Chickens on the lam, fowl play suspected

Police, fire and animal control officers were kept busy rounding up dozens of chickens on the run at multiple locations in Central Saanich and North Saanich on Thursday.

Don Brown, chief bylaw officer with the Capital Regional District, said a total of 93 chickens were captured with the help of Central Saanich police officers and North Saanich firefighters.

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“We don’t think we got them all, but we think we got most of them,” he said. “One of them got injured and had to be put down.”

Brown said the chickens were extremely hungry, but otherwise appeared healthy.

“We still have no idea where they came from,” he said. “We don’t know if they’ve escaped out of a barn or someone dumped them.”

The distance between locations where the chickens were found raises the possibility that they were dumped, Brown said.

“There were some on Central Saanich Road, some on Wallace Drive and then some on Birch Road, which is in North Saanich,” he said.

On the other hand, the chickens still appear to be in good condition, which might mean they simply flew the coop.

“They’re very common layer-type chickens,” Brown said. “Some of them were laying eggs in the truck when we were bringing them into the shelter.

“So they are of value. It’s not like they’re old and they’re not going to lay anymore.

“It leads me to believe they’ve escaped somewhere and I hope that’s the case and I hope somebody comes forward and claims them.”

Brown said police made inquiries with a number of farmers in the area, but were unable to find anyone with missing poultry.

The owner has 96 hours to come forward and claim the birds, which are being kept at a CRD shelter.

“We’ve already had people express interest in taking them on and adopting them if nobody claims them,” he said. “But we’re still hoping someone might come forward and claim them all.”

lkines@timescolonist.com

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