A German immigrant to Pennsylvania, Schimmel was one of the most prolific and talented folk sculptors of the nineteenth century, but one who did not enjoy financial or personal success. He was an itinerant craftsman who bartered or sold his carved birds and animals for food and perhaps all too frequently for spirituous drink. A drifter, he did odd jobs, helping farming families and purportedly charming children with his carvings, often given away as tokens or toys. Small figures like this rooster were also used as mantel ornaments. It is estimated that he turned out at least several hundred roosters alone, ranging from two to twelve inches in height.