18th June 2015
Nothing to Crow About
Surprising the animal care team of an outer Melbourne vet clinic as they arrived for work last Thursday was a suspicious looking cardboard box. While no ticking could be heard, it was the little scratching sound emanating from the box which sent their hearts racing. One thing for sure was that was whatever was inside the box was alive. Peeling open the lid, the contents were revealed and a particularly handsome rooster emerged. Sporting the latest Rod Stewart mop top hair, the Polish cross bantam rooster blinked at the world around him then slowly offered a yawned in wonderment. But just what were these kindly, yet surprised people to do?
Recognising that not only are council pounds and animal shelters already bursting at the seams with lost and abandoned cats and dogs, they are not always the best places for luckless roosters. And so, a new plan needed to be hatched. Making the call to Edgar’s Mission seemed the best hope for young lad. Our days now are no longer measured by hours or minutes but rather the number of calls we receive to take in roosters, be they graduates from school or kindergarten chicken hatching projects, backyard chickens who somehow morphed into roosters or unwanted stock from breeders. Regardless of the source, our difficultly is just the same. How can we accommodate all these testosterone-charged hapless creatures? The sad reality is we cannot. Managing somehow to accommodate the handsome Lorenzo (so named after our dashingly handsome dark haired Italian volunteer) we know the time has come that we are simply unable to take in any more hapless, homeless roosters.
If you care about animals and want to create a kinder world for roosters, here’s how:
- If you live on acreage and can accommodate a rooster or two and are prepared to give them a happy, predator proof , life worth living we would love to hear from you!
- Put the chicken (or rather, the rooster) before the egg. Nature dictates that around 50% of hatchlings will be hens and 50% will be roosters. There is no escaping this fact. This means that regardless of the method of egg production (caged, barn laid, free-range or backyard) for every hen, a rooster too was born. But where are they? Sadly, in the case of any commercially- produced eggs the resulting roosters are killed at around one day old, with a similar fate awaiting most other roosters born into suburban homes, hatching projects and the like.