QUARRY Hill residents have been angered by suspected fowl play after chooks were stolen from a community garden.
The eight chickens were living in the garden at the back of Spencers Cafe in Carpenter Street and were being looked after by neighbours and cafe customers before they were taken earlier this month.
La Trobe University students had helped set up the chicken cage as part of a community garden to allow people to be involved in the feeding.
Student Dan Abhikair said the idea was to get nearby residents involved in a communal project.
“There’s been a few of us looking after the chooks,” he said.
“People in the community who would wander down and feed them, a lot of kids used to run down from the cafe to play with them.”
He said when the chickens were initially stolen, people thought it was a mix-up.
“I thought someone had just moved them. We actually had someone check on them the day they were stolen about 1.30 then again at 7pm.
“By that stage of the night someone had liberated them.”
Mr Abhikair said a fox trap and water feeder he had set up in the garden – valued about $250 – were also stolen along with the chooks.
He said it was disappointing to see that someone would rob them.
“It’s bloody annoying,” he said.
“They were pretty awesome chickens. They’ve been there for about two years, so I don’t know why someone’s nicked them.
“I hope they’re being looked after by whoever’s taken them.”
Police are investigating the theft of the chickens and equipment, and anyone with information is urged to contact Bendigo police.
More chickens are planned to be bought for the garden, with a number of chooks being house-sat at the site in the garden in the interim.