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Measure of a rooster October 8, 2011

Posted by therealtinlizzy in Uncategorized.

So today begins Gaius-the-rooster’s trial in the court of public opinion. At least the public of my North Minneapolis neighborhood. It’s come time to lobby my neighbors to sign the permit application that will allow me to keep a rooster in addition to hens (went through the process to apply for hens last Fall).

Unfortunately – Minneapolis Animal Control has already received a complaint about Gaius, which means that the chances are less-than-awesome that I will be able to get enough signatures to keep him (need 80% of houses within 100 feet of any part of my property).  Another bit of challenge is that at least half of my neighbors are non-English-speaking. The kids mostly seem to be English-speaking, so I hope they will to some degree anyway be able to translate the jist of the letter to their folks. And then there’s the cultural understanding (or lack thereof) aspects, which will likely be lost in the translation anyway.

Welp – here’s the letter I’m heading out to drop at each of my neighbors’ homes prior to revisiting in the next couple days for their signatures. Wish Gaius luck 🙂


Hi there!

My name is Tara and I’m one of your neighbors. I spoke with many of you last Fall when asking for signatures for a Minneapolis permit for 6 chickens (hens). I also assured many of you at the time that a loud crowing rooster would not be among my crew of chickens! However – as you’ve likely noticed over the summer, I’ve been providing a home to a rooster who makes his presence known quite loudly throughout the day.  Here’s the guilty party – Gaius the Rooster:

And here’s his story.

Gaius is part of a group of 14 chickens (6 roosters, 8 hens) that were irresponsibly hatched by a high school class in Woodbury last winter, after which the teacher abandoned them at the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley. The Humane Society contacted an organization here in North Minneapolis called Chicken Run Rescue which works to find homes for chickens that are confiscated or abandoned.

I was waiting for some hens to become available for adoption through Chicken Run Rescue after submitting my permit application last fall. Shortly after that – these chickens came to Chicken Run and needed quickly to find homes. I agreed to take 5 of the hens and one of the roosters on a foster basis until if/when a new home could be found for him.

Sadly – it’s very difficult to find homes for homeless roosters, and Chicken Run Rescue always has many more roosters than homes can be found for. As you know, they can be very loud – crowing not only in the morning but throughout the day. Additionally, roosters generally can’t have live with other roosters due to their tendency to fight other males. However – what most people don’t understand is that just like people – half of all chickens that are hatched are males, so often people who get chickens end up with roosters they don’t want, and the roosters then get abandoned and/or killed.

So  my intent originally was simply to foster Gaius the rooster for a short time. However after getting to know him these past months, I’ve decided to seek permission of all of you for him to stay in the neighborhood. You might wonder – why should you consider letting this loud-mouthed rooster stay in the neighborhood? In the end – it’s simply to give him a home. Yes – he’s a loud boy. Certainly there’s already plenty of noise in our North Side neighborhood – some pleasantly noisy things, some not so pleasant. But perhaps there could be a place amidst the bustle of our neighborhood for Gaius as well.

I’ll be dropping by each of your houses in the next couple days to ask for your signature on a new permit application that would allow me to keep Gaius along with the 5 hens. If you have any questions or concerns, you’re welcome to ask me then. You’re also more than welcome to drop over and meet Gaius and the hens, and even take a few eggs home with you as well.

In the event there’s not enough support in the neighborhood for Gaius to stay, I will work with Chicken Run Rescue to find a new home for him. But I really hope you’ll consider letting him remain a part of the neighborhood.



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