About two weeks ago, we heard about a rooster left for dead in a dumpster. Homer is an incredibly animal friendly town with an awesome shelter and relocation service. These good folks will save any animal, absorb all vet bills, and then find a new home for it. The rooster was thrown away with several hens. When they were found, only the rooster was still alive. He happened to be an Australorp. Half our flock of hens are Australorps so he was a perfect bird to adopt.
We got him home and released him with the flock thinking he would settle in. Nope. He shot into the forest surrounding our property and was gone for a week. The Spruce groves are dense and dark. There was no way to find him, much less catch him. The forest floor is heavily matted. We had no doubt he would find plenty to eat but were not so sure about water.
He got quickly acquainted with our property as we heard him crow from a variety of locations along the two acres of perimeter groves. He finally started mingling with the hens a few days ago. Here’s a shot of him getting a dust bath under one of the sheds.
We are guessing that he came from Anchorage. There are strict rooster regulations there that include daily fines of $300 and up if a neighbor complains. There is a well meaning feed mill that sells chicks but does not sex them. We bought seven birds once and ended up with two roosters. Someone was likely coming to Homer on vacation and brought the birds along to dispose of them. Not sure what can be said about someone like that. Thankfully Rocky survived and is now the free ranging keeper of the hens.
The moral of the story is that trauma birds will come around in time. Takes patience. We have introduced new birds to an existing flock and seen the same issue but to a lesser degree. Patience is the best way to deal with it.
Enjoy your summer!