Seven cockerels dumped outside in cardboard box
- Credit: RSPCA
Shocked to hear noises coming from a cardboard dumped on her driveway, a woman recognised from the noise they were animals and were still alive.
Fearing they might escape if she opened the box, she popped it in the back of her car and drove the nine miles to the RSPCA centre at Block Fen.
She watched as trained staff opened it and inside were seven adult cockerels.
“The box was far too small for so many large birds and a couple had blood on them,” said Block Fen manager Sally Jones.
“They had clearly started to fight with each other in such a cramped space.”
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She said: “I am appalled that someone has just abandoned these poor boys - and the way in which they did it.
“Thankfully the householder did the right thing and contacted us.
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“But no matter what the reason, abandoning an animal alone and in a situation like this is never okay.
“There is no guarantee that an abandoned animal will be found or not become hurt or lost.”
The cockerels were abandoned in Coldham near Wisbech and the RSPCA agreed the homeowner was right not to open the box in case the occupants escaped.
Sally said: “The poor homeowner arrived with this box which was clearly very heavy.
“We opened it up and to our shock we discovered there were seven fully grown cockerels of traditional or heritage breed types.”
She added: “If someone is struggling to cope, there are lots of charities who could help and we would urge you to ask for help.”
The RSPCA says if anyone has information regarding the cockerels please contact the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
Sally said: “The cardboard box these birds were found in had some writing on the side which stated it was for some flat pack linen bar stools.
“If this rings a bell with anyone, we would urge them to contact us.”
RSPCA Inspector Rebecca Harper added: “Concerns were raised during lockdown about the increase in pet acquisition and ownership.
“We feared that people would soon lose interest and start to hand their animals over once life started to return to normal.”
He said for those who are still thinking about taking on hens the RSPCA has some advice for them.
Rebecca said: “If people are going to hatch fertilised eggs - expect some to be cockerels and pre-plan what you are going to do with them.
“If you are living in an area which allows you to have cockerels, please consider adopting one to keep with your hens.
“They help prevent fighting or any hierarchy issues within the group, and can make it easier to introduce new hens without problem.
“They also act as first line of defence/alarm if a fox or other predators are in the area.”
She said: “If people are going to hatch eggs, please can they consider concentrating on pure breeds.
“This way it makes it easier for the cockerels to be sold or rehomed, as there is more demand for them compared to mixed or cross breeds”
The birds were initially cared for at the centre and have now been transferred to Page’s Poultry.
“We are grateful to them for taking the cockerels into their care,” said Rebecca/
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care visit their website or call the donation line on 0300 123 8181