Dumped on the side of the road
Whilst we cannot be entirely sure about everything that happened to Colin before he arrived at sanctuary, we do know that he was found alone on the side of the road, presumably dumped after it was discovered that the tiny fluffy chick that was bought into a home to produce eggs, was actually a rooster.
Roosters like Colin bred into the egg industry are considered wastage, as they will not produce eggs. Colin would have hatched alongside many thousands of other chicks, never knowing his mother hen. Once identified as roosters, most are killed shortly after hatching by a maceration at the end of a conveyer belt, along with the egg shells they have just hatched from.
Finding himself alongside a road and only still a very young, as nightfall, he was hungry and in danger, and so courageously sheltered by climbing into a tree. He was going to do everything he could to stay alive.
Someone discovered Colin and after capturing him in a net and keeping him for some time, contacted us and he arrived at sanctuary. After being in confined spaces like boxes and yards for so long, Colin revelled in the space at sanctuary as a free range rooster. He'd hang out with the hens and take rides on the back of sanctuary pigs and goats. Colin delighted in paddling in the ponds, walking in the forest, foraging on the grass and watching out for his new sisters.
Colin was six months old when he was rescued and arrived at sanctuary, and was so very fortunately to have a wonderful Farm Animal Rescue sponsor who loved him, and helped partner us in looking after him, for all the time he was at sanctuary.
Hundreds of roosters are dumped in Queensland every month because they don't lay eggs and because they crow, constantly overwhelming shelters and sanctuaries. The kindest thing you can do for roosters is to not eat eggs. The egg industry shreds millions of baby roosters every year in Australia because people eat eggs, and those that end up in people's back yards are almost always dumped or surrendered. Every second chick hatched is a rooster. Once you know how the egg industry impacts animals like Colin, it makes sense to try the many alternatives to eggs now available.
As we predicted at rescue, even though we supplemented his diet as much as possible, Colin was likely to suffer as he aged from lack of calcium due to the impact of his breeding. As he aged he suffered from both osteo-myelitis and arthritis, and was been on pain management for the last little while. Between Christmas and New Year late 2021, however, we noticed his symptoms advancing, and that he had stopped walking. On examining him, we found his left leg - which was originally the better of the two - had also worsened, and we knew he needed our help.
We rushed him to the only doctor we could find open at that time of year, Unusual Pets in Buderim.
Here it was recommended that he have surgery to remove some of the painful digits along with the diseased bone, which will return him to an acceptable level of mobility.
During surgery fragments were also removed and sent for testing to make sure that the condition isn’t bone cancer related. At this time his liver and kidney indicators are in the normal range, quite something considering the amount of pain management he is on.
We were ecstatic to bring Colin home sporting new rooster 'sandals' so he could once again enjoy his life around the house, even spending some time at our feet under our desk! This from a rooster with a history of being quite outspoken about humans keeping out of his personal space!
We suspected Colin would no longer be able to compete in group housing with other roosters, so we are enjoying getting to know him even more as he recovered, and keept him safe.
Colin's surgery cost $2500 and we are so grateful for our supporters for allowing us to continue to care for Colin and allow him to grow old without pain and with dignity.
On a checkup on 11th January 2022 Colin's doctor was very happy with his mobility and how his wounds were healing. With his feet now re-bandaged in a way that it is easier for him to walk, he is expected his surgery wounds to heal about 28 days from surgery.
However, Colin eventually succumbed to his illness and we felt it was better to relieve his suffering in February 2022.