23 April 2021

Queanbeyan's street chicken crosses the road, foul play ruled out

| Michael Weaver
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Callum Street residents with chicken

Residents of Callum Street in Queanbeyan are reunited with their neighbourhood chicken. Photo: Claire Stewart.

Queanbeyan’s missing community chicken has come back home to roost, but the reason why it crossed the road remains a mystery.

Last week, Region Media reported on the coup involving the chicken that called four properties home in Callum Street.

When the chicken with four names from each of the households – Juliet, Betty, Gobble Gobble and Chook Chook – went missing, the residents of Callum Street suspected foul play.

However, when it was discovered the chicken had not flown the coop but had been poached by another resident down the road, they combed through the facts to discover the chicken had crossed the road.

Juliet, named by an elderly Callum Street resident who had a pet rabbit named Romeo, is much loved by the locals who just wanted their free-ranging chicken back.

Resident Fenji Stradwick said they received information Juliet had been seen near the Metro Service Station, having crossed busy Tharwa Road.

When asked why the chicken crossed the road, Ms Stradwick, a local paramedic, said, “To be a bad chicken and hang out at the servo.”

“Apparently she’d been seen down that end of the street a couple of times, which means she must be reasonably far-ranging.

“I can only say she crossed the road to get to the other neighbours and visit everybody.”

Chicken standing on grass while eating

Queanbeyan’s Callum Street chicken is back home, feeding on a plate of hemp seeds, baby spinach and grated apple. Photo: Supplied.

The Callum Street cohort left flyers on the doorstep of the Tharwa Road resident in the hope the street’s pecking order could be restored. After a few days of no response, they feared their chicken had been roasted, but contact was eventually made and an exchange was organised.

“One of our elderly neighbours was holding back tears when they saw she’d come back,” said Fenji. “She often roosts in their front yard.

“We just wanted our girl back under our wing.”

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Fellow neighbour Claire Stewart said Juliet had signs of being pecked by other chickens in the yard in Tharwa Street and had also had her wings clipped. It left them walking on eggshells.

“We know chickens are a bit territorial at first about another chicken so we think our girl is best off where she belongs,” said Claire.

“I’ve got her a fluoro vest after I found you could actually get fluoro chicken vests on the internet. We’ve got her a chicken coop, too, so we’re hoping she knows where her home is now.”

Fenji said their chicken, a distinctive australorp breed, will always be free to roam after it arrived in the street on a windy day before Christmas last year.

“It’s lovely to hear her quietly clucking away in Claire’s backyard, and the world has got its right noises back again,” said Fenji. “It’s been an eggs-cellent outcome.”

Original Article published by Michael Weaver on The RiotACT.

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