Roosters dumped roadside
It’s a tough life for an unwanted rooster.
You’re banished from the city and your owners wish you were a hen. They can’t bear to kill you and the kids have become attached.
Hundreds of roosters end up on rural roads, highways, reserves and parks around New Zealand. There are cockfights, lack of food and water, run-ins with dogs and the risk of getting hit by a car.
And it’s not just the roosters that pay the price. Don’t forget the crowing: all day and night sometimes.
Waikato Poultry and Pigeon Club president Fiona Taylor said roosters are getting a bad name. ’’It makes poultry people look bad and chickens look bad as well. And it’s the owners who signed up to look after them and didn’t finish the job.’’
In the poultry world, hens rule the roost. People want hens because they produce eggs.
Taylor said the problem is there is no way to tell the sex of a newborn chick early on. ’’It can take around five to six months before it starts crowing for you to figure out it’s a boy,’’ she said. ‘‘But by that time, you’ve become attached to it. You can’t find a new home and you don’t feel comfortable to kill them.’’
Taylor said dumping roosters is irresponsible and not in the best interest of the animal.
‘‘That rooster has been cared for as a domesticated animal, so once it is set free, it is nothing short of cruel. It hasn’t necessarily got the survival instincts for food to prevent him from going hungry.
‘‘So it just gives the bird a bad reputation. They’re seen as a nuisance, as a pest.’’
Taylor said roosters should be treated like cats and dogs.
‘‘If you could imagine the outcry of people for taking a dog and dumping it or taking a cat and dumping it, and it goes from getting daily food and water to being dumped in the wild - it should be no different.’’
NZTA Waikato/ BOP highways manager, Niclas Johansson said roosters are occasionally spotted around the Waikato.
Some areas where roosters and other poultry including ducks are spotted include on the side of SH1 around Hydro Road in Huntly.
‘‘While it is upsetting that these unwanted animals are dumped off at these sites, we do not consider them to be a major safety concern to road users in the region.’’ Waikato District Alliance, a joint venture between Downer New Zealand and Waikato District Council, has won a best practice award for its work on the Rotowaro culvert replacement.
The Alliance were presented joint winners in the small site category for the team’s proactive approach to erosion and sediment control on ‘‘difficult and rapidly changing sites during the construction of culvert structures’’.
The regional council also congratulated the Alliance on their proactive approach and great communication with them during the construction. They were also thanked for keeping the environmental impact of the work to a minimum.
Waikato District Alliance Manager Doug Carrasco said it was pleasing to see such a collaborative project get the recognition it deserved.
The project was pulled together very quickly in April due to the key work needed on the culvert. The tricky environment and the fact Rotowaro Rd was a rural road meant the community was affected by a lengthy detour. ’’In accepting this award we want to thank everyone, especially the community, for their efforts and understanding while we completed this work,’’ Carrasco said.
Waikato Regional Council say the number of entries and nominations in this year’s awards reflected the wide range of different projects being undertaken across the region from small scale permitted activities to large scale roading projects.
People dump their unwanted roosters at a spot known as ‘The Divi’, near Raglan.