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Free pet roosters to a good home in September

SPCA Auckland Centre in Mangere is over-stocked with roosters so all rooster adoptions are FREE during the month of September.

“Roosters make wonderful pets, as they have such personality. They also clear up leftovers and help keep your grass short, and if you form a trusting relationship with a rooster, it will follow you and alert you to intruders, much like a dog” says SPCA Rural Animal Technician Fiona McDonald.

SPCA’s Auckland Centre in Mangere currently has 14 roosters available to good homes. Of the roosters, there are three white Chinese Silky Bantams called, ‘The Bantam Buddies’, two black Bantam Arcana rooster snamed Jet and Rex, and Wyandotte/Sussex cross named Fred who loves to make friends with other animal species. There’s even a big personality named Russell Crow, who struts around letting everyone who’s boss!

Due to noise restrictions, roosters cannot be kept in urban areas. However, they make ideal additions to rural properties, especially ones with established hen flocks.

“Roosters protect hens from predators and you’ll find your hens will actually lay more eggs with a bloke around. Chickens are highly social animals with a strong ‘pecking order’ so they’re generally happier with a rooster at the head of the flock to keep everyone in line,” says Ms McDonald.

“A rooster will actually hunt out good eating areas for his flock and call the hens to it. And so long as you collect your eggs daily, they won’t produce more poultry.

Why have a rooster
• You can also keep roosters without keeping hens, this way you could have more than one, as long as there are no hens around they are less likely to fight, although will have a pecking order so you would need to keep an eye on them
• A rooster is good in a flock of 8-15 hens. Depending on the rooster you have. The rooster that lives at the SPCA (Christopher Claw) only has 4 hens, he is smaller than them and is not fertile, but he still looks out for his girls.
• Roosters will strut around looking beautiful and important defending their coop, great to watch.
• They will warn their hens of predators both from the sky and the ground
• He will attract his flock with a series of clucks if he finds a good food source
• He crows to announce his presence
• A tip to help with crowing in the morning is insulating your coop, which may help keep out noise.
• To keep more than one rooster (a bachelor pad) – Try to keep them of the same, age, colour and size, provide sufficient food and more than enough trough space and floor space so they can avoid each other when needed, give them plenty of shelter and places to perch up out of the way or hide behind. Keep an eye on any who may be picked on and remove.

Things to watch for
• Although you can keep more than one Rooster, they can fight with each other when there are hens around, its best to have 1 rooster per 8-15 hens, if you want more than one rooster.
• A rooster in his early maturity may take on all perceived threats to his flock, including owners. He may not understand their dominance over him. Instead of showing more aggression towards him the best thing to do is do what a low order rooster would do if challenged to a fight, back away quietly when first challenged and let the main rooster assume he’s boss. If he doesn’t think you are a threat he will usually leave you alone.

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