Two chickens, or possible roosters, abandoned in a box in a driveway of a home on McLean Road left the family confused and concerned for their welfare. (File photo)

Chickens abandoned in box in driveway

Animal control officials say practice not uncommon

A pair of chickens abandoned in a box in their driveway has a couple who live near Lake Cowichan perplexed.

Vic and Joanne, who live on a large property with a barn on McLean Road, off of the Lake Cowichan Highway, said that at about 7 p.m. on Aug. 23, they discovered the box containing the chickens abandoned about halfway up their approximately 300-foot driveway.

Joanne said their son was working on the property at the time and heard a car driving along the road, but didn’t see its occupants before they left the box in the driveway.

Vic said they were initially afraid to approach the box and called the police, but after more than an hour of waiting for a patrol car, which never did come, they finally approached the box and opened it.

“They didn’t look too healthy, so we got on the Internet to see what they needed to eat and then took some carrots and lettuce from my wife’s garden, cut them up real small and tried to feed it to them,” he said.

“They hardly touched it and we’re not sure what to do. We have a barn here, but all we have is a horse and some cats. We’ve never raised chickens and we don’t know what to do about them.”

Vic said he has no idea where the chickens came from.

“We’ve only been here about a year, so we really don’t know anyone with chickens,” he said.

Judi Burnet is the office manager at Coastal Animal Control Services which provides animal control bylaw compliance services in many parts of the Cowichan Valley, and the rest of the Island.

She said it’s not uncommon for CACS to receive calls of poultry left at the ends of roads.

“They’re usually roosters,” Burnet said.

“People buy chicks thinking they are hens but as they grow, they find that they have actually bought roosters. In a lot of municipalities, chickens are allowed, but roosters are not because of noise issues. But there are a lot of farms in that area, so roosters are probably allowed out there but who knows who put them there and why.”

Burnet said the couple should call the CACS and they will help with their problem.

“We have contracts to pick up animals in the City of Duncan and the Municipality of North Cowichan, but not in the Cowichan Valley Regional District where this happened,” she said.

“But once abandoned, we can try and help find someone to take them, and we’ve been pretty successful with that in the past.”

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