02/21/2017 17:47 EST | Updated 02/22/2018 00:12 EST

Animal care officers pick up stray chicken wandering Edmonton's streets

EDMONTON — Officials at Animal Care and Control are hoping to find the owner of an unusual stray found wandering Edmonton's streets on the weekend.

Spokeswoman Tanya Laughren tells CTV Edmonton that a full-grown chicken was picked up strutting around the city's north side.

The hen had some health problems such as mites and feather loss, but those are being treated.

Animal Care and Control can take in up to 6,000 stray animals each year.

Those that aren't claimed by their owners are turned over to the Edmonton Humane Society where they are put up for adoption.

So far, the feathered fugitive is still a freebird.

“No one has yet come forward to say, ‘Hey, that’s my chicken’,” says peace officer Sabrina Bergin.

She says officials actually come across chickens a few times a year, and catching one can be a challenge.

“It can be quite arduous to try to catch a chicken, they don’t come when called,” Bergin says with a laugh.

This particular chicken doesn’t have a tag used to identify other birds that are part of Edmonton’s Urban Hen Project, making it difficult to track down the owner.

“Unlike dogs or cats where they have permanent microchipping or tattoos, that sort of thing, we’re not able to trace back chickens to an owner without that band,” Bergin says.

Fifty homes in Edmonton are legally housing backyard chickens, but anyone illegally keeping chickens could face a $500 fine.

“Just like other animals we want to make sure the situation that they’re kept in is according to the standards that we set,” Bergin says.

(CTV Edmonton)