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Chickens Roast in Alice Summer Heat

21 February 2013

AUSTRALIA - Extreme temperatures this summer have proved fatal for much of Central Australia's chicken population.

Chooks are a hugely popular backyard pet in towns like Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, reports ABC.

A pet food supplier, Martha Westphal, says she's been overwhelmed by anxious owners who've lost chooks recently and want to guarantee it doesn't happen again.

"I think when they're born and raised here they adjust to it," she said.

"Darker colour chooks have a harder time, that's why when I order chickens I get the white ones. They seem to handle the heat better.

"But we have a lot of customers come in and want advice on what to do and we just tell them, leave town.

"There's nothing you can do."

Resident Trevor Shiell lost three chooks in January, despite having plenty of shade and water available.

He says he may take drastic measures next summer.

"If I do it again I'll build a swimming pool for them," he said.

"That'd be a good tourist attraction wouldn't it? Come and see my swimming chooks!"

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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