Forty rescued roosters are living in paradise near Te Hana after being nursed back to health at a new animal sanctuary, Arborfield.
The abused and neglected birds were taken care of by sanctuary owners Robyn Rae and Malcolm Lea.
The duo decided to officially open the sanctuary in June after coming to the rescue of a number of abused and neglected farm animals, including donkeys.
Rae then learned of the plight of neglected roosters. She said many of the birds were dumped at roadside reserves and on city streets, often by breeders, lifestylers and city dwellers who buy chicks only to discover they have a rooster rather than a hen.
Dumped roosters are often attacked by dogs and younger birds are killed by the larger roosters.
Lea has built a high fence around a large paddock as well as a roosting shed inside the enclosure. In September they took in their first rescued rooster and, four months later, the enclosure is full.
Lea said the 40 rescued birds are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unwanted and abandoned roosters in Auckland.
"That thought can be quite depressing. There's probably thousands of neglected roosters out there," he said.
Two grey roosters, Aaron and Paul, were rescued from a car park at Warkworth.
"We can't take any more roosters. We can't afford to feed and take care of more," he said.
But people can help by sponsoring the roosters. The sanctuary is a charitable trust which can accept donations and issue tax receipts.
"If there is enough sponsorship we could build another enclosure and take in more roosters," Rae said.
She said the best way to stop the unwanted rooster problem is for people to not let the birds breed.
"We are a very small sanctuary but we are doing what we can."
Visit arborfieldsanctuary.co.nz and "like" Arborfield on Facebook for information and sponsorship.
- Rodney Times
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