Wondering how much a rooster is worth? Whether you have a fully grown mature rooster or have hatched some male chicks, unless you have a rare or prized breed on your hands, unfortunately, roosters typically sell for just $0-$10 at best.
Why Are Roosters Less Expensive Than Hens?
There are two obvious reasons why roosters are in such short demand compared to hens:
- Eggs, and
Those are the two main reasons why poultry farms want hens, not roosters.
Companies are in the poultry business to make money, so they need their chickens to either lay eggs or be sold for meat.
In the backyard setting, there are some other reasons why people often end up with unwanted roosters.
It can be hard to keep more than one rooster unless you have a large flock. Roosters are territorial animals, and much like most males in the animal kingdom, they’ll fight with other roosters.
Then there is the obvious issue of loud crowing early in the morning. Most urban areas simply do not allow roosters due to the noise they make.
A No Crow collar is a pretty good solution to the noise. But technically, you’re still not allowed to keep roosters in most built-up areas.
All of these factors combined mean there is generally a huge surplus of roosters. Making rehoming them an issue, and often resulting in roosters ending up on the table or a similar fate.
Related - Here’s why we don’t eat rooster meat (very often).
Do You Need a Rooster in Your Flock?
You do not need a rooster in your backyard flock, no. Not unless you want fertilized eggs for hatching, of course.
Hens will lay eggs with or without roosters in the flock. In fact, hens are often happier with being harassed by a rooster.
Roosters’ main jobs are fertilizing eggs, protecting hens, and helping find food. None of which are needed in most backyard settings.
As I already mentioned, if you’re not going to hatch your own chicks, that job is redundant. As is finding food, as you are providing chicken feed for your hens.
And there shouldn’t be any risk of predators within their enclosed setting or where they free-range. So, why do you need a rooster?
Related - How do chickens reproduce without roosters?
What To Do With Unwanted Roosters?
If you bought hatching eggs or baby chicks, there’s a chance you have some roosters in your flock.
Even if you bought chicks and asked for females, sexing chicks isn’t a perfect science. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve spoken with people who thought they had pullets on their hands, only to hear that familiar crowing sound one morning.
So, that brings up the question, “what do I do with unwanted roosters?”
Well, most people try to rehome them. This often means giving them away for free as there are so many roosters in need of a new home.
You’re going to have to accept that a lot of unwanted roosters will end up on the dinner table. That’s just the result of supply and demand. Whatever their fate, if you can’t keep them in your flock you have to get rid of them any way you can.
Some of the most common channels for rehoming roosters are:
Take a look and see what’s listed for your area. You’ll get an idea of how many roosters are in need of a new home and what prices they’re selling for.
I had a look while writing this article and saw some rare breeds, such as Cemani Exotic Blacks and Ameraucanas going for around $30. I also saw a lot of young undefined roosters going for around $10.
There are loads of chicken-related Facebook groups. A lot are local too, so you might find someone in your city.
Online and offline livestock auctions are a great place to get rid of roosters - or any other poultry you don’t want.
It’s a little more involved than giving them away in classified ads, but you might make a few extra bucks if you’re lucky.
Local Animal Shelters/Farms
It’s worth calling local shelters, farms, hatcheries, and any other organizations you can think of that might have chickens.
A lot of people who keep backyard chickens don’t want to hear about the butchering option. If you keep chickens for the eggs, I get it. I do too.
But if you can’t easily find a home for your unwanted roosters, you might have to consider it. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do it yourself. I’m sure you’ll be able to find a local butcher shop that’ll do it for you.
If you don’t want to eat the meat yourself, maybe you or someone you know has pets that would welcome some fresh chicken meat?
It’s a tough life being a rooster, isn’t it? They aren’t wanted from the offset, for the most part, they can’t be kept in numbers, and the classifieds are full of roosters looking for a new home.
Unfortunately, roosters aren’t worth much in terms of monetary value. It’s just the basic economics of supply and demand. There are more roosters available then there is demand.
If you do have some in need of a new home, I hope you’re able to find someone willing to take them in. If you make a few bucks, even better.
Image credits - Photos by Al Ishrak Sunny and DC Snapshots on Unsplash