The city is filled with surreal sights and juxtapositions during the holidays, and for Brooklyn resident Molly Sandley, nothing will compare to what she saw last night: a rooster, whose style can best be described as "Tina Turner circa-Private Dancer," trying to roost on an eight-foot tall inflatable Santa in front of a restaurant in Park Slope. "It kept collapsing under its weight," Sandley told Gothamist. "He was not a happy chicken."
Sandley found the lost rooster around Union Street between 6th and 7th avenues around 6 p.m. on Thursday, spotting him while she was at a nearby laundromat. She ended up bringing him back home with her in a cardboard box: "He was very cold and very hungry, but basically healthy." The rooster, who she has now named Elizabeth Warrhen, slept in her bathroom overnight: "He's in our bathroom still, he's very social, not aggressive. It seems like he was somebody's backyard animal, and they just let him go or he got loose."
Sandley has since spent much of the last 24 hours trying to find out if anyone from the neighborhood is missing a rooster—she started an email address (email@example.com), put up some flyers, posted to Facebook, and talked to various locals. One person said they spotted him by a local firehouse, and a firefighter there confirmed they had seen it early Thursday morning, but had no idea where it came from.
An announcement was made over the loudspeaker of the Park Slope Food Coop, giving out the email address just in case. Sandley also said a local chef offered to "take care of the chicken for us." Another person informed Sandley that the chicken-keeping community of Brooklyn is well-aware of Elizabeth Warrhen's current predicament, and "all the chicken-keeping message boards are having a good old time with that."
One possible reason nobody has stepped forward so far: it's illegal to keep a rooster as a pet in the city. Bushwick City Farm founder and director Masha Radzinsky previously told Gothamist that although roosters aren't dangerous, the reason they are illegal is "due to the prevalence of rooster fighting in the city, and the city usually finds out about the rooster due to a neighbor's complaint about crowning (they crow in the early morning and often throughout the day as well). The rooster shouldn't be kept in an apartment setting; just as any livestock animal, he needs outdoor space to roam, scratch the earth, hunt bugs & worms and stretch out in the sunshine."
To that end, unless she hears from an owner very soon, Sandley has decided to take Elizabeth Warrhen, which one Twitter user identified as a Mottled Houdan rooster, to a friend in Vermont who keeps chickens. "Of all the possible outcomes that could come to a rooster wandering around Brooklyn, ending up on a farm in Vermont is among the better options," Sandley noted. "It's a Brooklyn-style holiday chicken miracle."