On January 28th, we entered the year of the rooster! It is said that people born in this year are hard-working, talented, punctual, kind, capable and adventurous.
Roosters are awesome. Their mission is to protect and serve. A rooster watches over his flock, and alerts the hens when a predator approaches. He will fight to protect them at all costs, including his life. He deeply cares for his hens, and calls them when he finds some good food for them to eat. He also acts as peacekeeper in flock disputes. It is fascinating to watch his interactions with the flock. Unfortunately, not everybody sees their awesomeness and instead focuses on the noise they make when they crow. As a result many cities don’t allow roosters and many backyard flocks are rooster-less. Since the egg industry doesn’t have any place for them either, hatcheries and breeders systematically kill all male chicks of egg-layer breeds as soon as they are sexed, usually at 1 or 2 days old. Here is what we can do as backyard chicken keepers. If you already have a rooster and your neighbors complain, try to keep him from waking up the neighborhood. Get him to sleep in a dark place in your garage and let him out at a reasonable time. Set up a cage with food and water, and place a heavy blanket over it to prevent any light coming in and muffle any sounds coming out. It also helps to share your fresh eggs with your neighbors =) If you really can’t keep him, surrender him to an animal shelter or sanctuary (*). Be tenacious as lots of rescue organizations are at capacity. It can take months to find a home. If you don’t find a home, consider euthanizing him humanely. Don’t abandon him. When adding to your flock, consider adopting a hen instead of buying. You are not only saving the hen’s life, but also preventing the death of the brother of the hen you would have bought. Pretty cool, huh? And if you can, get a rooster! They are really awesome companions. (*) Local animal shelters and sanctuaries: