AN Orange couple is battling to explain to their heartbroken grandchildren why someone would hurt their pet chickens by putting them into a compost bin and pouring engine oil on top of them.
Bob Nash said he and his wife Nancy don’t expect the chickens to live.
“I know they’re only chooks but they live with us and they’ve become part of our routine” Mr Nash said.
“Our grandchildren are trying to understand why this would happen.”
Mr Nash said he and his wife were given the chickens for Christmas, and while they did lay a small number of eggs, they were primarily kept as pets for the grandchildren.
Early yesterday morning the Nash family discovered intruders had entered their yard and let the four chickens out of their pen.
While one of the chickens had disappeared, the remaining three were found in a compost bin distressed and covered in oil.
“Their whole bodies were awash with sticky oil, it was obvious they were very uncomfortable,” Mr Nash said.
Following advice from animal experts, Mr Nash said he soaked the chickens with warm water and a small amount of detergent in an effort to break down the oil.
He plans to keep them in the house overnight.
“We’ll try and keep them warm and see if they survive,” he said.
While in the yard the intruders also entered the garden shed and stockpiled a number of items near the back gate, including a lawnmower, possibly planning to return and collect them.
“What they’ve done is juvenile, I can’t imagine an adult doing this,” he said.
Mr Nash said he’d reported the incident to police who were investigating.