Maxwell the rooster, had been living for a month or two on the median at the Oakland I-580 offramp at MacArthur/Mills. Someone likely was living with Maxwell in their backyard, but dumped this young rooster when he started crowing and it became obvious that he was not a hen. At the freeway offramp, Maxwell made a roost in the lower branches of a small tree, and would come down the slope during the day to drink water out of the gutter with the pigeons.
Maxwell quickly built a following of neighborhood residents who were concerned about him, and neighbors started bringing him food and containers of fresh water. As roosters are illegal in Oakland, and those who end up at Oakland Animal Services are often euthanized due to the volume of roosters surrendered, many folks wanted to help Maxwell, but wanted to make sure that no harm came to him. Neighbor (and former rabbit foster) Maggie Adams contacted Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary to see if there was space for their local celebrity rooster – and they said yes!
On Friday, August 26th, seven neighbors and two Harvest Home volunteers met at the freeway off-ramp to attempt to catch Maxwell. Rescuers had to be very careful that the Maxwell didn’t run out into traffic. With other rescuers guarding the road, after about a half-hour of encircling the bushes and chasing after Maxwell, Harvest Home volunteer Ian Elwood was able to dive down the slope after him and catch him. A tired and happy group of rescuers posed for photos with Maxwell, safely inside a carrier.
Maxwell stayed overnight in the bathroom of local Harvest Home volunteers before making the trip out to the sanctuary in Stockton early Saturday morning. After a couple hours, Maxwell was able to relax and enjoyed a dinner of fresh corn, tomatoes, parsley and fresh water, before roosting and going to sleep on a mop handle propped across the bathtub.
First thing Saturday morning, Maxwell rode in a Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary volunteer carpool out to Stockton. Upon his arrival, Maxwell received a quick dusting for external parasites and a dose of dewormer, and then he was placed in a pen on the lawn that had been prepared in advance for him, with fresh water, chicken feed, and fresh corn. Maxwell will stay away from the other chickens for a few days for observation, to make sure that he’s healthy, before joining one of the two large flocks of chickens at the sanctuary.
Harvest Home encourages everyone who has seen Maxwell on the off-ramp, brought him food or water, or participated in his rescue to come visit him at the sanctuary. Contact Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary to schedule a private group tour for your family or neighbors!
Please consider making a donation to support the work of Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary, providing life-long care for abandoned farm animals. You can sponsor Maxwell or another chicken you receive a sponsorship certificate, photograph, and email updates of your sponsoree.