Greetings and thank you again for supporting The Rooster Project at VINE Sanctuary!
As always, it's Rooster Palooza over here at the sanctuary, with nearly ninety roosters in residence and more on the way! Every morning, the day begins at dawn with a cacophony of crowing and the ruckus continues all day long.
Among the new arrivals, my favorite is a large red rooster who I call Rufous. He had been the sole suvivor of a backyard flock, ranging freely in the company of a cow, when the the person who considered him property got tired of him and decided to kill him. Luckily, a neighbor intervened and brought him to the sanctuary.
Rufous had no idea that the person who had been caring for him intended to kill him, but it still must a have been a shock to be scooped up, placed in a crate, and driven to a brand-new place filled with hens and many other roosters. He was understandably freaked out and ready to defend himself if necessary, but after a few days of observing everything from within the safety of a kennel, he was ready to join a flock and proved to have absolutely no interest in starting or participatng in conflict.
Rufous did have strong preferences, though. I had placed him with one flock, but he kept hanging around the gate to another. One night at closing time, I noticed that he was still hanging around that gate rather than taking himself to sleep in his own coop. I was a little worried about whether the roosters in that flock would welcome him, but I opened the gate and he just casually walked past another rooster and into the coop, hopping up onto a perch as if that had always been his home.
We've got a summer intern starting next week -- just in time for rooster rehabilitation. A group of roosters rescued from cockfighting will be arriving the week after. Our method of rehabilitating roosters used in cockfighting is not difficult to learn but is extremely time-consuming. We'll be happy to have someone who can devote hours each day just to that process.
Our efforts to help other sanctuaries welcome more roosters continue. In March and April, I gave a two-part online Rooster Workshop for staff and volunteers at dozens of other sanctuaries. Part one covered the basics of our methods, and part two covered problem-solving. I also provided in-depth consultations to two sanctuaries.
Later this year, I'll be going on my Rooster Road Trip, visiting other sanctuaries so that I can help them brainstorm while actually meeting their existing flocks and seeing the possibilities of their physical set-ups. I'll have more news about that in the next report.
In the meantime, thanks again for supporting The Rooster Project, and don't forget to seize every opportunity to contradict the stereotypes about roosters that are responsible for their endangerment.
PS All next month, we will be running the Pride Month Vegan Challenge, encouraging people to "Eat the Rainbow" through the month of June. This is a great opportunity to help roosters by challenging someone you know to go vegan for animals, the environment, or their own health. Learn more at rainbowvegan.org