About Adopt a Bird Network

Adopt a Bird Network (ABN) was founded in August 2017 by Kelly Rutkowski. It is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the presence of adoptable birds in animal shelters and rescues across the United States, with the intent of finding each a loving, no-kill, and forever home. We are passionate about what we do, and hope to inspire more people to see just how wonderful these birds are, especially the misunderstood roosters.

We team up with PoultryDVM to provide educational backyard chicken keeping workshops at animal shelters across the country---for both the public and the shelters themselves.

Teaching trick training as the second part of our Backyard Chicken Keeping Workshop at the East Valley Animal Shelter in Los Angeles, California (left photo). Backyard Chicken Keeping Workshop at the Loudoun County Animal Shelter in Waterford, Virginia (right photo).

*Once COVID ends, we plan to continue holding workshops. If you'd like more information about them, and/or would like us to do a workshop at your shelter, please contact us See our Events Page for upcoming workshops.

With the growing popularity of backyard chickens, an increasing number of these birds end up abandoned or owner surrendered in animal shelters. Of the birds who are abandoned, if they aren't eaten by predators, starve to death or hit by a car first (most are), they may be found by a Good Samaritan or picked up by animal control and brought to the local animal shelter. However, this various depending on the region, for many animal shelters won't house chickens in their facility.

Once at the shelter, most of these birds end up euthanized, or sitting for months to years in complete isolation while waiting for someone to adopt them. A lucky few are adopted out to good homes or transferred to a rescue or sanctuary. Since ABN started in August 2017, the number of lucky birds has been steadily rising. See our Adoption Wall which showcases a few of the most heartwarming adoption success stories.

ABN doesn't just post about birds for adoption, we are trying to make the world a better place, one chicken and one human at a time. Here are some facts about chickens:

  • Chickens aren't a commodity. They weren't put on this earth to serve humans. They are sophisticated, intelligent, beautiful creatures who think, feel, form bonds, and have their own unique personalities.
  • Chickens can be a household companion, just like any dog or cat (they are referred to as 'House Chickens'.
  • Chickens deserve proper veterinary care (not DIY surgeries) when they are sick or injured.
  • A male chicken is referred to as a rooster. A female chicken is called a hen.
  • Multiple roosters can live together peacefully, they are called 'Bachelor Flocks'.
  • Keeping chickens is cheaper and more effective then therapy.
  • Adopting or rescuing a chicken will not only save their life, but it will make your life better too.

How you can help

Adopt birds. Sign up to be part of our adoption network, follow us on social media (Facebook or Instagram), check out the 'birds for adoption' section of our website. Interested in adopting rescued ex-factory hens? Fill out an adoption application with Hen Harbor

Foster birds. If you are not able to adopt birds permanently, but are willing and able to foster them----please let us know!! This is desperately needed in certain areas where birds are at shelters where they are at risk of euthanasia or are known for having low adoption fees (which increases the chance of people adopting them for malicious purposes).

Provide Support. Just because you can’t adopt or foster any birds at the moment, or that there is no (that we know of...doesn’t mean they aren’t there) birds for adoption in your state or area doesn’t mean that you can’t help. In fact, we need your help just as much as we need adopters and fosters!! Just by sharing about us or a post you might see on the page can save a bird’s life. The more people who follow us and take an active interest in helping these animals the better---they need all the help they can get!


Do we ship birds?

No we do not. However, there are numerous individuals who may be willing to transport them to you, depending on the area. Join our Adopt a Bird Network Transport Group on Facebook to make requests.

Why are mostly chickens and ducks listed for adoption?

This is because they are the overwhelming majority of the birds at animal shelters. Most people don't abandon their expensive exotic bird. Chickens and ducks are also more at risk then other bird species. Shelters typically charge a higher adoption fee for exotic birds, and they are less likely to be adopted out to someone intending to eat them. Very few shelters require people to fill out an adoption contract or charge an adoption fee.

Why is there so many chickens for adoption in California?

The predominant reason why certain areas have more chickens in shelters then others, is usually related to the town or city's regulations for keeping chicken. Anywhere which allows residents to keep hens and not roosters are the biggest problem areas. This is because no matter what the feedstores or mail order hatcheries claim, there is no guarantee that all the chicks will be female. Although the hatcheries do a pretty good job at killing all the baby male chicks (by throwing them into a grinder), certain breeds are harder to sex then others. Statistically, about 1 out of 6 chicks will grow up to be male.

Therefore, if you live in an area which does not allow roosters, the best course of action is to adopt adult birds, where their sex is obvious. Hens do sporadically appear in animal shelters, but it can take time. Another option is to adopt rescued ex-factory hens, who would otherwise be killed by the commerical egg industry. Hen Harbor regularly has them for adoption. If you are interested in adopting them, fill out an application here.