The Peninsula chickens spending time at the CRD Animal Shelter by Elk Lake. Farmers and residents alike have called in and are showing up throughout the day to adopt the birds, some of which are in peak egg laying form. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

The Peninsula chickens spending time at the CRD Animal Shelter by Elk Lake. Farmers and residents alike have called in and are showing up throughout the day to adopt the birds, some of which are in peak egg laying form. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Famous Peninsula chickens adopted out in days

CRD Animal Control re-homed 101 chickens corralled on the Peninsula

More than 100 chickens – laying hens, many of them still producing eggs – found scattered across the Peninsula early last Thursday morning were quickly re-homed Monday.

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Don Brown, chief bylaw officer of the CRD, said because the chickens were still laying eggs after they were discovered, they are still of value and were likely dumped illegally.

“I just wish if someone had birds they couldn’t care for anymore they would have contacted us so that we could have helped, instead of dumping them,” Brown said.

CRD animal shelter staff found dozens of eggs as the active hens laid them randomly inside the chicken pen outside the shelter.

Members of North and Central Saanich police and fire departments were the first on the scene in the early hours of Jan. 10 after a resident called concerned about a number of chickens wandering around on Birch Road.

The chickens were turned over to the care of Animal Control and spent the weekend recuperating in the shelter. Brown said one chicken had to be put down but for the most part the rest are healthy.

Calls and emails poured in from people interested in adopting the birds.

“Most of them have been spoken for,” Brown said Monday morning, adding they’ll be adopted by local farmers or those allowed to have hens in their backyard, as well as a few animal rescue groups. The last dozen were re-homed by end-of-day.

Officials are still looking for any tips from the public about the origin of the chickens.

Brown said whoever is responsible could be subject to penalties under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act that may include hefty fines, conditions on owning animals or potentially jail time.

“It’s animal cruelty for sure,” Brown said.