our mix because we ordered 25.) Not really a good choice for meat because of all those feathers, but he is so pretty I can't imagine getting rid of him.
Charlie- A Welsummer. Not exactly heavy breed either. He was one of our "surprise" roosters. However, any babies he produces will lay darker brown eggs. (this is one of Dave's choice because he is so pretty)
Ferdinand - a White Rock. This guy is a lover, not a fighter. He was low-man on the rooster totem pole so hangs out with the hens to avoid getting beat up by the bully roosters.
Hawk - a Light Brahma. This is one of my personal favorites because he is easy going and also gorgeous.
Maran - a Maran. Another one of our "surprise" roosters. His prodigy will lay darker brown eggs too. He grew a little quicker than the other roosters so that could be a plus. But, I've read these roosters can have major attitudes.
Joe - naked-neck-turken. He's hideous and yet attractive at the same time. He's also mean to the other birds, but has less feathers on his body which is good when plucking! Also - strangely, all the boys in this house want to keep him.
Skeeter - a Speckled Sussex. He is a total wimp and scaredy-cat, so I suspect he won't give me any attitude as he ages.
Top-Dog. A Buff Orpington. This guy is the top rooster. He runs the yard and all the other roosters know it. He is big and meaty.
And finally, Iggy.... our Buff-laced Polish.
He's got attitude and he's gorgeous. But, his breed is smaller and slimmer than the other roosters. He'll make a nice soup pot but that is about it. We are attached to him so it will be hard to let him go - but this is now a working farm so he might just have to go.
Comment and let me know who'd YOU choose!!!