A man had a shock when he awoke to tapping on his downstairs window at midnight - to find a group of chickens had been dumped on his doorstep.
The RSPCA fear the two hens and five chicks they rescued from the house in Hull were unwanted pets that had been abandoned by their owner in a cardboard box.
RSPCA Inspector Jilly Dickinson went to collect the birds.
“The householder had been woken by a tapping sound on a downstairs window. When he went to investigate he found two hens and five chicks who’d been dumped on his doorstep.
“The hens were outside of a cardboard box and inside a pet carrier there were five tiny chicks. There was straw inside the containers but no food, water or any note.”
The caller kindly kept the birds overnight and Inspector Dickinson collected them the following day. The birds are now in RSPCA care at a private boarding establishment nearby.
“I’ve posted the birds on PetsLocated and would like to hear from anyone who might recognise them or know where they’ve come from to call our appeal line on 0300 123 8018,” Inspector Dickinson added.
“However, I’m doubtful that anyone will come forward to claim them as it appears to me that their owner has abandoned them.
“It’s become really popular to keep hens as pets and they’re extremely easy and cheap to buy. However, they are a commitment and require the same amount of care and attention as other pets.
“Hens need company (we recommend keeping at least three), suitable housing and space to forage as well as enrichment.
“I suspect that, in this case, someone took them on without realising the care involved in keeping them and - when their eggs hatched - they were left with more than they’d expected so they decided to abandon them.
“Unfortunately, the RSPCA is always being called to collect abandoned animals and charities are often left to pick up the pieces when people fail to properly research an animal before taking it on a realising they can’t meet its needs.”