Runaway chickens make ‘unexpected’ new home at Gold Coast tip

Is it a mass break-out or a poultry dumping? That’s the question that has Gold Coast City Councillor Hermann Vorster scratching his head after two chickens moved into a council rubbish tip.

“I wish I could tell you which road they crossed,” he said.

The councillor says the Merrimac Waste Transfer Station has become home for the birds — dubbed Plucky and Foghorn Leghorn.

“Just down the road there are another six [chickens] down by Bermuda Street,” Mr Vorster said.

“I’m not sure if they are related, but they are certainly driving a population surge that’s a bit unexpected.”

Mr Vorster said he hasn’t received any formal complaints about the birds.

“I think they’re quite a friendly spectacle — I wouldn’t like to see them moved on,” he said.

“Some people have suggested they could be a traffic hazard because people are manoeuvring around tight corners.

“They have survived six weeks, so they must be able to dart around safely.”

The Division 11 representative says staff working at the site don’t mind sharing their workplace with the chickens.

“They were quite happy with their feathered friends,” Mr Vorster said.

“I think it adds a bit of visual interest to what can otherwise be a very dirty and drab outing.

“[They’re] wonderful local characters — I don’t see them being moved on.”

The councillor did concede that if there was a health and safety risk and someone did make a formal complaint, then the council would be forced to act.

“I want to see these two survive,” Councillor Vorster said.

“If someone can help, please reach out and we’ll make it happen.”

Dumping common
Emma Lagoon from the RSPCA said it was not unusual for people to release chickens.

“It’s not ideal to have them living off rubbish essentially,” she said.

“People do dump animals, unfortunately, but if you are caught you can be prosecuted.

“We advise against doing that and look at other options that are available for rehoming if you have too many or can’t look after them.”