John Weekes

John Weekes is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Homeless boys need a place to nest

The SPCA's Fiona McDonald weighs up the merits of two roosters. Photo / Doug Sherring
The SPCA's Fiona McDonald weighs up the merits of two roosters. Photo / Doug Sherring

Roosters desperately need somewhere to roost around the fringes of New Zealand's largest city.

The Auckland SPCA is overloaded with roosters seeking new homes and will give the birds free to the right homes.People who keep roosters in urban areas are likely to have their birds confiscated but the animals are permitted in rural parts of greater Auckland.

The SPCA says roosters provide many benefits. "Roosters protect hens from predators and you'll find your hens will actually lay more eggs with a bloke around," says SPCA Auckland chief executive Christine Kalin. Bird Rescue founder Hilary Stollery says she has to home dozens of abandoned roosters each year, even though abandoning roosters is illegal.

"It is against the law to dump a domestic bird that relies on you for their food and care." The last census to ask people about chicken ownership was in 1971, when 91,869 private homes kept flocks of fowls.

On its website the SPCA has a gallery of the roosters that can be adopted.

• People interested in adopting an SPCA rooster can call Fiona McDonald on 092562524

- Herald on Sunday

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