I find myself needing to make a rather unpleasant decision. I have too many roosters - six in all, and the size of my flock can really only support two. Three at the most. This decision is difficult not because I'm reluctant to send them to the stew pot, but rather the opposite: I'd like to send them ALL to the stew pot and start over. Much like a political election, I'm faced with having to decide which ones I dislike the least, and that is truly unfortunate. Let's take a look at the candidates, shall we?
Elvis, a two-year-old Barred Rock, and Senior Rooster:
Elvis is pretty much a shoo-in. Even though we've shared some ill will in the past, he's a good rooster and takes his job seriously. He does a good job of protecting his ladies, and they seem to like him. Besides, he's become something of an institution around here.
Roscoe, a 10-month-old Barred Rock:
Roscoe has proved himself on the mean streets, and is a survivor (more on this in a later post). He's a bit of a loner, but has found himself a rather devoted little girlfriend. He's been well-behaved and nice (so far), but the hens aren't too sure about him and the other roosters only barely tolerate him. He's sort of the "dark, mysterious stranger with a past" that no one quite trusts. The fact that he's ALSO a Barred Rock (like Elvis) is an unfortunate strike against him - I'm shooting for some diversity here.
Phil, another 10-month-old Barred Rock:
Phil is automatically disqualified. He has a deformed beak, NO ONE likes him, and again, he's another Barred Rock. Sorry, Phil.
Winston, a 10-month-old Black Australorp:
I adore Winston. He was my number one pick for a keeper back in the earlier days. In the intervening months, however, he suffered an injury that has left him with a permanent limp. He's kind to the girls and to me, but they're a bit wary of him with his lame leg (not good breeding material, after all), and I'm not certain how effective he'll be with a limp. He's done alright so far, but he's been working as part of a team of six. The jury is still out on Winston.
"Not" Winston, another 10-month-old Australorp:
He had a shot at the title, but has recently started showing aggression toward me. He's disqualified.
Little A, a 6-month-old Ameraucana:
"A" stands for a-hole. He went through a really rough patch during puberty during which he was exceptionally hard on the girls. This got him disqualified, however in recent weeks he seems to have mellowed out considerably. He's a beautiful rooster, and hasn't shown any aggression toward me (yet) but he's still very young and unproven. He's a bit of a wild card, and I can't decide if he's worth taking a chance on, or if I'm better off sticking with a sure thing.
What would you do? I've added a poll to the sidebar - let us know who should prevail in the Battle of the Cockerels!