Nearly a dozen pet chickens found dead in Bountiful backyard

Oct 5, 2021, 11:24 PM | Updated: Oct 6, 2021, 10:28 am

BOUNTIFUL, Utah — Several pet chickens were discovered dead in the backyard of a city councilman Monday, and he feared it was the work of a person, not another animal.

Chris Simonsen, also well-known in the community as a longtime pediatric dentist, said he found seven chickens dead inside a coop and three others deceased out on the grounds of his garden.

Another was believed to be missing.

He had loaded them all safely inside the coop the night before and the coop had latches he said would have made it impossible for another animal to access.

Simonsen said he also closed two additional gates that lead to the chicken coop Sunday night and the inner gate was inexplicably open Monday morning.

“One (chicken) appeared to be hit in the back of the head with either a hammer, a baseball bat or something,” he said in an interview with KSL-TV on Tuesday.

Family members took several of the chickens to a veterinarian Tuesday morning to determine an official cause of death.

Those results were expected in the coming days.

“I don’t understand it — how that could happen and find her laying in the coop in there dead,” Simonsen said as he held one of the dead chickens. “To some of us, chickens are as important as a cat or a dog. They’re not just a chicken, they’re a pet.”

A spokesperson with the Bountiful Police Department said officers were investigating the matter and were awaiting further results from the veterinary autopsies.

In late August, Simonsen’s daughter discovered two sheep had been shot at her community pasture in Farmington.

As of Tuesday evening, no link had been established between the two events, and Simonsen and his family members said they had no known enemies.

“There’s been other incidents like this in Davis County where a sheep was shot up in Farmington, we’ve had swans that were killed in a backyard — we hear of these other incidents that are happening in Davis County, and hopefully all of this can come together and enough evidence can be brought forward that if it’s just one person or a group of people doing this, they can be caught,” Simonsen said.

He hopes answers would come in time as to who was responsible and why.

“That’s kind of where the mystery is,” Simonsen said. “We don’t know what happened.”

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Nearly a dozen pet chickens found dead in Bountiful backyard