Managing the Buckeye roosters


Lilac Hill Farm is going into winter with 5 Buckeye roosters, plus a banty roo' that arrived with 3 banty hens. Over the course of the last year we raised two more Buckeye family groups to add to our Lilac Hill Buckeyes. With three breeding groups, I hope to improve our flock following the Livestock Breeds Conservancy guidelines.

That goal is lovely, the reality right now is that I have a larger flock than usual going into winter.  I added feeders and spread fresh bedding in the coop more often. All the birds eat greens harvested from the lightly frosted gardens.

My original, Lilac Hill rooster is in with the hens, he seems to help maintain order in the coop. Lots of hens means I can gather hatching eggs from the girls that get through winter best. I saved two roosters from each new breeding line (NC and hatchery) and will select the best fellows in the spring.

The NC and hatchery roosters reside in their own pens near the garden, tearing up the ground for next year's new vegetable beds. When the weather turns very cold, the roosters will move to the outhouse coop. I am sure the feathers will fly on moving day.

The banties? The hens are here to hatch and rear chicks in the spring. Besides being a pretty farm ornament, the rooster watches over the hans and adds an interesting soprano "cock-a-doodle-do" to the farmyard choir.

Six roosters , it is noisy out there.