More than 200 roosters, hens and chicks are looking for a new home to roost after being rescued from the site of an illegal cockfighting operation in Irving last month.The Humane Society of North Texas is seeking residents to adopt the fowl, which are now available for a $5 donation each. The chickens, which are assorted breeds, will be available at the east Fort Worth location, l1840 E. Lancaster Ave., this week until all find homes.The Humane Society assisted Irving police and animal control in seizing about 320 chickens May 12 during investigation of an illegal cockfighting operation in the 900 block of West Hunter Ferrell Road. The shelter had to wait for court proceedings to finish before the birds were available for adoption, Humane Society spokeswoman Peggy Brown said.Besides locating a fighting arena, investigators found that the chickens were kept in crowded, unsanitary conditions and several roosters were euthanized for injuries that “were grievous and appeared to have been left untreated,” Irving spokeswoman Maribeth Sloan said.Arrest warrants have been issued for three people, who face state jail felony charges for causing animals to fight. Investigators had not responded to complaints at the address before and do not know how long rooster fighting had been occurring there, Sloan said. The investigation continues.The Humane Society hopes to adopt out hens and roosters that are already bonded together, and small groups of chicks and adult hens. About 100 chicks are available for adoption, though the shelter can’t tell which are male and female at this stage, Brown said.“Treated humanely and with compassion, and provided environments that promote proper husbandry and social interaction, this breed of chicken, like many other poultry breeds are known to form very strong attachments to their mates and family groups,” interim Irving Animal Services Manager Sandy Grambort said.Housing and caring for the large number of birds has been an expensive project for the nonprofit, which had to build enclosures to keep the roosters separate, Brown said.“These type of cases tax the resources,” Brown said.Anyone interested in adoption is encouraged to have a chicken coop where the birds can roost off the ground, preferably one that is enclosed to keep out predators and keep the animals contained, Brown said.“Most neighbors don’t want chickens running around,” she said.Residents should check with their city to learn whether there are any restrictions regarding chicken ownership.
Susan Schrock, 817-390-7639 Twitter: @susanschrock