We are home to several hundred animals on the high plains of Colorado. Well over 100 of our rescues are roosters, making us the largest and most effective sanctuary for roosters. We are home to horses, ducks, geese, turkeys, peafowl, sheep, goats, pigeons and chickens that we care for here every day. We provide loving care for the duration of their lives. We have directly saved thousands of lives and indirectly we’ve saved many more through our outreach efforts. We have placed many animals in the safety of other sanctuaries and good adoptive homes and we provide transport to make that happen.
Moon was used in bloody cockfighting where he had to fight for his life so people could make bets on him and win money. His toes were broken and cut off, and his eye was also injured. He was then kept as a breeder bird so he could make more baby birds that would also be fought like he had been. Authorities stormed the property where Moon and 299 other birds lived, not to save Moon and his many friends, but to search for a shooting suspect on the property. What was found was hundreds of birds used for fighting and breeding, copious amounts of crystal meth and paraphernalia used during cockfights like “gaffs” which are weapons that are strapped to the legs of roosters in a fight. Moon was lucky. Most of the time, when birds are seized from cockfighting and game farm operations, the birds are killed. Due to our diligence in educating animal control workers and those involved in cockfighting busts, we’ve been able to prevent hundreds and hundreds of birds just like Moon from being euthanized. Moon is a gentle bird. His partner, Star, is a feisty white hen and she’s lovely also. Once, Moon took one of Stars eggs and tucked it under himself so he could try and hatch it. He gave up after a few days, but the gesture was as perfect as any mother hen could do. At night, Moon and Star perch up in their shade sail, and we have to scoop them up and close them inside their coop where they are safe from the elements and predators. Moon announces his time to be scooped up as if he’s receiving a treat! Roosters do a special call when announcing goodies to hens, and this is the same sound Moon makes when he gets to be held.
Fonzie resembles Danzig, the original rooster who set us on this path. Fonzie is a very loveable rooster who tries so hard to be a tough guy, but he really is not so tough. Fonzie appreciates the assistance and friendship of Little Buddy, another rooster who assists Fonzie in protecting the beloved hens, Cloudy and Moon Beam. Fonzie loves those two hens with his whole heart.
This adorable little guy is the sweetest little rooster. His size may be mini, but he is very brave. Most of the other roosters are afraid of Little Buddy. Perhaps his proud confidence intimidates them. Little Buddy prefers to hang out with Fonzie’s flock and at times he will pal up with another hen, Stormy.
Beautiful Spike comes from a facility which grows hens from chicks to the age of egg production. Spike hatched next to her brothers and sisters in a hatchery. Spike, and her baby siblings, were taken from their incubator warehouse and placed on conveyor belts. The chicks were removed one by one, yet quickly, and sorted by workers according to sex. Almost all of Spike’s brothers, and a few sisters, (the sorting process isn’t always exact) were tossed into a grinder and killed. Spike’s tiny body, and others like her, are much too small for the demand of the meat industry, and clearly, the boys do not lay eggs. After half of her thousands of artificially bred clutch-mates were destroyed, she and her sisters were taken by conveyor belt to a worker who was cutting off the ends of her sisters tiny, baby beaks with a fire hot blade. Spike had her beak sliced off at the end when it was her turn. The end of their beaks still hold the “egg tooth” which day old chicks have so they can break through their shell as they hatch. Gone. Terrified and longing for the safety of her mother’s wings, she was tossed with a severed beak to be shipped out to the grower facility. Her mother, who she never met, was still at the hatchery waiting to be slaughtered and added to canned soups and pet foods.
At the grower facility, Spike was raised in a cage within rows and stacks of more cages, each filled with baby chicks, finding no comfort in this cold world. After three months had gone by, she was close to egg laying age, and would be shipped to a massive egg production facility. Instead of taking the long trip to this nightmare, she was loaded into a small commuter car with three of her sisters, to start a new life at Danzig’s Roost.
Spike had a one in a billion opportunity to escape the hell she was hatched into. Billions of her relatives are processed and destroyed systematically so that humans can consume eggs.
Months passed before Spike and her sisters felt okay with the humans here. As more time passed she became a very outgoing hen, very curious and ambitious. No longer is she terrified by the hand of humans, and no human being ever stole any of her eggs. The cycle of abuse stops here.
Beautiful roosters rescued from the egg industry
These eighteen gorgeous, egg type roosters were hatched into the egg industry, destined to be killed and discarded as waste. Before discarding these roosters, they were experimented on as chicks to demonstrate “comb dubbing,” de-beaking and wing banding to university students. De-beaking is standard within the egg industry, and banding the wings, another cruel procedure, involves piercing the flesh on their wings with a metal clamp, identifying the bird by a number.
After being cut, clipped with a hot blade and pierced with metal, the chicks were to be destroyed. Thankfully, a student from the university was permitted to remove the chicks and attempt to find homes for them. At the time, the student was unaware of how little roosters are wanted by anyone. The boys remained unwanted for close to half a year before we accepted them.
King Arthur came to us from a woman that purchases horses from kill auctions. King Arthur was only five years old at this auction. The woman was unable to train King Arthur because he seemed unwilling for any human contact, and she noticed there may be an issue with a hind leg. After we brought him here, the vet gave him a clean bill of health. At first King Arthur was very jumpy and wouldn’t welcome attention. Now he demands attention in his friendships with humans.
What people seem to ask most when learning that we have a horse residing here is if he’s ride-able. We strictly are against any form of animal use, and riding a horse is just that, using another for a recreational, unnecessary activity. When we make it clear that we do not ride him even though he is “ride-able,” the next question is, “well, then why do you have him if you’re not going to ride him?” As though his only purpose in this world exists to serve as a recreational unit made for human pleasure. We have a different idea here, and that is that each individual is born for his or her own purpose, and we’re here to protect and advocate for their right to their own interests and to let them live peacefully as they desire.
Reverend X came to us in one of the most common ways we accept roosters, from animal shelters. These roosters end up on death row just as any dog or cat can in the shelter can, but usually roosters don’t even get a chance to be adopted. If a sanctuary is unable to take in a rooster in this situation, he will be killed. Each rooster we have accepted from these situations has been a blessing. Every moment spent with these roosters is a moment that was threatened to have never existed at all.
Reverend is an especially wonderful rooster. He is very large, and if he wanted to, he could cause some damage. Fortunately, he is a gentle giant. He has a bond with his caretaker. He will perch on her lap, preening her hair, gently nibbling here and there at her clothing. Reverend was here for several seasons before we had the opportunity to rescue four hens who would become his very own flock. He loves those hens, but his focus still remains on what we are doing around the farm. Reverend, like any other secure bird, is curious and wants to participate in projects nearby. Hens that are of the breed Reverend is lay green and blueish eggs; very popular to the backyard, urban farmer. Since Reverend does not lay eggs, he was abandoned to die.
LaFawnDuh Mama Hen
This precious baby girl is LaFawnDuh, named after a character in a movie (same spelling).
LaFawnDuh is the oldest hen here, she was part of the original flock in which Danzig belonged. LaFawnDuh was kept for eggs in the mountains, and a bear attacked her entire flock. She was the only survivor. The man who had cared for her well, kept her safe after the attack, but she was without any friends of her own kind. When she came to live with Danzig’s flock, she fitted right in. The others accepted her right away, thanks to her mild manner, and respectful and sweet personality.
LaFawnDuh had friendships with some former “free range” operation hens, Sammy and Melissa. Sammy and Melissa have since passed, but as they aged and became slower, LaFawnDuh was their friend. She waited by their sides, calmly and reassuringly. She’s a strong bird, and her nurturing side earned her the last name “Mama”.
LaFawnDuh is also a survivor of a prolapsed uterus. This happens when an egg is so difficult to lay that the pushing a hen will do is strong enough to push out more than just an egg from her vent. With the help of one of our excellent avian veterinarians, she made it through. She has since laid several clutches without complications. Hens have been bred to lay so many more eggs than is natural, and often their reproductive systems are the downfall of their health.
Shane, Harry, Larry, Arnold, Elvis, and Samson
These good looking roosters are of a flock of six. Shown from left to right are Shane, Harry, Larry, Arnold and Elvis. Samson is the sixth, but he’s more of a loner, always on the outskirts. These boys came out here from California. They were rescued from a hoarding situation where around 150 roosters were relinquished. Each of these boys have their own personality. Shane is such a sweetheart, a watcher, and a planner. After he sets his mind to something, he always achieves it, but he’s not mean or aggressive.
Harry is such a sweetheart, too, and is a “ladies man.” He loves to show the hens awesome snuggle spots. In order to attract hens, he often finds a cozy cuddle spot to lure them in. He coos and chirps and snuggles down into a bed of straw, just hoping for their attention. The hens love Harry, he is such a sweet bird.
This entire flock is just filled with the most gentle roosters. Larry may be the sweetest though. He is never too pushy, and he is always kind to his brothers. Larry quietly watches and is respectful of everyone. Each rooster in this flock is respectful. They are just amazing boys.
Arnold is the top rooster in this flock. Arnold has a playful side to him that the other roosters don’t seem to join in with as enthusiastically as he does. Arnold gets excited about running water, or new heaps of straw. He’s always the first to investigate and explore. It seems like he tries to dial down his enthusiasm so the rest of the roosters won’t doubt his authority, but he has fun anyway. At the top of his flock, he is a protector, always watching out for awkward interactions, hawks in the sky or movement on the horizon.
Samson (not shown) and Elvis are both quite shy. Elvis is a beautiful bird, and once he is out of his yard he secures a territory of his own. Within his own flock, Arnold won’t let Elvis take command, but get Elvis out of the yard, and he’s boss.
Ginger is a big, beautiful hen, who came to us from a cemetery. A cemetery worker stated the chickens are often left dead on a new grave site. This ritual is meant to have the chicken peck at the grave site to wake up the dead to come join the afterlife. Luckily, Ginger was left alive.
She is a very large bird, and she’s a mellow friend to all in her flock. Because she is so large she takes a lot of breaks chilling in the shade during summer, and lying in the sunshine in winter. More than likely she was bred as a “food type” bird.
Carl and Vinnie
Carl and Vinnie are Naked Neck chickens, or Turkens. Turkens get their name because they almost resemble turkeys with those bare necks. The breed was designed for easier “processing” because they have fewer feathers to remove. These boys were dumped at a camp ground and were taken in by animal control safely before being transferred to us. They are inseparable best friends, and both are quite boisterous. Carl is a big goofy love, whilst Vinnie takes life a little more seriously.
Lerr (that’s “hick” for Larry), is a big, beautiful boy. He has quite the story, and that’s even after we were able to rescue him. At the time of Lerr’s rescue we didn’t yet have the land for Danzig’s Roost, and owned a small house in the mountains. Well, Lerr took it upon himself to get to know the neighborhood by flying over the fence to greet each passerby. Unfortunately, no one else appreciated his eagerness, so a petition was started to give us the boot out of town, because “roosters belong on a farm”, they said. Lerr went to live with our friends at their sanctuary, until we secured the property in which we reside now. At our friends’, Lerr fiercely protected the hens, and he always takes his job very seriously.
The flock behind Lerr in this picture are some of the remaining egg facility hens that use to share their lives with Danzig the rooster. Danzig used to chase Lerr around the yard, and Lerr would respectfully run.
We were fortunate to rescue Lerr from a dog and cat pound, where he had been for 35 days. He was isolated from all other chickens for so long. He really hit the jackpot by meeting our group of caring and compassionate people. If there was ever a secure rooster, this is him.
Petey! Petey is a domestic duck who was dumped on a pond, like so many other domestic ducks after Easter. When Petey was saved by a wildlife rehab, kids were throwing sticks and rocks at him. This is terribly sad, considering Petey is slightly disabled with a twisted foot. He gets around quite well, and his veterinarian recommends no invasive intervention. Petey walks, runs, flies, and swims. There is no friendlier duck on the face of this Earth. To meet Petey is a life changing experience. We love him so.
Petey wears his “girl” feathers well. After mating season, drakes (male ducks) may shed their vibrant green head and neck feathers, and replace them with girl duck colors. This is called Eclipse Plumage.