Minneapolis + St Paul Pet Photography Blog

chicken run :: rescue of the month

Having grown up on a farm, I’ve always had a special affinity for “barnyard” animals : horses, sheep, cows, pigs…  even geese and chickens. (and one pigeon that befriended me) I even showed chickens in 4-H (mine always laid eggs in their cages) and I’m excited to once again feature Chicken Run Rescue as March’s Rescue of the Month. 

From Mary at Chicken Run:

Why does Chicken Run Rescue have so many roosters? For every backyard hen, there is a dead or abandoned rooster. The inconvenient truth is that 50% of the chickens hatched are males who are either killed outright at the hatchery, disposed of cruelly as by-products or abandoned at feed stores, on the streets or left at animal shelters. The fad of backyard chickens, where only hens are wanted for eggs, has left untold millions of innocent males with no place in the world. There’s nothing “sustainable” about that, especially if you are a rooster.

Minneapolis City Council, where we live, voted unanimously NOT to ban roosters. Our shelter is in the inner city and have had as many as 15 boys at one time and have never had a single noise complaint in 11 years because they sleep indoors and don’t go out till neighbors have gone to work and are back in bed before dark. Prohibitions on roosters have no fact based justification (decibel level far below a barking dog) and discourages people from accepting responsibility for all the males winding up in the city. If chickens are to be allowed, both sexes need to be allowed equally. For every backyard hen, there is a dead or abandoned rooster.

Our neighbors love the sound. Cities that ban them are complicit in the abandonment/death of 50% of the birds being brought into the city. This would never be acceptable policy for any other species. Further, the sex of the birds can’t be determined until they are 4-6 months old so it’s unenforceable.

Chicken Run Rescue is still looking for horse people who make terrific homes for roosters- they shelter well in the barns and make for lovable, easy care companions and can be quite happy as bachelor pairs. We call it the Barn Buddy Program –  we pair up roosters and horse folks with space and a willingness to help birds in need. 

Horse and rooster behavior are similar in many ways and horse folks generally understand and respect the instinctive behavior, can apply many of the same socialization and training techniques and thrive on the challenge of a friendship that is out of the ordinary. 

If you have horses or know kind people who do, please let them know about our Barn Buddy Program. We urgently need to expand our ability to place roosters and you can help. Contact us at chickenrunrescue@comcast.net

Here’s the handsome boys we photographed:

rooster with unique comb

white rooster, ruffle feathers

Butlerrooster, studio

Derekwhite rooster, comb, waddle

Fremont black rooster with white feathers on his head

Prancergeneric rooster, red black

Obie feathered feet, white rooster

Finamore red rooster flapping wings

Quincy red and black rooster, flap wings

Twu Bluerooster crowing, red, black
And finally, Cal. Cal is not available for adoption due to his special needs. He and his sister, Brooklyn, were abandoned in Callander Park in Brooklyn Park in the winter 2 years ago. He suffered severe frostbite and both feet had to be amputated but he learned how to walk and run on his stumps. He will remain a very loved permanent resident at CRR and is our most popular rooster because his exuberance and joyful resilience to run with no feet. He inspires everyone who meets him. 

black chicken with crest

If you’d like to learn more about Chicken Run Rescue, ways to help the organization, backyard coops, care and feeding, or even to purchase a calendar or make a donation, be sure to check out their website, and like their Facebook page.


Hi! I'm Sarah, but feel free to call me Sarah Beth. I've been a professional photographer for over 17 years, and I've been an animal lover and an artist my entire life. Read More . . .


Sarah Ernhart
Sarah Beth Photography

2205 California St. NE, Suite 101
Minneapolis, MN 55418