15 December 2017

UPC Needs Your Support This Holiday Season


Holiday Greetings from United Poultry Concerns

Karen, Nicholas and Nathaniel
Photo of Karen Davis, with sanctuary residents Nicholas & Nathaniel by Holly Wills.

From Our Hearts to Yours

Lorenzo and Letita
Photo of Lorenzo and Letitia by Karen Davis.

Thank You for Your Support


There is no more spirited soul on earth than an exuberant rooster engaged with his family and flock. “He is for us an example of the best and truest father of a family,” Renaissance author Ulisse Aldrovandi wrote of this proud and vigorous bird. In his own world of chickendom, the rooster is a father, a lover, a brother, a food-finder, a guardian, and a sentinel. Sadly, the rooster’s crow in his tropical forest home probably contributed to the Tragedy of the Chicken, for his crow drew attention to himself and his family in their wild forest habitat. The rooster could valiantly defend himself and his family from all predators, except one . . .

Gentleman Jules, My Story of Jules and His Loving Soul

One day I received a call from the resident of an apartment building outside Washington, DC, saying that a rooster was loose in the complex and was being chased by children. After two weeks of trying, she managed to lure the rooster into the laundry room and called me to come get him. Expecting to find a cowering and emaciated creature needing to be carefully lifted out of a corner, I discovered instead a bright-eyed perky, chatty little fellow with glossy black feathers. I drove him to our sanctuary and set him outside with the flock, which at the time included our large white rooster Henry, and our feisty bantam rooster, Bantu, who loved nothing better than sitting in the breeze under the trees with his two favorite large brown hens, Nadia and Nadine.

Jules was sweet-natured, warm and affectionate to the core. He was a natural leader, and the hens loved him. Our dusky brown hen Petal, whom we’d adopted from another sanctuary, was devoted to Jules. Petal had gnarly toes, which didn’t stop her from whisking away from anyone she didn’t want to come near her; otherwise she sat still watching everything, especially Jules. Petal never made a sound; she didn’t cluck like most hens - except when Jules left her side a little too long. Then all of a sudden, the silent and immobile hen with the watchful eye let out a raucous SQUAWK, SQUAWK, SQUAWK, that didn’t stop until Jules lifted his head up from whatever he was doing, and muttering to himself, ran over to comfort his friend.

Jules the Rooster
Gentleman Jules.
UPC photo by Karen Davis

Two years after coming to live with us, Jules developed a respiratory infection that left him weak and vulnerable. Following treatment, he returned to the chickenyard only to find himself supplanted by Glippie, with whom he had used to be cordial, but was now dueling, and he didn’t have the heart or strength for it. His exuberance ebbed out of him and he became sad; there is no other word for the total condition of mournfulness he showed. His voice, which had always been cheerful, changed to moaning tones of woe. He banished himself to the outer edges of the chickenyard where he paced up and down, bawling so loudly I could hear him crying from inside the house. I brought him in with me and sought to comfort my beloved bird, who showed by his whole demeanor that knew he was dying and was hurt through and through by what he had become. Jules developed an abdominal tumor. One morning our veterinarian placed him gently on the floor of his office after a final and futile overnight stay. Jules looked up at me from the floor and let out a low groan of “ooooohh” so broken that it pierced me through. I am pierced by it now, remembering the sorrow expressed by this dear sweet creature, “Gentleman Jules,” who had loved his life and his hens and was leaving it all behind.

In today’s world, most roosters never see a hen. They never meet their mother or their sisters. Most roosters are ground up alive, electrocuted and suffocated to death in garbage bags as soon as they struggle out of their shells, or else they are dumped into sheds, separate from the females imprisoned in other sheds, to be raised for slaughter as six-week-old babies.

Our Work for the Birds Depends on Your Support!

Each week United Poultry Concerns responds to calls from people seeking a home for roosters they found abandoned, can’t keep, or don’t want. Through our efforts, many roosters have found permanent, loving homes, including ours.

Right now, along with 70 rescued hens, we have 8 wonderful roosters in our sanctuary: Chicklett, Lalo, Lorenzo, Rainbow, Mr-Sippi, Blueberry, Nathaniel, and Nicholas.

United Poultry Concerns educates people not only about the misery and abuses of chickens, but also about the sweetness, vibrancy, pride, affection, and joy of chickens and our love for them. Our sanctuary is an essential part of our mission that enables us to advocate for chickens authoritatively based on our personal observations and daily interactions with our birds. For every lie the exploiters tell, we reveal the truth.

With your support, we will advocate vigorously for chickens, turkeys and other domestic fowl in 2018 and beyond.

On behalf of our sweet rooster, Gentleman Jules, we thank you very much for your support, and we wish you blessings in the year ahead.


karen signature
Karen Davis, PhD

President & Founder
United Poultry Concerns

Karen Davis at her desk

United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization. Federal ID: 52-1705678. All donations are tax-deductible. A financial statement is available on written request to the Office of Consumer Affairs, PO Box 1163, Richmond, Virginia 23218. Our 990 tax forms, Annual Reports & Audits are posted on our website at www.upc-online.org. To view these documents, click on About UPC on our homepage at www.upc-online.org/more_about_upc.html. Thank you.