This is little Freddie.
A few weeks ago a neighbour told me that she had seen two men around my chicken pens. Anxious, my son and I went to investigate. We found a little cockerel cut to ribbons, mal-nourished, and very very frightened. They had left him without a note in one of my spare broody coops.
On closer inspection the wounds almost looked surgical, like incisions. The back of his legs were also sore. I set to work on getting him better.
When recounting his story to a friend a few days later he suggested he might have been used in a cock fight as the birds are equipped with either metal spurs or knives, tied to the leg in the area where the bird's natural spur has been partially removed. This would account for the incisions, and his sore legs.
I was heartbroken to think that Freddie had endured such a fate, and called the RSPCA to report it, although I could not give a good description of the men. Although cock fighting is banned throughout the UK they did say it still goes on but in declining numbers.
I am grateful that someone had a conscience at least and brought him to me.
Freddie , I'm pretty sure, will be alright. His wounds are healing up nicely and he is off his antibiotics. I don't know if his feathers will grow back in some areas as there's a lot of scar tissue but we will see.
Initially he was very scared of the crowing of my other cockerels and would literally jump in the air when they doodle-doo'd, and also of his new small flock of hens, but I selected his hens carefully for their laid back nature so little by little his confidence is growing.
I know he's not pretty, and he's still in a bit of a state feather-wise but I decided to enter him for 'chicken of the week' because of his inner beauty despite all the cruelty he's shouldered.
His nature is simply wonderful considering what he has been through. He doesn't mind being held especially if you are also holding a treat (!), and throughout all his recovery he never laid a claw on anyone even though it must have really hurt him at times.
He has a lovely home with us now and is cherished. Hopefully he will forget his past and continue to enjoy his ladies and his new life.
So.. here are a few pics of Freddie 1 month on. Freddie is doing really well. He is healing, he is happy, he is totally obsessed with apples. He literally dances when an apple is coming... Waiting.... APPLES !!!!! I'm sexy and I know it !