Two roosters dumped in the bush west of Port Alberni are looking for homes, says a spokesperson from BC SPCA’s Alberni-Clayoquot branch.
“These boys are young, likely hatched and deemed unwanted,” said Kayla Castellarin. They were discovered by some concerned citizens in the bush near Great Central Lake, and brought into the SPCA.
There was a third rooster also dumped in the area but it was found deceased. Due to the condition of its remains Castellarin said the roosters were likely only in the bush for a week. They are estimated to be two months old.
Dumping chickens—any animal—in the bush is a punishable offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. For these roosters it was particularly cruel, she said.
“They cannot fend for themselves and many face dehydration, starvation, the elements or are killed by a predator animal.”
The roosters are Japanese bantam breeds, which are considered ornamental chickens, characterized with short legs and tails that are longer than the bird’s body.
The SPCA is treating the roosters for lice, but will be looking for homes for them shortly. Anyone interested in adopting any of the roosters should call the Alberni branch at 250-723-5269 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone with information regarding this rooster dumping or any other animal cruelty or welfare concerns should call the animal cruelty hotline at 1-855-622-7722.
This isn’t the first time the SPCA in Port Alberni has been forced to house abandoned roosters. William, an Orpington mixed breed rooster, has been there for 88 days as of July 30, 2021. A mate of his—also a rooster—was recently adopted after an extended stay.
Castellarin said they are seeing more abandoned chickens, especially roosters, since the City of Port Alberni allowed backyard chicken coops on residential properties. The challenge for people raising chickens is that one rooster is generally needed for a small posse of chickens.
Hens are usually adopted quickly from the SPCA, but not roosters.
People deciding to hatch their own chicken eggs have a 50-50 percent chance of the eggs hatching as roosters, not hens, she said. Chicken farmers need to have a plan before they decide to incubate eggs. Otherwise, “it’s not very fair.”
Melissa Speirs, farm animal manager for the BC SPCA, says raising backyard chickens can be a lot of work and presents some unique challenges. “It’s important for anyone interested in raising a backyard flock to thoroughly research what’s involved and to plan carefully before deciding it’s a good fit for them.”