Two national animal welfare charities have joined forces to launch a new online matchmaking service, designed to help lonely lovebirds find their perfect match.

The British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT), the country’s first dedicated chicken charity, and the RSPCA have announced a new partnership that will help send handsome cockerels winging their way to rule a happy roost, through the Cockerel Lonely Hearts service.

Cockerel Lonely Hearts was originally set up in 2017 by the BHWT, offering the public the opportunity to find homes for any unwanted cockerels.

Following recent media reports suggesting an increase in abandoned cockerels in the UK, the two charities got together to help these fine-looking chaps on their way to join their own feathery flock.

Jane Howorth MBE of BHWT said: “We saw an article recently that suggested even more cockerels are being abandoned. We know that this has always been a problem and we often receive calls from the public asking for help and advice about what they can do with cockerels that they hatched at home or no longer want.

“Our primary focus is the rehoming of ex-commercial laying hens, but, we care about these beautiful boys too and decided we wanted to do something to help. We’ve offered the cockerel adoption service on our website for some time, but teaming up with the RSPCA was an obvious way for us to help even more chaps find themselves a flock of loving ladies to look after.”

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The RSPCA regularly deals with cases of abandoned cockerels, and it is thought this could be as a result of disputes between neighbours over their crowing, or simply the fact that they cannot lay eggs. The charity has also investigated several cases of illegal cock fighting.

Kate Parkes of the RSPCA said: “Sadly it’s not uncommon for us to take in cockerels who have been abandoned and dumped, often in dangerous situations like at the side of a road or in car parks – we usually have a number in our care at any given time.

“Chickens can be so rewarding to keep and cockerels can get a bad rap for being noisy and aggressive, when in fact, with the right care and knowledge, they can make great pets with distinct personalities and are absolutely fascinating to watch and care for - it’s really worth putting in time and patience to get more out of them and really enjoy them.”

Both charities advise any potential rehomers to ensure they check that their local council allows keeping cockerels as pets before rehoming them, as well as considering neighbours and other local residents. The BHWT and RSPCA have advice and guidance for anyone looking to take on a cockerel.