What to do with a rooster


Many people get chicks in hopes of having fresh eggs, but then become surprised when one or more turn out to be roosters. The birds' cockadoodledooing soon becomes a nuisance in the neighborhood. Now what?

If you contact Washoe County Regional Animal Services, you will be told they can accept only stray animals and since your rooster is not a stray, you're out of luck. 

Bobby Smith of animal control told me, "We would recommend to the owner to find another placement."

Nevada Humane Society won't take the rooster either because it doesn't accept farm animals. They might tell you to contact us at CockadoodleMoo Farm Animal Sanctuary, but we are currently full up with roosters because they generally require separate housing since they don't get along with other roosters. Our place might work if you want to help us build a new pen and coop but since that's unlikely, now what?

Beata, who runs Nevada Humane Society's animal help desk, had the best response, as she usually does. She writes:

Craig’s List is one option which I – personally – do not vouch for as there are too many folks on there who will get them for the wrong reasons.

I always encourage owners to put up picture flyers at feed and farm supply stores, western clothing stores, landscaping businesses, garden centers and sod farms, as well as pet stores.  www.petbond.com has a very user friendly flyer maker program on their website.

Also put an ad in their local ranch papers, such as  Horse Tales, etc. 

Lastly, have them call me and we can also check our  “wish list” to see if any folks are actually looking for a rooster or chicken. 

You can reach Beata by calling 775-856-2000 ext. 336 or email her here.

Finally, there's one thing I would add: Don't bring any animal into your home unless you're making a commitment to care for that animal for his or her full life. If you're not willing to care for a chick who turns out to be a rooster, don't get one. A far better alternative is to help a chicken without a home. You can put yourself on a list with animal control or at Nevada Humane Society to be called in the event any hens are brought in. Also, I highly recommend Animal Place. It is a sanctuary in Nevada City that finds homes for hundreds of rescued hens each year. It's a quick two-hour drive there from Reno. Learn more about Animal Place at www.animalplace.org

And one last option is to contact Farm Sanctuary, which has a placement program where they send out alerts to rescuers they trust (such as CockadoodleMoo) to see if they can take farm animals whom humans want to surrender. What this means is that you can ask them if they can put out a placement email to find a home for your rooster, and it also means they have lots of chickens who are also available for adoption. Learn more here.

Caption: The photo shows three roosters who were abandoned and rescued by Nevada Humane Society after the person who owned them realized they were roosters. We took them in at CockadoodleMoo. From left, they are Buster, Fritz and Miyagi.