Slow Food: The Terroir Of Pastured Rooster

Truly “farm to table”: hatched here, raised here, and processed here.

With each chicken egg hatch, around half of the chicks will be males. What to do with all of those cockerels? As we mentioned in an earlier post, you must have a plan for them or it can get real, fast: when cockerels’ hormones kick in, they can become a handful.

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Processing Spring Drakes


We had a banner year for ducklings…between the two sets we incubated (with varying success) and two clutches incubated by broodies (much more successfully), we went from 5 total to 30+. Seriously.

The second set of eggs we incubated resulted in 5 total hatching – 4 drakes and a single duck. With each hatch, we know there’s a likelihood of at least half being male; unfortunately, not that many drakes are necessary for a self-sustaining flock. Consequently, the “extra” drakes must either be rehomed or culled.

The crux of it is that we have too many drakes now. As they reach about 5-6 months of age, their hormones kick into high gear and they begin chasing and grabbing the ducks.

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