New Zealand Farmer Has Flock Stolen and Replaced with Older Chickens

Posted by Paige Cerulli
chicken farmer
NZ Herald

A New Zealand farmer encountered quite the surprise when he discovered someone had stolen chickens, leaving older ones in their place. 

In a bizarre incident, a New Zealand farmer has had 32 of his chickens stolen. But what's unusual is the fact that those stolen chickens were replaced with older chickens.

Chris Lange of New Zealand first noticed the swap when he discovered that some of the chickens in his flock had clipped wings. Lange doesn't clip his chickens' wings and realized that there were different chickens in his pen.

Lange keeps his chickens in an enclosed area, so the culprit would have had to have gone in at night to swap out the chickens. The chickens left for Lange are older than the chickens taken, and no longer lay eggs. Lange believes that the culprit saw that Lange sells eggs and realized that Lange's chickens must be younger and still producing eggs.


As chickens age, they lay fewer eggs, then none at all. Many people kill the chickens when they stop laying eggs, rather than continuing to feed the non-producing chickens. Some people prefer to keep chickens as pets, rather than killing them as they age.

Lange believes the culprit didn't want to kill their chickens themselves, so decided to swap them out with his younger chickens. Lange will kill the older chickens left behind in his coop, but is out of the cost of his 32 stolen chickens. He doesn't plan on going to the police, as he doesn't think that there is much they can do.

Lange and his wife sell eggs by the road and have an honesty box out for egg purchases. Aside from the occasional theft from their honesty box, they haven't encountered any issues since moving to their property two years ago.

What do you think of this strange chicken swap? Tell us in the comments below. 

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New Zealand Farmer Has Flock Stolen and Replaced with Older Chickens