Meet Dave: The Majestic Rooster Who Rules the Bush

Dave, an abandoned yet remarkable rooster, has found a new home in the bush and has captivated the hearts of Gold Coast locals with his stunning appearance and commanding presence. With his glossy plumage and impressive vocal talent, Dave has become a local celebrity, earning multiple names like Bruce, Bob, Ryan, and even Roy Le Coq among the amazed residents. As he greets morning walkers with his healthy crow, Dave has established himself as the head of a brush turkey harem in Tarrabora Reserve at Palm Beach.

Nestled between the highway and the beach, Dave resides in a strip of protected bushland that was traditionally dominated by brush turkeys. Dr. Al Mucci, an adjunct professor of agriculture and food at the University of Queensland, has observed that the rooster has adopted some brush turkey behaviors and has successfully become the “king of the castle.” Australian brush turkeys build large mounds as part of their mating ritual, and the bigger the mound, the more attractive it is to females. Dave’s ability to commandeer a brush turkey nest and attract females has solidified his position as the top dog.

While local walkers speculate about Dave’s romantic endeavors with the female brush turkeys, Dr. Mucci explains that interbreeding is highly unlikely due to the difference in species. However, male brush turkeys attempting to mate with suburban hens is not uncommon. This unique relationship between Dave and the female brush turkeys has intrigued both locals and experts alike.

Unfortunately, Dave’s story sheds light on a growing problem of abandoned roosters in suburban areas. With most city councils prohibiting roosters, many cockerels find themselves without a home. Animal Welfare League Queensland revealed that they tried to rehome 169 roosters in the past year alone, highlighting the alarming frequency at which these birds are dumped. The issue stems from individuals and families buying chicks without prior knowledge of their gender. Educational programs, such as those in childcare centers, also contribute to the problem by hatching chicks that later turn out to be roosters.

While Dave’s journey in the bush has captivated the community, his story serves as a reminder of the responsibilities and awareness necessary when raising chickens. With a better understanding of rooster management and education about the implications of adopting chicks, we can hopefully reduce the number of abandoned roosters and provide them with the loving homes they deserve.


Q: Can Dave mate with the female brush turkeys?

A: Although Dave may attempt to mate with the female brush turkeys, their different species make successful interbreeding impossible.

Q: What is causing the increase in abandoned roosters?

A: The rise in abandoned roosters can be attributed to individuals and families purchasing chicks without knowing their gender. Additionally, educational programs that involve hatching chicks in childcare centers often result in unwanted roosters.

Q: How can we address the issue of abandoned roosters?

A: It is crucial for individuals and communities to understand the responsibilities that come with raising chickens and ensure they have the necessary knowledge about rooster management. By being informed and prepared, we can reduce the number of roosters left without homes.