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The Plight of the Rooster!

As it's the Chinese Year of the Rooster, now is a great time to talk about their plight!

Chicken keeping has gained a lot of popularity in recent years and many people are buying Roosters or casually hatching eggs without a lot of thought about their care. Roosters can make wonderful, intelligent and inquisitive pets; we have a handful of very friendly chaps here, living harmoniously with their Hens and enjoying attention from us - we also have the all too common flip side, the highly territorial, aggressive boys that nobody wants to keep. They attack our Keepers and other Chickens, and obviously made such bad pets that they were abandoned on a nature reserve adjacent to the sanctuary.

We rescued 'Dec' after hearing a Rooster crowing near our overflow car park. Thankfully he and his friend. 'Ant' were both caught and taken to safety at the Sanctuary - and are the grumpiest Chickens we've ever met! We have so many bruises from well aimed pecks and kicks as we enter their aviary! Soon after another young Cockerel, 'Ace' joined us too, after being thrown over the fence!

On the other hand, here is one of our friendly Bantam Roosters enjoying some fuss from visiting kids! This little chap was left in a box on our car park.

Roosters can be noisy, calling loudly at the crack of dawn and annoying neighbours who aren't as keen on your pets as you (a big thank you to OUR neighbours who must hear ours calling throughout all hours of the day!). They can be aggressive and often cannot be kept with other males, being highly territorial towards their Hens. There is of course the obvious fact that they also cannot lay eggs!

Hatching chicks in schools has also become quite popular, with no thought as to what will happen if those eggs turn out to contain a male, and what will happen to them as they grow up.

We are contacted almost daily by people wanting to find a home for their unwanted Roosters and we are hearing of more and more cases of them being simply dumped, or even killed!

Our gorgeous 'Cedric', one of our more placid boys, was found abandoned; wandering about in the road!

Cedric enjoying a dust bath with his girlfriend, Helen (who was also chucked over our fence!) - this loving couple are absolutely inseparable.

Jack and Davy were left on our car park last year, and we've even had several hurled over the fence. Thankfully we got to them before the local foxes, but we can't always guarantee we'll be that lucky.

We wish that we could save them all, but we're sadly now at full capacity and simply do not have space for any more. Please, please THINK before you take on a pet or hatch an egg. A chicken is for life, Rooster or Hen!

If, however, you could take in a Rooster and offer him a happy forever home, please get in touch. We are hoping to create a list of people that we can contact and try to place some of these misunderstood birds and save them from a worse fate. We are proud to give our animals a forever home at Brockswood; but when there is no more space it doesn't hurt to have a backup should future animals need us than we can responsibly house.

...and of course, we couldn't talk about Roosters and miss out our beloved 'Henry', the gorgeous Sussex Rooster. Henry not only gets on with other Chickens; he also loves fuss and cuddles (yes, cuddles!) from his Keepers, and even the other animals on the farm. In fact, he loves to spend time with our Goats.

In the future we hope to upgrade and expand all of our aviaries, creating a more spacious and purpose built environment for our birds and the many more who need a home. Together we can make our future great!

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