Chickens found abandoned by busy road dehydrated and with damaged wings

Four cockerels escaped serious injury after being found by the side of a busy road near Warrington. The young male birds were picked up by members of the public on Higher Lane, just off the A56 between Lymm and Broomedge, during separate incidents earlier this month.

Some of the feathers on their wings had been damaged - probably when an attempt was made to clip them and reduce their ability to fly - and they were all dehydrated. The RSPCA believes the birds may have been deliberately abandoned.

Sadly, reports about dumped poultry are not uncommon, the RSPCA says. Over the last four years the animal welfare charity has received over 1,100 reports about chickens being abandoned in public places. People not wanting males who are unable to lay eggs is thought to be one of the main reasons.

The cockerels received veterinary care and are now being boarded at a private facility on behalf of the RSPCA and will be rehomed if no-one comes forward to claim them.

RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer Fay Bowers, said: “Attempts had been made to hack off the birds’ wing feathers and they were all dehydrated. Thankfully kind members of the public stepped in and they didn’t come to any further harm, which was fortunate given the proximity to the main road.

“It isn’t uncommon for cockerels to be abandoned and we think this is what’s happened here.

“Sometimes people may have taken on unsexed chicks, which have grown into noisy cockerels who obviously cannot provide eggs, and so they are then dumped. Finding the appropriate facilities to take them can also be challenging.

“We should all want to see a world where animals are treated with kindness and respect. Chickens can be very rewarding pets, but like with any animal they have specific behavioural and environmental requirements, and it's important that people have the appropriate time, knowledge and resources in place to be able to offer them a life-long home.”

Anyone who might have seen the cockerels being abandoned or has information about where they have come from is urged to contact the RSPCA’s appeals line on 0300 123 8018 quoting reference number 01249776.

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