Forget Tinder! Rescue cockerels turn to 'Rooster' to find their Valentine's
Our rescue cockerels are looking to wing their way to love through online dating, hoping for a new home with a flock of feathered females this Valentine's Day...
Roosters usually have the longest wait before being rehomed
We've partnered with The British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) this month to help lonely rescue cockerels (who are notoriously hard to rehome) find love and a new home.
Cheeky chappies John and Russell have been in our care for some time, and are still looking for love. John was unwanted by his former owners because of his crowing, and Russell was found abandoned in a cardboard box before being rescued by our inspectors.
Kirstie Blakeley, our centre manager at Stubbington Ark animal centre in Hampshire where the cockerels are being cared for said:
Both John and Russell are big characters; they're very handsome boys with a lot of love to give. They're calm and gentle around other poultry and are comfortable being handled. We're really hoping that their funky online dating profiles will find them a match made in heaven with a harem of hens this Valentine's Day.
These lively lads seem to enjoy having their photo taken too, I'm sure they even pose for the camera! It's lovely to have such friendly boys at the centre, but we know they'll really thrive in new homes where they can have all the attention they deserve, as well as a group of hens to spend their lives with.
The boys are both quite vocal when they wander around their enclosure singing "cock-a-doodle-doo" throughout the day, but we don't feel they're very loud, and they're quiet at night in their coop, so we hope this won't put people off coming to meet them.
Cockerels can make great pets
The 'Cockerel Lonely Hearts' project was originally set up in 2017 by the BHWT, offering the public the opportunity to find homes for any unwanted cockerels. As we're continuously being called to rescue abandoned cockerels and struggling to find homes for them, we've paired up with BHWT to help these fine-looking chaps on their way to join their own feathery flock.
We regularly deal with cases of abandoned cockerels, and it's thought that this could be as a result of disputes between neighbours over their crowing, or simply the fact that they cannot lay eggs. Sadly, we've also investigated several cases of illegal cockfighting.
Kate Parkes, our sector manager (pigs and poultry) said:
Sadly it's not uncommon for us to take in cockerels who have been abandoned and dumped, often in dangerous situations like at the side of a road or in car parks ¿ we usually have a number in our care at any given time.
Chickens can be so rewarding to keep and cockerels can get a bad rap for being noisy and aggressive, when in fact, with the right care and knowledge, they can make great pets. Their distinct personalities are absolutely fascinating to watch and care for - it's really worth putting in time and patience to get more out of them and really enjoy them.
Could you rehome a cockerel?
Jane Howorth MBE, founder of the British Hen Welfare Trust said:
We saw an article recently that suggested even more cockerels are being abandoned. We know that this has always been a problem and we often receive calls from the public asking for help and advice about what they can do with cockerels that they hatched at home or no longer want.
Our primary focus is the rehoming of ex-commercial laying hens, but, we care about these beautiful boys too and decided we wanted to do something to help. We've offered the cockerel adoption service on our website for some time, but teaming up with the RSPCA was an obvious way for us to help even more chaps find themselves a flock of loving ladies to look after.
Potential rehomers should check that their local council allows keeping cockerels as pets before rehoming them, as well as considering neighbours and other local residents. Both ourselves and the BHWT have advice and guidance for anyone looking to take on a cockerel.
If your feathered flock are on the lookout for love this Valentine's Day, visit Adopt a Cockerel to see which of the handsome fellas might suit your girls' fancy.
Other ways you can help
Every animal deserves love and we work 24/7 to try and make this possible. This Valentine's Day will you donate to help animals in our care?