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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Faircloth

Lumiere the Rooster, 40 Birds Missing from Lake Waccamaw Farm

There's nothing more heartbreaking than having a pet stolen, but what if that pet is of the backyard feathered variety?

Ashley Batten of Lake Waccamaw knows all about that loss, and she's looking to bring her fluffy fellow, Lumiere, home.

Lumiere is a beautiful English silver-laced Orpington who weighs between 15 and 18 pounds. Batten said her birdy buddy went missing along with forty other chickens between Jan. 22-28.

"Sunday, my daughter and father were there, and all of them greeted them. Nothing was wrong," said Batten. "Thursday, my grandfather went and he didn’t notice any obvious signs of them missing, but he also commented that not as many came to greet him as usual."

She said when she was doing her usual rounds on Saturday morning, that's when she noticed she was only left with skittish birds, and Lumiere was nowhere to be found.

"Saturday morning when I got there to do my regular things, my daughter and I instantly noticed that only a fourth of the usual amount greeted us for their treats. Lumiere wasn’t there," Batten said.

Batten and her daughter searched the field and farm for feathers or signs of predators, but the chickens seemed to have disappeared without a trace. A screen door usually left in the barn was sitting next to the electric fence, and Batten speculates that a thief may have used it to lay over the wires to scoop up the birds that were friendly enough to come close.

Since her big boy went missing, alerts have gone out to animal auction Facebook pages and websites for folks to be on the lookout for Lumiere. Batten said she's come to terms with the fact that her chickens are missing, but she wants folks to know that despite the egg prices, thieves, and “wannabe egginaires,” poultry farming is costly.

"I barely rarely ever break even. Chickens are hard work," she said. "I know I had 65-70 or more hens alone in that pen, plus other roosters. Now, there’s barely 25 or so out there."

If you know anything about Batten's missing flock or her rooster Lumiere, please contact her via her Facebook profile Ashley Dawn.

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