Fowl play reported on Galiano

Chickens stolen, then returned

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A flock of chickens were stolen and then, thanks to help from the community, returned all within 72 hours on Galiano Island.

Sometime in the evening of Saturday, May 18, five chickens and one rooster were taken from Colleen Doty’s farm. The theft was not noticed until Doty’s sister pointed out that one of the roosters was missing in the chicken run. After counting the birds, they discovered that a total of six were absent.

“We noticed that six chickens had vanished without any sign of predation. We’re both experienced chicken-keepers. We know what it looks like when any kind of predator has affected a flock,” Doty said. “We went door to door and looking through the woods and there was nothing. We were pretty sure that someone took them.”

Doty reported the chicken theft to the Outer Islands RCMP, stationed on Pender Island, as well as on the local community Facebook page. Since some of the chickens that were taken were of rare breeds, Doty and her husband were concerned that the birds had been taken off-island. However, the community was able to track down the chickens on Galiano and negotiate their return.

“Then Sunday night, we had gone out for dinner and when we came home there were several phone calls from a friend of mine,” Doty said. “The chickens were dumped at the end of our driveway in the dark without a box or anything. They were left in a ditch. We were tipped off that that’s where they were left and then we were able to collect them and reunite them successfully.”

All six birds were returned after dark on Sunday. They were all healthy and had not suffered any harm when they were missing.

“We were so full of joy and super happy. I’m glad that they’re healthy,” Doty said.

Doty explained that believed the chickens were stolen because they were at laying-age, and the alleged perpetrators, who are known to police, already had a group of chicks from another source that had not reached maturity.

“They didn’t want to wait the 20 weeks before they came into lay, so they wanted chickens that were at the point of lay,” she said. “They came in the middle of the night and basically took the chickens off the roosting bar.”

This kind of incident is rare on the island. Doty explained that it would not be worthwhile to install a more secure pen.

The RCMP has a file open on this case and the investigation is ongoing.

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