Fowl play in Rosedale

Colin Macreadie has had 50 of his chickens stolen in the past five weeks. Photo: Josh Farrell

Rosedale residents are enduring a spate of chicken thefts over the previous months as the price of laying hens climbs dramatically.

Jan and Colin Macreadie have had more than 50 Hy-line and Isa Brown chickens stolen from their property near Rosedale on three separate occasions.

The price of chickens on resale sites such as Gumtree range from $15 through to $50 for some, bringing the Macreadie’s loss up to $1000.

The first time hens went missing Jan and Colin were unsure whether a fox had taken them.

The second they suspected they had been stolen.

On third occasion Jan spotted the headlights of the thieves in the early morning as they drove along the driveway.

She said she awoke to the sound of a car door closing, got up to investigate and saw the headlights from the back door.

The thieves took the trouble to close the gate that provides access to the chicken pens.

“They have to travel up the driveway and right next to the house to get to them — it’s scary,” Jan said.

“I can’t sleep at night.

“I just sit up listening and waiting in case they come back.”

After the second and third break-ins the couple reported the thefts to Rosedale police, but said they had not visited or taken any statements.

Rosedale Police are investigating the thefts and urge anyone with information to contact the Rosedale Police station.

Jan and Colin have now lost all of their young hens, and egg collection has dropped from five dozen to just a single dozen in a month.

They have now installed locks on all of their gates, and have begun making enquiries into security camera systems.

“We are going to have to install security cameras and other measures to better protect ourselves,” Jan said.

Jan and Colin want to bring the thefts to light, as they believe it is likely others have been affected.

“I am sure we are not the only victims — it’ll help others better protect themselves,” Colin said.