Feral chickens left behind by former neighbour continue to terrorise Auckland suburb

Author
Lincoln Tan, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 23 Feb 2021, 3:36PM
Auckland Council has been working on the chicken complaint since it was brought to its attention last year. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Auckland Council has been working on the chicken complaint since it was brought to its attention last year. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Feral chickens left behind by former neighbour continue to terrorise Auckland suburb

Author
Lincoln Tan, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 23 Feb 2021, 3:36PM

A Glen Eden homeowner has filed a fresh complaint to Auckland Council claiming his neighbour's chickens have gone feral and continue to cause a nightmare even though the property had been sold.

Chao Su, 82, first filed a complaint in February last year about his neighbour having more than 100 chickens - with some roosters "taller than dogs" - that were causing a nuisance on his property.

Auckland Council's Manager Compliance Response and Investigations Kerri Fergusson said council staff have been working on the issue since it was brought to its attention and have "decreased the number of fowl at the site dramatically" to about four and five.

However, Su said many others have gone feral and appear only during the evenings and early hours of dawn, and have managed to keep out of sight of council officers.

Glen Eden homeowner Chao Su says his former neighbour's chickens have gone feral and continue to terrorise the neighbourhood. Photo / Jason OxenhamGlen Eden homeowner Chao Su says his former neighbour's chickens have gone feral and continue to terrorise the neighbourhood. Photo / Jason Oxenham

In his latest complaint to council this week, Su said these chickens blocked cars on the main road and defecated on neighbouring properties.

"It attracts flies which invade the neighbour's courtyard, bedroom, and kitchen," he said.

"I wanted to sell my house a few years ago to escape, but when I listed the my house, many buyers came and were put off. The three real estate agents who helped me to sell the house said no one wanted to buy a chicken farmer's house."

Su said even though his neighbour had managed to sell his property, he didn't take his chickens away.

"The chickens are still roaming around in the yard. They continue to be a nuisance and health hazard to the neighbours," he said.

Su said he was seeking compensation of $1 million from the former neighbour because the chickens had made it impossible for him to sell his own house.

Under current council bylaws, urban properties smaller than 2000sq m can have just six chickens while larger ones can have 12. Su's neighbour's property in New North Road is under 2000sq m.

Glen Eden homeowner Chao Su says his neighbour's chickens have managed to escape the sight of council officers. Photo / Jason OxenhamGlen Eden homeowner Chao Su says his neighbour's chickens have managed to escape the sight of council officers. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Fergusson said the council had worked with the former tenant to ensure he sold off his chickens and ducks, and confirmed that they have now moved.

"We visited the property again on Monday afternoon and did not find any fowl at the site, although because they are wild, the small number we have estimated may still be in the area," Fergusson said.

"The property is now vacant and has recently been sold. It is due to be demolished in the next couple of months."

The building had been deemed unsafe and there was a "dangerous building notice" over it.

"We are working with the new owner to ensure they upgrade the hoardings around the site to make sure no-one can get access to it in the meantime," Fergusson added.