Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
The horses, dogs and cats are named and part of the family. The chickens are livestock. DH and I incubated 3 sets of RIR/Welsummer cross eggs in 2011. We ended up with 14 laying pullets (hens), and about 20 young roosters (which I slaughtered and we ate at about 2-3 months old.) A friend did a trade in October. He had to replace his whole flock of hens who had been massacred by raccoons, and he ended up with 2 roosters he didn't want. I gave him a laying hen and young pullet in exchange. It looks like the roosters are fertile, judging from the eggs I break open.
I still have 7/10 of last year's RIR laying stock, but the pullets have started laying, so they and their Welsummer rooster will be on the menu this winter.
Whenever I get "city folk" asking me why I keep roosters, I tell them,
Roosters are for eating and hens are for laying eggs.
IF I could afford the forage, I'd raise a young steer, too. The previous owner of my 5-acre property did just that. He raised 5 steers, from April to November, and sold them. It didn't take long before he had them sold before he bought them. (This is why I have a shelter off of the barn, and why the manger was built for cattle.)
IMO, when you raise your own food, you take better care of them.