It’s time to crow: 2017 is the year of the rooster

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What’s your sign? If you’re following the Chinese zodiac and are born between January 28, 2017 and February 15, 2018, you are a rooster. Those born in the year of the rooster are thought to be observant, hardworking, social and loyal. And to be honest, the same can be said of their avian counterparts.

Nontraditional pet companions: Chickens

Carmen Smith, Wild Friends manager and wildlife rehabilitator who loves to sing the praises of chickens as pets, says, “They’re curious, interactive and have a lot more potential than most people realize.”

Roosters (male chickens) fall into two categories: barnyard pals and house roosters. Yes, you heard that right — house roosters. Of course, like all animals, roosters are individuals. Some are better suited than others to living in a home.

Those who appreciate the good life are actually similar in many ways to some “traditional” pets. A rooster can be trained on a leash and harness, may enjoy relaxing in a lap, and some can even be house-trained — though there’s no problem for those who can’t because bird diapers, which are both practical and fashionable, are available for purchase.

Roosters and other pets: Fitting right in

Already have pets? No worries because rosters can often fit right in. They get along well with hens, ducks, female turkeys, pheasants and peacocks. They can even live with nonaggressive cats and dogs; however, homes that already have a rooster are a no-go.

Living in a home is undeniably safe; however, outdoor roosters must also be provided with a secure, predator-proof location. Additionally, some chicken breeds are susceptible to the cold, so if they’re outside, they must live in a warm climate or be kept warm by putting the rooster in a flock that congregates in a small roost (where group body heat provides warmth). Another solution is to add a heat source to the rooster’s enclosure.

Those searching for a unique and charming pet sure to draw attention should consider a pet chicken.

“They’re highly interactive,” says Carmen. “They’re way more intelligent than people realize and if you’re looking for a companion animal that is just a little different, a rooster could be an awesome fit.”

Looking for a home: Roosters for adoption

Intrigued? Best Friends has several roosters who are available for adoption.

Abe is available for adoption.
What you talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?
Abe is available for adoption.

 

Buddy is available for adoption.
Like my dance moves?
Buddy is available for adoption.

 

Kurt is available for adoption.
Make sure to get my good side.
Kurt is available for adoption.

Redford is available for adoption.
Redheads have more fun.
Redford is available for adoption.

 

Sam is available for adoption.
Hey, even roosters get a day off every once in a while.
Sam is available for adoption.

 

Saruman is available for adoption.
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
Saruman is available for adoption.

Thor is available for adoption.
Why did the rooster cross the road? To cock-a-doodle-doo something.
Thor is available for adoption.

If you have interest in adopting a rooster and want to learn if your home would make a good fit, please contact wild@bestfriends.org. Carmen would be happy to discuss the personalities of the Best Friends roosters or recommend a local farm rescue group.

Photos by Molly Wald and Kurt Budde