What would you do if you came home to find a rooster in your kitchen? That's the situation one NYer has currently found himself in—a Reddit user posted about their rooster-rescuing roomie who brought home the cock without first asking (read their whole post below). Someone really should make an etiquette sign about this.
To make a long story short, my roommate is a crazy vegan who "rescued" this fella from her boyfriend's frat. Don't ask me what they were gonna do with it, I don't even want to know. All I know is, it's sitting in my kitchen right now and I want it out. She wants to keep it until Wednesday when her mom is going to come pick it up and take it to some farm. Someone PLEASE HELP! Who do I call? How do I not get in trouble?
Reddit users' advise was hit-and-miss, to say the least, with most people either recommending they take it to a farm, or snap its neck and cook it. At least one person saw the upside of keeping it around: "free alarm clock." But the original poster's concerns about getting in trouble are not unfounded: in NYC, a person may not keep a rooster as a pet.
The ASPCA told us they don’t really have much experience with these types of situations. NYC Animal Care and Control told us: "If the rooster was “rescued” within the five boroughs of NYC she can bring him to one of our Care Centers. If the rooster is healthy we will then find placement with one of our New Hope partners."
The Bushwick City Farm unfortunately told us they couldn't take the rooster, because they do not own the garden space they use, and could be evicted if complaints arise. Bushwick City Farm founder and director Masha Radzinsky made the point that roosters aren't dangerous, and helped further explain why they aren't allowed in NYC:
Roosters are not at all dangerous, in fact in my experience they are often goofy and friendlier than some hens! We have had many roosters, they are handled the same as hens, just need some food and water and love (veggies, corn, grains—no processed foods, no raw potatoes or avocados or onions). Its true they are illegal, this is due to the prevalence of rooster fighting in the city and the city usually finds out about the rooster due to a neighbors 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.
Radzinsky mentions that if you decide you want to try to keep a rooster on the down-low, you'll need to build/get a chicken coop with straw for the night time, and probably another chicken friend to keep him company. You should keep the coop in your backyard, make it as draft free as possible, and make sure it has perches and plenty of straw to keep them warm and safe from predators—especially raccoons.