Dozens of rogue chickens take over Antioch neighborhood

Residents in Antioch have a fowl problem on their hands. Dozens of wild chickens and roosters have taken over their neighborhood and now the city is getting involved.

It looks like a serene part of town, a rural neighborhood with quaint mailboxes and fruit trees. But it really isn't that peaceful. The sounds of crowing, clucking and flapping are always there.

"There's a lot of chickens. They roost in one of those trees back there. It's a lot of chickens," said Lou Salvador, a business owner in the neighborhood around Vine Lane.

There are 60 or more chickens and roosters that have gone rogue and taken over the area. The city now considers them wild birds. Residents say the problem has gotten out of hand. "They're everywhere. They're everywhere. Sometimes they're over here, or all the way in the vines," said resident Jackie Guerrero.

It's unclear how this all started. "I'm not afraid of chickens, but when there are like 10 of them, it's like yo, this is like a little gang," exclaimed resident Vanessa Gonzalez.

One man said it was a resident who had pet chickens, but let them out and then moved away. "It has come to a point that they're all over the place in the backyards and stuff. And I mean they leave their, you know, stuff everywhere and we clean it up constantly," added Gonzalez.

Even city officials have not determined where the birds came from. Some residents want the city to remove the birds, an option the city council is considering.

The bill for eradicating the birds would be about $7,000. But there's no guarantee that the contractor would be able to catch all the birds. If that were the case, these birds would just repopulate.

On Tuesday night, the council was hearing a staff report on the issue and how residents have dealt with it. Among other things, it says the residents who want the chickens gone declined to help with the task.

"My concern is that we're going to embark on something that's going to be very costly for the city, and if not all the residents in the area are behind us in the solution, in working with the city, oftentimes those kinds of projects fail," explained Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando.

The council will likely make no decision on eradicating the birds before next month.

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