The Unwanted & Abandoned

abandoned rooster with frostbite

This photo imparts two important lessons: firstly, this unfortunate rooster was left in a park during cold weather, discarded and forsaken as if he were mere refuse.

Thankfully, a compassionate individual noticed him, rescued him, and gave him a new home. The blackened areas on his comb are due to frostbite, indicating dead tissue that will ultimately detach. Although he will recover, he faces a painful journey ahead.

Regrettably, such incidents are not rare but rather a widespread issue.

Individuals often purchase chicks anticipating hens, only to abandon them upon realizing they've raised a rooster, deemed undesirable.

Finding a new home for a rooster presents significant challenges, even for those of rare and sought-after breeds, and the task is even more daunting for mixed-breed roosters from the barnyard.

While I don't claim to be a rooster specialist, having four roosters has inspired me to deepen my understanding and pass on my knowledge to others.

Meet Ricky Ricardo, my inaugural rooster, with whom, admittedly, I made numerous mistakes. He originated from a straight-run bin of Orpingtons at Tractor Supply and remained docile until suddenly, he wasn't. In hindsight, I realize more handling was necessary, yet I fell short. My previous coop and run configuration rendered him virtually uncatchable, and regrettably, once he was moved outdoors, I ceased handling him altogether—a mistake from which I've learned.

Our cohabitation was peaceful, provided I steered clear of his hens, which, fortunately, never became an issue.


However, in January 2023, tragedy struck when a raccoon penetrated the run and then the coop, claiming the lives of all but one hen, which was isolated at the time.

I repeated this oversight with Storm, my Deathlayer rooster. As a chick, I frequently handled him, yet once he moved outdoors, my interaction mainly involved spending time near him rather than engaging in regular handling.

Unexpectedly, he flogged me one day without any prior signs of protectiveness. Since then, we've made significant progress, although he hasn't completely warmed up to me yet.

Along with Storm, I currently have three additional roosters. Two of them will be rehomed soon, and I plan to keep the third. These three are experiencing their adolescent (puberty) phase, showing tendencies to nip, but with consistent handling several times a day, they remain quite tame.

It's important to note that most roosters (though not all) demand a bit more effort and a great deal of patience, yet the reward of their companionship is immense. For anyone contemplating adding a rooster to their flock, or unexpectedly discovering one (given that sexing is not always accurate), it's crucial to understand rooster behavior thoroughly.

Regrettably, there's a high number of roosters in need of homes. They're irresistibly cute as chicks, but as they mature and their hormones surge, their demeanor can become quite challenging.