Why Families appreciate Serenity Sprouts
- The Common Scenario -
In the excitement of hearing little peeps and seeing cute chicks at an incredibly low feed store price, the family is excited to begin a journey with raising their own chickens. Knowing roosters are not allowed, the family buys a few chicks marked as pullets (female chicks) from a feed store.
The family believes they are raising Henrietta until he starts crowing more like a Henry 3-4 months later. A quick call to the feed store in hopes to return and get credit results in finding out that feed stores have no way of accepting roosters back and do not refund for the mistake considering inaccurate sexing is acceptable in the industry.
The family wonders how long they will be able to covertly keep their rooster. Extending his stay with chicken diapers and bringing him in the house to muffle the sound or testing out a 'no crow collar' to learn that it functions as a choking device. Neighbors begin to complain and animal control pays a visit. If a quick solution is not found, the family is subject to fines and could loose their entire flock.
Families search and post ads for someone that will take the rooster. They find that the little interest they receive is someone wanting the boy for free with the intention of illegal cock fighting or to eat him. These are not an acceptable options for the family. Reaching out to ranchers, only to discover more devastation as only 1 rooster is needed per 8 hens.
Serenity Sprouts answers the community need with their Pet Rooster Gentleman's Club. Families can pay a one-time enrollment fee that is less than the cost of the fines they are facing.
Most of Serenity Sprouts loyal customers tumbled upon our website in search of homing their rooster. Once having an experience like that from the feed store or online chick shipping, a deep appreciation for our ethics and offering of their choice of female coverage or DNA sexed chicks for their future flock needs is realized.
The average cost to support a rooster to have a natural life is $526 each, yet Serenity Sprouts only asks the families to contribute $50. Your support can fill in the gap and contribute to our ability to intake more family pets that while loved by the families are unwanted by their neighbors in the city.
The Harsh Reality of Unwanted Roosters
There is a harsh reality of layer breed roosters that many city families may not realize. For every hen enjoyed in the city, a rooster is likely destined to sacrifice his life to enable pet enjoyment and all the delicious eggs the girls will gift. Most city families choose to have 6-8 hens which generates 6-8 unnecessary roosters. To abide by city ordinances, families typically order pullets (female chicks). The poultry industry standard is to vent sex standard breeds and sell chickens as sexed females.
Industry standard for unwanted day-old roosters?
The industry standard is to terminate the life of sexed roosters on their the same day as their birth. To meet the public demand for a ridiculously low-priced female chick, the boys are destroyed through suffocation or grinding. To suffocate, they fall off conveyor belts as they treated like inanimate garbage plummeting into large dumpsters. Each dumpster collects over 200,000 chicks and then is sealed with plastic sheeting to suffocate them. Due to the small size of the baby chicks, they are not big enough to be individually processed and are ground alive for dog food (better known as chicken meal).
Why don’t hatcheries raise the roosters for meat?
Money. There is a significant difference between a meat bird and a layer breed rooster. While homesteaders will typically raise dual purpose breeds (for eggs and meat), those that rely on producing meat for know that layer breed roosters are extremely unprofitable. A Cornish Cross (most common grocery store meat bird) is able to grow to butcher weight within 8-10 weeks whereas a layer/ dual purpose chicken breed takes several months to gain enough weight for humane harvesting. Even then, they are more difficult to harvest and are significantly smaller than the plumb Cornish Cross chicken breasts families are accustom to eating. The food, longer housing, and time to growth ratio just isn’t cost effective with the demand for cheap grocery store prices. Cornish Cross have white feathers that are easy removed. Layer breeds often have colored pin feathers which would leave unappealing dots on the skin. There is a rare consumer market willing to invest the $6/lb for an organic heritage dual purpose raised chicken.
What feeds this viscous cycle?
While it is easy to blame the industry, each person is empowered to spend their dollar to make a bold statement and cast their vote on how we want the world to be. The industry conforms to profits and consumer demand. Each purchase releases our voice and is teaching the industry if saving money or saving day old roosters holds more value. Serenity Sprouts includes the cost of caring for the unwanted male counter-part in the pricing of each female chick offered.
Industry Standards for Accidental Roosters
The eye-opening hardship these boys face is often only recognized when families purchase a female chick from a hatchery or feed store and get a rooster on accident. While professional sexers do their best, unfortunately, external sexing is not always possible. The industry standard is for customers to accept sexing is not 100% and no credit, nor returns are accepted. If an accidental rooster occurs, families are responsible to determine what to do with the rooster.
What options do families have?
Some families will give the rooster a great life until mature so that he only faces one bad day to provide nourishment to their family. This option is best when parents prepare their children for the circle of life lesson. It should never be easy to take a life. The main reason to harvest your own bird is to bypass the cruelty. It should be an emotional, difficult connection to the animal that gives its life so that we can live. Meat eaters prefer to complete the life cycle by humanely harvesting food for their family rather than funding factory farms. We should all be thankful and appreciate where our food comes from. Kids that are involved in raising and harvesting their own food tend to have a higher respect for their meal than those obtaining a drive-thru box of chicken nuggets.
With most pets, an accidental boy is a simple shrug of the shoulders and a little sigh of, “I love you anyways”. Chickens are the only pet that if you accidentally get a boy, it may be illegal to keep him at your residence. Families, especially the kiddos, bond with the rooster and do not want to consume him nor do they want others to eat him. The ability to find a quick loving home is extremely rare. Hence, the value of the Serenity Sprouts Pet Rooster Gentlemen’s Club.
Rehoming for those looking to breed. Unless you invest in the best bloodlines (not found in feed store / hatchery chicks), it is rare to find someone that wants a rooster for the purpose of reproducing. Those that reproduce typically do it to improve the breed and hatchery boys are hatched from any egg laid resulting in low quality breed confirmation and birth defects. Serenity Sprouts offers higher quality chicks and rare breeds in which the roosters are desired for show, flock protection, and pet adoption.
How Serenity Sprouts Helps
We established the Gentleman's club for families that live in the city and legally cannot have a rooster. We offer a home for pet roosters in our "Gentleman's Club" where roosters will take on a career that they are naturals at: turning compost.
We believe there is a significant difference between a pet rooster and food and the lines never cross. We are limited in how many roosters we can home. A pet rooster needs to be raised right and with lots of love to join our Pet Rooster Gentlemen’s Club. If a family doesn’t put in the work of handling their rooster to ensure he is well socialized as a pet, we are not in the position to home him and his purpose in life may be to provide nourishment to their family. Not all roosters are pet quality and we respect those that want to humanely harvest non-pet roosters to avoid unethically raised supermarket meat.
Serenity Sprouts is the only known farm that that offers a free home for the accidental rooster and with the healthy return offers store credit of original purchased price. While we cannot house every rooster that large hatcheries produce, we are trying to do our part in helping Colorado families and roosters that find themselves in this situation. Families that choose to get their chickens from us and those in a financial position to donate are deeply appreciated. We also offer the rare option of being able to DNA sex the chicks for families that want to invest in the only truly accurate sexing method.
How You can help Us
If you agree with what we are trying to accomplish, any donations to allow us to expand our rooster habitat is deeply appreciated. Our current projects include making new fenced areas and homes to meet community needs, building a raised garden bed of herbs for the boys. Material donations that help include: T-posts, chain link fence panels, coops, cinder-blocks, retraining wall blocks, started perennial organic herb plants, and picnic tables.
For families lucky enough to own a rooster, please consider our Gentleman Club Roosters. They are the finest, friendliest gentleman. Most of these boys were held and loved on as family pets until discovering their manly voice. While they will have a great life on our farm, they would love their own flock of ladies.
We require a one-time enrollment fee for each rooster joining our Gentleman's Club. This fee funds approximately 10% of his lifetime care expenses. We cover the rest. Some families do not budget for the care of an unwanted rooster and request support by applying for a Scholarship to cover their enrollment fee. The scholarship is funded solely by donations.
Become another loyal customer
It is our hope that families pass on the cheap chick and invest in farms like ours that accept responsibility for all the animals it produces by offering rooster returns for accidental roosters.
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