A Kerikeri woman say the dumping of up to 30 roosters and chickens on a busy roadside, where they are being mown down by cars and struggling to find water, is animal abuse.

Wendy Cain, known as the "duck lady" for her penchant for rescuing ducks and chickens, said the poultry was left on a narrow section of Kerikeri Inlet Rd last Sunday.

The ground was steep on both sides of the road and covered in dense bush and gorse.

"They couldn't have chosen a worse spot," she said.


When the Advocate checked on Friday at least seven had been killed by cars and feathers were strewn along the roadside.

One of at least seven dead roosters and chickens on Inlet Rd, Kerikeri, on Friday afternoon. Photo / Peter de Graaf
One of at least seven dead roosters and chickens on Inlet Rd, Kerikeri, on Friday afternoon. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Ms Cain visited at least once a day to bring fresh water and chicken feed. Those not killed by cars would be able to find some food but there was no fresh water in the area.

It was also upsetting for children who went past on their way to and from school each day, she said.

Ms Cain, who was alerted by a friend on Inlet Rd, has notified the SPCA and the Far North District Council, and contacted the NZ Poultry Group for advice on how to catch them.

She had tried to catch them using a net but the steep terrain and dense bush made it difficult, as did the need to catch them after dark when they were roosting and relatively docile.

Any time she got close they scattered in to the bush, she said.

It frustrated her because finding a home for unwanted poultry was easy. All the owner had to do was put a post on any of the many buy-and-sell pages on Facebook offering to give them away.

"They want to get rid of them and they can't be bothered finding them a home. They just don't give a sh**, but as a responsible citizen I can't leave them there. A chicken is just a chicken but it's still abuse."


Ms Cain said many kittens and puppies met the same fate. An unwanted dog dumped in the nearby Waitangi Forest in 1987 killed an estimated 500 kiwi before it was caught.

The Department of Conservation's Bay of Islands manager, Rolien Elliot, urged people to take responsibility and dispose of unwanted poultry themselves, instead of dumping them on public conservation land.

"It causes all sorts of issues with disease potentially getting in to our avian fauna, as well as fouling of recreation areas."