Three cockerels were abandoned in a cardboard box with bloodied heads and swollen eyes.
The birds were found by a dog walker on 13 October having been dumped in a cardboard box in Gobians Lane, Hertford.
RSPCA deputy chief inspector Alex Coghlan was called to help the birds.
She said: “The cardboard box was collapsing in the rain so the birds were no longer contained when I arrived. They were clearly well domesticated as they’d stayed near to the box and two were friendly and came up to me.
“I managed to catch them easily but the third was much more nervous and was hiding in the hedge so my colleague, Dave Podmore, attended the following day and managed to catch him.”
The birds were taken to a vet for check-ups and then taken in by the RSPCA. They are now being cared for by staff at RSPCA Blackberry Farm Animal Centre in Aylesbury.
Alex added: “They were a poorly bunch of boys and had nasty, bloodied wounds to their heads. I suspect they were beaten up by a bigger or older cockerel and that their wounds were the result of bullying.
“Presumably, instead of trying to rehome the birds responsibly, their owner has piled all three into a box and dumped them on the side of the road by a farmer’s field.
“They had bloodied combs and sores all over their heads and around their eyes as a result of the bullying. Thankfully, vets found the wounds to be superficial and they were given anti-inflammatories.”
The RSPCA would like to hear from anyone who knows where the birds came from or who saw anything suspicious in the area. Anyone with information can call 0300 123 8018.
The birds will remain in RSPCA care and, if not claimed by a rightful owner, will go up for rehoming.
To help the RSPCA continue to rescuing animals and investigating animal cruelty, please donate whatever you can spare at www.rspca.org.uk/covid