Over the years we have kept chickens on our small croft and have purchased point of lay hens from commercial suppliers as well as hatching out our own Scots Greys and Light Sussex breeds. At one point we had around 35 hens and few cockerels as we do not believe in culling hens just because they get older and lay less eggs. After 14 years of the number of hens and ducks has dropped dramatically due to the age of hens and ducks. We are now down to a few hens and ducks and only recently purchased 3 point-of-lay hybrid hens to keep as pets (that will also supply us free range eggs).
One of our friends has over the years taken on rescue cockerels and kept them separate from her (rescue) hens and they appear to get on fairly well together. Cockerels do have a reputation for fighting with each other when kept with hens – not a pleasant sight to behold as cockerels bleed profusely and can do a lot of damage to each other. It is for this reason we only keep one, or at most two cockerels with our free-range hens. Recently I had thought about rehoming a cockerel and when some were offered on one of the Facebook groups I belong to, I offered to help. The short news on this is that we now have three wonderful, young, bantam cockerels. At the moment they are being kept together in a run next to our Call ducks. They are very friendly and can be handled easily (lifted and given a cuddle).
If you have space in your garden and do not live near neighbours (cockerels can be noisy and annoying, especially in the early morning at dawn) then why not consider rehoming a cockerel as a pet? They are lovely to look at and as long as they have a secure chicken house for during the night they can be kept fairly cheaply. Due to bird flu regulations, you may also need to keep them in a secure run to keep them separate from wild birds. You can make your own, or buy from Amazon, or your local agricultural supplier.
Below are pictures of our three pet bantam cockerels.