A West Yorkshire poultry farmer has been handed a suspended jail term following neglect and cockfighting offences.
Douglas Price, of Valley Farm, Bradford, was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court on 8 September in relation to a number of animal welfare offences.
West Yorkshire Police attended the farm in February last year and found 22 hens and cockerels in makeshift pens, some without food and water, and some suffering from feather loss and injuries consistent with fighting.
Seized mobile phone footage later revealed that Price, 39, was keeping and training the birds to fight.
The vet found that a total of 14 hens and cockerels were in a state of neglect and some had been caused unnecessary suffering.
One dead cockerel was located at the scene, and three birds were subsequently put to sleep on the advice of the vet.
RSPCA inspector Demi Hodby, who helped the police investigate, said: “All of the birds at the site appeared to be underweight with feather loss on their chest and the majority of them were bald in this area.
"On closer observation, a number of the cockerels had injuries and all appeared to have had their combs cut.
"There was a limited amount of food and water provided in each pen and some had no provisions at all."
In mitigation, the court heard that Price is illiterate, with no formal education, and is also the sole carer for his children and grandchildren.
He runs a working farm and so his business and his home could be at risk if he lost his liberty, and any disqualification order would impact his ability to run the farm.
For causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the needs of hens and cockerels, Price was handed a suspended sentence of three months for each offence to run concurrently.
For the training of birds to fight, he was given a six month suspended sentence bringing his custodial term to nine months. This was suspended for a period of 18 months.
He was also ordered to carry out 20 rehabilitation activity days and 100 hours of unpaid work for the benefit of the community.
The poultry owner was disqualified from keeping hens and cockerels for 12 months.