Dumping of 167 chicks 'connected to Easter' trade
Two batches of chicks have been dumped at the roadside and "left to die", the RSPCA said.
The charity said the two incidents were linked and had "some connection to Easter".
Twenty-six birds were dumped along Franks Lane in Newton, Cambridgeshire, on 29 March.
Eighty-one live chicks and 60 dead ones were then found at a rural location in North Road, Tydd St Mary, near Wisbech, on 13 April.
They are being cared for at the RSPCA's Block Fen Animal Centre, near Ely.
Amy Okelford, press officer for the charity, said: "We suspect the two incidents are linked and they have some connection to Easter."
She said it was possible the chicks were aimed at people who wanted chickens as pets but "failed to sell in time".
RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs added: "As you can imagine, having to care for a large number of chicks and finding space for them can prove to be difficult, but we are grateful to a number of people who have come forward to offer homes to these birds.
"Whoever dumped these birds had effectively left them to die, they had no access to nearby food or water or shelter from predators and had they not been found, then sadly the rest would have perished as well."
Anyone with information is asked to contact the charity.