“Chickens” which had been roaming freely around Thomson View and Blocks 452 to 454 Sin Ming Avenue, have been put down by Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) as there were 20 complaints lodged against their presence. In response to queries by local newspaper TODAY, AVA said that the complaints were largely related to noise.
The AVA spokesperson stated that the chickens were then humanely euthanised as relocation options are not available in land-scarce Singapore, noting that the authority “conducts surveillance and control operations to safeguard public health and mitigate nuisance issues”.
Ben Leong who lives at Lorong Puntong off Sin Ming Avenue, published a Facebook note expressing his family’s distress by the culling of the chickens that have been their neighbours for the past 4 years since his family moved into the area.
He wrote how he remembers thinking to himself, “Wow, these are really beautiful birds!! How cool is this to find wild chickens living in Singapore among us!”
He wrote, “They were not *just* chickens. While they might look like chickens, it didn’t take an expert to know that they are not the kind of bird that one would find on the dinner table. Too pretty to eat.”
He noted that he never realized that they are called Red Junglefowl until they all disappeared this past week and that a documentary
had been made about them.
He wrote that his family was particularly excited in 2015 when they discovered a hen nesting at the bottom of their block near the carpark.
The hen was named Broody by his wife.
Sharing the experience of the close encounter that the family had with the animals, Ben wrote: “For 3 weeks, we would check on Broody every day when came home. Broody laid 6 eggs. We were totally elated like new parents when the eggs started to hatch. 5 hatched. The last one did not. We were really sad for Broody, but Broody seemed to take it in her stride.
Nevertheless, Broody did the mother thing and led her 5 chicks around the block. It was a really adorable sight. Alas, in the second week or so, Broody lost one to a predator, leaving her with 4. We mourned with Broody.
The 4 chicks eventually grew up and we never saw Broody and her brood again. I reckoned they had joined the rest of the flock in the vacant field next to our block and also in front of the Flame Tree Park condo.
It was a pleasant surprise for us that our kids could get to witness the miracle of life and be able to get so close to these gentle creatures. The birds don’t run when we got close. I guess they (and their ancestors) have lived in the area for so long that they understood that the good people who lived in the area would do them no harm.”
Ben further wrote, “Sin Ming to my family is a really special place. It is a place in Singapore where man and nature could live together in harmony — and we have done so for so many years.”
He noted that his family tried to find if there might be some that have escaped the culling. Though they could not find in initial attempts but his wife eventually found a few between his block and Ai Tong Primary School.
Prior to finding the surviving few, Ben was upset over the loss of the junglefowl, he wrote, “Well, I hope that those of you who complained are proud of what you have done. Our estate is now DEAD, like every other estate in Singapore. No more will we hear from our feathered friends.
No more will we be able to see these beautiful creatures hatch their young and lead them puttering around in the estate.”
His wife had taken many photos of the junglefowl and from the photos, it is clear that the “chickens” are not the domesticated chickens that the Mainstream Media and AVA were trying to allude to.
Ben further commented in his note that many of the folks at AVA might be completely bewildered by the public outcry and the Chief Executive of AVA has not squeaked. Noting that the CE probably has no idea why so many people are so upset, but confessed that he might have felt the same way if he had not moved to Sin Ming.