Kayla Castellarin from the BC SPCA Alberni-Clayoquot branch holds up one of three roosters presently housed at the animal shelter. This Japanese bantam rooster came in a week ago after it and a second one were discovered abandoned in the bush by Great Central Lake. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Kayla Castellarin from the BC SPCA Alberni-Clayoquot branch holds up one of three roosters presently housed at the animal shelter. This Japanese bantam rooster came in a week ago after it and a second one were discovered abandoned in the bush by Great Central Lake. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Young bantam roosters dumped in bush west of central Vancouver Island city

BC SPCA has seen rise in dumped fowl since backyard chickens became legal

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.

READ: BC SPCA says research, planning needed before raising backyard chickens

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 alberni@spca.bc.ca.

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.”

Abandoned chickensAlberni-Clayoquot Regional DistrictBCSPCAPORT ALBERNI

 

Two bantam roosters were discovered abandoned in the bush out by Great Central Lake and are now with the Alberni-Clayoquot branch of the BC SPCA. a third rooster was found deceased. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Two bantam roosters were discovered abandoned in the bush out by Great Central Lake and are now with the Alberni-Clayoquot branch of the BC SPCA. a third rooster was found deceased. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

The Alberni-Clayoquot branch of the BC SPCA has seen an increase in abandoned roosters ever since backyard chicken coops were approved, and people began hatching their own chicken eggs. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

The Alberni-Clayoquot branch of the BC SPCA has seen an increase in abandoned roosters ever since backyard chicken coops were approved, and people began hatching their own chicken eggs. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)