It sounds like a bit of a nursery rhyme.
“Not last night but the night before…” began Paldi resident Joan Mayo, “Or, in the early morning hours…”
But then the story took a turn and ended rather abruptly.
“Someone drove in and dropped off 35 live big brown chickens.”
There they were Monday morning, clucking away, scattered all around the neighbourhood.
The ones that survived two nights in the elements, anyway. A few weren’t so lucky.
“They are under the broom bushes,” Mayo explained. “Right in the village where the houses used to be on the side of the road that goes right through Paldi. They’re beautiful brown chickens and as soon as you go down there to look at them they go begging for something to eat.”
She and the priest at the nearby Sikh temple — two of the rural area’s small smattering of residents — discussed just what to do with their new and unexpected flock.
Mayo said calls to the SPCA and the health department didn’t seem to be fruitful.
According to Sandi Trent, the Cowichan SPCA’s manager, her group didn’t have the facilities to take them but were working to find the animals a new place to call home.
After a quick visit from SPCA animal control officer Colin Owen-Flood, local hobby farmer Izak Eskelson arrived with his wife and kids to round up the chickens and the eggs they had laid in the bushes. They did their best, making several trips to get the animals to their new home, where they’ll eventually join his own flock, along with his ducks and a few other animals at the farm.
Eskelson said he would quarantine the birds for a time to ensure they aren’t sick and to protect his other animals in the event they are.
Where the chickens came from remains a mystery.