These are just some of the individuals we care for at Rooster Sanctuary at Danzig's Roost. We are home for around 157 roosters and over 200 hens. We also share our lives with a pot bellied pig named Marble; 14 lovely ducks, Remington, Howie, Martin, Adele, Carlos, Maria, Jake, Victoria, Cleo, Veronica, Stewart, Reginald, Harvey and Petey; three awesome goats named Hunter, Orion and Ree; and two beautiful horses named King Arthur and Patsy Annie.
Denver animal control picked this boy up and he was transferred to us along with four other hens of his exact breed. Houdini is a game cock. As you can see, he doesn't have a comb or wattles because they were cut off long before he was transferred to us. We were unable to get a history on this fellow, but we're sure it's not such a good history.
Houdini is a respectable rooster. His hens are confident in him, and he watches over them with diligence and pride.
Houdini has no problems with other roosters. The amount of space available for all the birds to claim as their own, allows him and others what they need to live in harmony.
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.
Spike comes from a facility designed to grow hens from a chick to the age of egg production. Spike hatched next to her brothers and sisters in a hatchery. Spike, and her little sisters and brothers were taken from their incubator warehouse and placed onto conveyor belts. The chicks were removed one by one, yet quickly, and sorted by workers that were sorting these chicks according to sex. Almost all of spikes brothers and a few sisters (the sorting process isn't always exact) were tossed into a grinder and were killed. The small body of Spike 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 searching for the safety of her mothers wings, she was tossed with a severed beak and the rest of her agonizing sisters to be shipped out to the grower facility. Her mother, which she never met, was still at the hatchery waiting for her time 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 sisters finding no comfort in this cold, new world. After nearly three months had gone by she was close to egg laying age when she would be packed onto a large truck and shipped to a massive egg production facility. Instead of taking the long trip to a new 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 once in a billion opportunity out of the nightmarish hell she was hatched into. Billions of her relatives are processed and destroyed systematically so humans can consume eggs.
Months passed before Spike and her sisters felt okay about 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.
These eighteen, beautiful, 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, banding the wings pierces 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 involved at 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 the roosters don't even get a chance to be adopted. If a sanctuary is unable to take in a rooster in this situation, then he will be killed. Each rooster we have accepted from this kind of situation 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. With her he will perch on her lap, preening her hair, gently nipping 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 the type of 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.
This baby girl is LaFawnDuh, named after a character in a movie - same spelling.
LaFawnDuh is currently 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 that had her cared for her well and kept her safe after the attack, but she was without any friends like her. When she came to live with Danzig's flock, she fit right in. The others accepted her right away because of 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 with them, by their sides, calmly and reassuring. 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 all 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 very good avian veterinarians, she made it through. She has since laid a few different clutches without any complications. Hens these days have been bred to lay so many more eggs than what is natural. Often the reproductive system of a hen is the downfall of her health.
These good looking roosters are of a flock of six. Show from left to right is Shane, Harry, Larry, Arnold and Elvis. Samson is the sixth, but he's more of a loaner, always on the outskirts. These boys came out here from California. They are from a hoarding case where around 150 roosters were relinquished. Each of these boys have their own personality. Shane is such a sweetheart. Shane is a watcher and a planner. After he sets his mind to what he thinks a situation should be, he enforces it, but he's not mean or aggressive.
Harry is such a sweetheart too. Harry is a "ladies man." Harry loves to show the hens awesome snuggle spots. In order to attract hens in his direction, he often finds a cozy snuggle 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. ***Update*** Arnold developed tumors in his esophagus. After two runs of treatment, Arnold was put to sleep with the compassionate help of his avian veterinarian. The loss of Arnold was felt through the entire sanctuary. There is nothing like the loss of a rooster like Arnold.
Elvis is quite shy. He and Samson (not shown) 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 you get Elvis out of the yard and he's boss.
Ginger is a big, beautiful hen that came to us from a cemetery. A worker at the cemetery stated the chickens are usually 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 laying in the shade in the summer, and sunshine in the winter. More than likely she was bred as a "food type" bird.
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 less feathers to remove. These boys were dumped at a camp ground and were taken in by animal control safely before being transferred to us. These boys are best friends. Both are quite boisterous. Carl is a big goofy love, while Vinnie takes life a bit 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 did not have the land for Danzig's Roost yet, but we owned a small house in the mountains. Well, Lerr took it upon himself to get to know the neighborhood there 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 would chase off anyone from the hens. Lerr is one fierce protector, and he takes his job so 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 actually use 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 residing for 35 days. He was isolated from all other birds like him 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 experience 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 crippled with a twisted foot. He gets around quite well and his veterinarian recommends no invasive intervention for Petey.
Petey walks, runs, fly's and swims. There is no friendlier duck on the face of this Earth. To meet Petey is to have a life changing experience. We love him so.