WATCH: The owner of 101 chickens found on the Saanich Peninsula last week has run out of time to claim them so they are now being adopted out. April Lawrence has the latest.
As of noon on Monday, 101 chickens at the Capital Regional District animal shelter in Saanich were officially put up for adoption after the 96 hours their owner was given to claim them ran out.
“We’re anticipating that most if not all of these chickens will be gone by end of day tomorrow,” said CRD Chief Bylaw Officer Don Brown.
Last Thursday, 93 laying hens were collected by police officers, firefighters, and citizens from five different locations on the Saanich Peninsula.
Then eight more stragglers were picked up over the weekend, bringing the total number to 101. Authorities are now certain they were dumped.
“At this late in time it certainly seems to be the case that someone simply just dropped them off in multiple locations,” said Brown.
While believed to be old for laying hens, the birds are still laying plenty of eggs and that has people flocking to adopt them.
Chicken farmer Drew Thorburn arrived from Salt Spring Island Monday to pick up 15.
“We wanted to increase the flock and this is a wonderful opportunity to do that,” he said.
The birds will be living out their days on Thorburn’s 40-acre farm on the edge of the ocean. They are just beginning to moult so he says they won’t likely be productive for three to four more months.
An island animal rescue will pick up 25 of the birds on Tuesday and the rest will go to a lengthy list of animal lovers, looking to give the aging birds a loving home.
“We have quite a list of people that are interested,” said Brown. “Most people are coming for two or four or six, usually small backyard type operations,” he said.
Brown hopes to have all 101 chickens adopted out by Tuesday.