Abandoned mini roosters brave the forest

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — It appeared the three roosters had gone rogue.

Several residents informed a local farmer in the area that his roosters had escaped.

But, the trio didn’t belong to him. All of his fenced fowl were accounted for.

The community member, who wished to remain anonymous, said the abandoned roosters have become a seasonal occurrence. This year is the third consecutive spring that someone has most likely culled their chicken population, and booted a group of miniature bantam roosters to the side of the road.

He said where the birds were abandoned is “a lonely stretch of road,” which is void of houses for a couple thousand feet.

“It has been three springs in a row that someone has dropped off these roosters. That is not a coincidence. It’s just cruel,” the local farmer said.

The community member phoned the local animal control later that afternoon. But, by that time, the roosters his neighbors had seen were long gone.

“Those little chickens — you cannot catch them,” he said.

“Sadly, my wife and I walked down there, and there is a hawk’s nest in the trees,” he said.

“What bothers me is: Knowing that someone has picked out this area as their personal dumping ground,” he said.

“It’s not okay. It’s like dumping your trash, but worse,” he said.

“I know that roosters can be problematic because they can be noisy,” he said, adding that the owners could have taken alternate avenues such as listing them in Uncle Henry’s or putting up a sign advertising the free roosters.

According to Animal Control Officer Bobby Silcott, who is hired by several towns in the Lake Region area, abandoned dogs and cats are more common. However, it’s not that uncommon for chickens to be dumped somewhere, he said.

“I have had goats abandoned before, too. I got a call that someone had dropped off two goats off a dirt road,” he said.

“Unfortunately, you’ve got as good a guess as me — as to why someone would abandon an animal. It doesn’t make it any better if it’s a rooster, instead of a dog or a cat,” he said.

“I wouldn’t put any one down, but there is always someone out there who would do this. It is easier for them to rationalize that it is not their problem anymore,” he said.

“Call up some local farm and see if they can take it. Go to a social media site and list it. Making an effort is definitely more humane. We are the humans; we are making the decision for the animals,” he said.

Silcott agreed with the Casco-based farmer that the miniature chickens are hard to catch.

“A small rooster can make a grown human look pretty comical trying to catch it,” he said.

“It’s amazing how quickly they can outrun you. They take off and bolt. And, you cannot catch them, unless you were a superhero like Flash Gordon,” Silcott said.

He suggested using a fish net with a long pole or purchasing some bird netting. He added a group of people and a lot of patience would aid the process.

Silcott thought the former farm animals might have a fighting chance in the Maine woods.

“My experience with birds like that is: They roost at night. At dusk, they try to get up into a tree, which keeps them away from predators. They are pretty resourceful. For an animal with a brain the size of a pea, their natural instincts kick in. They forage during the day. They roost at night,” Silcott said.

 

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