We have reported on the rise in domestic chicken keeping for a long time now.

But, last year, with the initial egg shortage in the supermarkets, followed by the first national lockdown, this led to a surge in people getting their own birds to, hopefully, maintain the family egg supply.

However, with the onset of Avian Flu, with the Chief Veterinary Officer’s order to confine ALL chickens, both commercial and domestic, the birds suddenly lost their appeal.

This has led to a large number being dumped on rescue centres and in some cases, simply released into the neighbourhood. This practice, obviously, could lead to further influenza outbreaks.

Adopt the slogan “A chicken is not just for lockdown!”.

Selling end-of-lay hens has been a useful and financially rewarding exercise.

But now, morally, we should enquire more thoroughly into prospective purchaser’s intentions before parting with a sentient creature.